Networking; you either love it or you hate it. This is especially true if you are more of an introvert.
But, networking helps expand the circle of people you know and can open you up to more opportunities.
It does not have to be a dreaded task, though. With a few little tips, networking can become easier for anyone.
Go to networking events, even as a volunteer.
Networking events can get overwhelming, and if you are an introvert you tend to not really be sure what to do.
So, why not go to the event as a volunteer?
It will keep you occupied and will allow you to interact with a multitude of people and have small conversations.
Which you can follow-up on after the event if you felt it was a beneficial connection.
Take notes and follow-up on possible connections.
At networking events, you always find your self with a lot of business cards, but maybe not a clear of a memory of who is who.
So, to solve that problem, why not take notes about the conversations you have on the back of the corresponding business cards?
This not to say do it as you are having the conversation, but once you part ways, take a second to put down some main points to help trigger your memory when you get home.
That way when you follow-up, which should always be done as soon as possible, you can provide a clearer reminder of who you are and how you met. Social media is great for connecting.
Use it to follow-up on people you have already met, or find new connections and strike up a conversation, and see about meeting the person face-to-face.
Just be yourself.
Never pretend to be something you are not. No matter how or where you are doing the networking, just be you.
Of course, try to maintain a level of professionalism when it comes to talking about your business, but that does not mean you have to be serious and cannot have fun.
Let them see your energy and passion, it will help you to stand out in their mind. Be engaged. Always stay engaged in your conversations. You can do this primarily through body language.
Tilt your body toward the person you are speaking to, and lean in if you are in a particularly loud area.
Also, nod and keep eye contact with them while speaking, giving your own input as well.
By focusing on them, you are making it clear they have your attention and you are not ignoring them.
Do not let a fear of networking stop you from the chance at making great connections.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you find yourself trying to network, whether it is at an actual networking event or with someone you met by chance.
Whatever the case may be, you will be ready for that next chance, and you will find it is not as hard as it seems.