Networking can be intimidating for anyone, but introverts especially experience anxiety. Networking is a skill that you can develop, though. Once you’ve become comfortable with the basics of networking, it will become easier and easier over time. Here are some tips on how to network as an introvert:
Understand what networking is.
Networking is a way to meet new people and build relationships. It’s about helping other people, giving more than you take, and building your personal brand.
Networking can be scary for introverts because we’re not naturally good at small talk or sharing intimate details about ourselves with strangers (or even friends). But if done right, networking can be beneficial for everyone involved–including you!
Know your strengths and how to promote them.
Knowing your strengths is important for networking. You’ll be more confident and successful when you know what you’re good at, and how to promote it.
You can share your strengths by telling a story about how you handled a situation in which someone was impressed by or benefited from something that came naturally to you. For example, if one of my clients wants to tell me about her success in marketing her business, she might say “I started small but then I built up my client base slowly but steadily until now I’m handling large projects.” Or if another client wants me to know that he’s passionate about technology (and therefore excited about working with computers), he might say “I’ve been interested in technology since I was young because my dad taught me how computers worked when I was growing up.”
If sharing stories isn’t comfortable for some reason–maybe because some people don’t like talking about themselves–you can also share what’s currently on your plate: “I’m currently working on X project.” Or perhaps: “My goal this year …