*image from stocksnap.io edited in Canva
My networking strategy is based on the fact that I am an introvert. Now, I would say that over the years I have become a well-socialized introvert. I can start a conversation even though small talk does not come easy. And I have learned strategies to help establish a rapport with new people and hold my own in almost any conversation. However, nothing changes the fact that I am an introvert and that makes some things more difficult. Specifically attending networking events and meeting new people, which are very important when trying to market a business.
Most of my online networking happens through Facebook and Instagram. As an introvert, it is much easier to be vulnerable and personal online when it comes to building connections. There is no awkward eye contact, no awkward silences, and I can take all the time I want to form a response when engaged in a conversation with a new contact. There is no anxiety over that “I should have said this…” when replaying conversations back in my mind. I find this style of networking much more enjoyable, I am more my true self and as an introvert, it does not exhaust me like a face to face networking would.
Do I get excited about being in a group of strangers? No. When it comes to networking in real-life situations, my strategy is to be the person that I would want to network with. I remind myself that I am more than likely not the only one in the room feeling intimidated and instead of worrying about how terrified I am to approach a person I don’t know, I think about how thankful I am when someone approaches me and starts a conversation. I usually look for someone on who is not currently not engaged in conversation and approach them thinking I am helping them feel more comfortable and soon the connections start to flow.
In the next 6 months to a year, the business that I work for is expanding in new and different directions. I will need to continue to expand and develop my contacts and networks. I have given myself a networking challenge of attending 2 previously attended networking events and stepping out of my comfort zone and attending 2 new events. These are great opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with old contacts.
I also plan to spend some time working on my elevator pitch. As an introvert so many times I lose the opportunity to make a connection because I don’t know what to say. It makes a great difference when I have some rehearsed scripts up my sleeve so when I have to opportunity to say what our business is about or what I do, I have a well thought out answer that builds connections.
What are your goals for networking in the coming year?
Professional Networking Now And In The Future: Goals and Strategies http://bit.ly/NowandFuture
Professional Networking Now And In The Future: Goals and Strategies #networking #marketingstrategy http://bit.ly/NowandFuture