In this episode, we’re going to cover networking tips for introverts. I can give these tips because I am an introvert, which might be surprising to some of you.
I was recently discussing my business with my mom and mentioned that I was an introvert. She laughed and said that I couldn’t possibly be one because of how open I am and how easily I speak to others. I admitted to her how I’ve been struggling with coming out of my shell and being social with others ever since I was a child. She had no idea!
Those struggles have made me able to do what I do today. I’m going to share some of the tips I’ve been using since I was a kid to help me feel confident and comfortable in my own skin.
IE 146: Networking Tips for Introverts from a Lifelong Introvert
In case you missed it, I recently released the Jenny Melrose app! It’s available for all iOS devices and has all of my content in one place.
All my podcasts are there in both audio and written form.
We also have exclusive audio just for our app users, and there’s one all about gratefulness that includes a huge promo for IEA. Head over and download the app and listen to the audio and you’ll get 50% off the price of tickets when you use the code APPUSER at checkout until the end of October.
Building Relationships in Person
Networking is a piece we often miss as introverts, simply because we get comfortable hiding behind our computer screens.
But hear me on this – you cannot imagine the huge effects it will have on your business if you’re willing to meet people and build relationships.
The people in my business who I have collaborated and have the strongest relationships with are those who I’ve met in person. Many of you know that Kate Ahl, (of Simple Pin Media) is a good friend of mine.
We have been on each other’s podcasts and understand each other’s business. That relationship was built because we made it a priority to meet in person and get to know each other off the screen.
Some of you may not be able to go to a conference right now. Maybe a huge conference feels intimidating to you.
Start local. Look for local meetups or different things in your area where other entrepreneurs gather. You don’t have to only gather with other bloggers. Surround yourself with people who are running businesses. Learn their strategies to see how it can benefit your business as well.
Find Facebook groups in your area and go to the in-person meetups of those Facebook groups for your city.
If you know different people in your area, start your own meetup. Have lunch with a few friends to discuss your businesses.
Use Business Cards as a Tool
When you go to a networking event, bring business cards that have a picture of you on them. I talked about this just a few weeks ago in an episode about networking at a conference.
Your business cards are a way for people to remember you, and having a picture makes that so much easier. Use your profile picture so that it’s easily recognizable from your social media.
Not only do you want to share your business cards with others, but you also want to be asking the people you meet for theirs as well. Keep a pen with you so that after you finish chatting with the person, you can jot down some notes about what you talked about.
This will act as a memory jogger when you email them after the conference. Don’t stick to business questions; ask them about their personal life. One of the first questions I ask is, “Where are you originally from?” This helps create connections.
You can ask about their families, kids, how they started their business, anything. All of these questions help you build your relationship.
Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready
It can be difficult as an introvert to walk up to a group and start chatting. I always look for the person sitting off by themselves and go up to them. This is a tip that I learned as a child and still implement today.
With that being said, be prepared with your elevator pitch. Be ready to tell them exactly what you do. Don’t just say you’re a food blogger. Be specific on the type of content you actually create.
If you don’t have your elevator pitch, you need to go back and listen to episode 36 where we covered how to write a killer elevator pitch.
You can find other entrepreneurs in places you may not expect, but you have to be able to tell them exactly what you do, in words they will understand.
Continue the Relationship
Not only is it important to ask those personal questions when you initially meet someone, but you also have to follow up with them to continue the relationship.
Start by following them on the social media platform that you’re on the most. I don’t typically friend someone on Facebook right away; I use Instagram to start developing the relationship.
If the relationship blooms into a friendship, I will friend them on Facebook, where I share more personal things.
Send them an email thanking them for a great conversation or any tips they gave you. Continue to grow the relationship through that. If you want to collaborate with them, bring that up in your email.
Use the notes you wrote down on your business card to help you in this email. This will not only help you in emailing them, but help them remember who you are.
Put It Into Practice
When you are networking, it is important to remember your personality and how you interact with people. Think about instances when you did have an interaction and people shocked you by remembering a little fact about you or something you shared.
I hope these tips are helpful and things you can put into practice right away, whether at a local event or at a conference.
If you’re looking for a conference where you can network effectively to grow your business, you want to attend IEA here in Charlotte, March 31st-April 2nd, 2020. This conference is like no other because we won’t be shoving information down your throat.
We will teach you strategies all about your business and you’ll apply these in activities immediately. Get your tickets today by downloading the Jenny Melrose app and getting that promo code.
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