Networking When You are an Introvert
First of all, let’s see what makes an introvert unique and how can he be differentiated from an extrovert. The introverts gain their energy and vitality from their inner self. They spend time alone in order to recharge their batteries. On the other hand, extroverts draw their energy from the world around them. They need people around them in order to feel good and gain satisfaction.
Even if introverts tend to be more uptight when it comes to networking, that doesn’t mean they can’t become exceptional net-workers. In order to attain good networking skills while being an introvert, you must learn how to control and cultivate your internal energy.
Once you know how to do that, use it to meet new people that may help you grow and expand your freelance career. When it comes to networking knowing the right people is what truly matters. Worry not, as in this article you will learn everything you need in order to crush your next networking event.
Everyone is a bit Anxious in the Beginning
You shouldn’t worry about being nervous at your first networking event. Being nervous is natural, even for an extrovert. Therefore, if you manage to understand that your anxiety is normal, you will literally minimize it.
Feeling anxious during such events is common. Most people are experiencing it, so relax, you are not alone. If you still consider that you might need a nerves calming solution, you can check out the following guide.
Start with Attainable Aspirations
When you are attending a networking event for the first time don’t quickly assume that you will find your dream client. When first attending such an event, you should focus on overcoming your anxiety, on feeling good, and on gathering contact information from new and interesting people.
Your goal may be to collect 10 contacts from ten different people. My contact info, I mean email, Skype ID, social media profiles, and phone numbers. Don’t force yourself too much, just enjoy the event and get to know people.
Display Your True Self
“Presenting your true self” slowly turns into a cliché, and that’s because, in general, people don’t acknowledge what being authentic really means. In our modern business world, everybody is presenting themselves through the medium of a mask or an invented self.
We are creating these masks in order to make ourselves liked by others. We find it hard to believe that our social environment could accept us if we behave differently from the rest. Nevertheless, if you wish to enjoy networking events, you must learn to act like yourself. Accepting yourself and acting naturally will decrease your anxiety which will make people will feel drawn towards you.
Connect with Other Introverts
You won’t be the only introvert attending the meeting. Same as you, they will be anxious about the event. So, make the first step and go meet them. Approach all people that look nervous or are constantly looking at their phone.
All you have to do is greet them, present yourself and ask them to do the same. Usually, a conversation will naturally begin and you may start creating connections. You only need a little bit of courage. You might even find your business partner. You never know.
Jerry Gold, HR manager at BestEssays would like to share his experience:
“Networking events are a truly great way of finding valuable people. In my case, I found my lifetime business partner. I am an introvert, even though I managed to overcome a few of my anxiety problems. During my first event, I was extremely scared and nervous, but I somehow managed to meet another guy that had the exact same problems. We talked a little bit and quickly became good friends. After 8 years we are still working together. “
Pay Attention to Your Body Language
Observing the body language of people around you is vital if you wish to bond with the right persons. In this case, you may at least learn the basics. Your body language is expressed by your: facial expression, posture, gestures, tone, and voice.
The great advantage of knowing how to read the body language is that you will always know when someone is faking it. It would be a great addition to your social skills. Therefore, make sure to learn it and to use it constantly.
Remember to Focus on Online Networking As Well
Online networking is a groundbreaking “thing” for all the introverts. It’s your time to shine, to use all your knowledge and your expertise to connect with people, all within the comfort of your home. Now that you are back in your room, you can relax and focus on gaining the skills required in order to create valuable and long-lasting relationships. Focus on revealing all your great hidden qualities, and everything you can bring to the table.
Hey, introverts! Stop thinking that you have a problem. Are you challenged more than others? Yes. But that’s not a reason to quit or to feel insecure. Usually, people that are challenged more than others tend to turn out more successful. See your anxiety as a gift, a challenge that will change your life if you’re brave enough to face it.