Raise your hand if you’re an introvert! Keep it raised if you avoid networking because it exhausts you!
(You couldn’t see it, but my hand was raised too).
Fact of business life: If you want clients, you must network – even if you’re an introvert (and even if it exhausts you).
In this week’s marketing strategy, I share with you three tips on how to network effectively – all while maintaining a healthy balance so you’re not totally exhausted from the experience.
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Fellow introverts, I am here to tell you: You can be introverted, attend networking meetings, and not feel like your head is going to pop off in the process.
How? First, you must own your introversion but promise to not use it as a crutch. Second, you need to set boundaries for yourself. And finally, you need to find the right networking opportunities for you.
I’ll go over each of these strategies in this blog post. Ready?
#1: Your introversion is not a crutch
I am being completely honest with you: I struggle with not using my introversion as an excuse to not network.
I love being at home, tootling away on my laptop and hanging out with my dog. Unfortunately, neither of these actions brings me a lot of clients.
I also know that attending networking meetings, conferences and other gatherings exhaust me. So, I want to avoid them because I am already a low-energy person, and I think to myself: “Why purposely put events on my calendar when I know they will fatigue me?”
Why? Because those meetings and events will help me meet my ideal clients!
So, when you’re feeling like you are using your introversion as an excuse, own it, and then push past it.
Introversion is a personality type and a way of life, but never an excuse to avoid activities that will help grow your business.
#2: Set boundaries
You know you’ll be exhausted after a networking meeting. You know you’ll be totally wiped out after a three-day conference.
So, use that knowledge to your advantage!
Promise yourself that you’ll only spend 10 minutes after the networking meeting talking to others and politely go home. If needed, block your calendar after the meeting for a nap or quiet time.
If you’re at an event, plan alone time – maybe during meals or breaks. Allow yourself to refuel your tank.
Exhaustion sets in when you don’t plan your “refueling time” and keep pushing through. Maintain those boundaries and you’ll have an easier time.
#3: Find the right networking opportunities
Every networking experience is unique. Some networking meetings are more traditional with elevator speeches and business card exchanges. Other networking experiences are more intimate with educational opportunities and online gathering spots.
My advice? Shop around and find the best networking group for your personality. When you like hanging out with the people in your networking group, you’ll enjoy going – and it won’t be so tiresome.
Don’t forget about virtual networking opportunities too. These groups meet over Zoom, so you’re essentially networking from home. In fact, I host a virtual networking group that you’re welcome to check out.
One final tip: When you’re networking, just focus on one or two people per meeting. This will help you develop deeper relationships and will make networking feel more intimate. And it usually helps introverts feel less overwhelmed when you attend a meeting.
If you need clients, you need to network. It’s a fact of entrepreneurship. When you’re an introvert, networking can be hard, but if you implement the three tips in this blog post, you’ll find networking to be enjoyable and profitable – without totally draining you.
Hi, I’m Jill Celeste. I teach purpose-driven entrepreneurs (just like you) everything you need to know about marketing so you can become the Director of Marketing for your business.
Because when you put your Director of Marketing hat squarely on your head, marketing is your number one priority (which will result in more clients!).
When I am not teaching about marketing, you’ll find me hanging out with my husband or my teenage boys, or taking a nap with my basset hound, Emma. I also like to play with my two guinea pigs and feed the backyard ducks (much to my neighbor’s chagrin).
Want to learn more about marketing? I invite you to get my book for free – just head over to www.ThatFirstClient.com. And don’t let the title fool you; it will help you get your first – or next – client. I am honored to help you! ♥