Introverts and Networking - Tips for Becoming a Networking Butterfly
Networking as an introvert can be one of the most anxiety-inducing and draining activities. It can be an honest struggle coming up with small talk post, quick comebacks, and engaging content for strangers. As I have continued on my journey here at Wealthy Affiliate, the training has pushed me harder and harder to get involve and communicate both here on the platform and in my niche website. This is why I figured it was time to write a blog that focuses on introverts and networking.
At a local bookstore, I bought a book titled Networking for People Who Hate Networking by Devora Zavk. I am still making my way through the book. I have committed to reading a chapter a day in hopes that I can overcome my, sometimes paralyzing, fear of networking.
If you do not know if you are an introvert or not, here are the three traits that Ms. Zack talks about in her book.
- Think to talk (Do you need to think about things before talking about them)
- Seek Depth (Look deep within yourself for answers)
- Energize Alone (Gain more energy alone, than with a crowd)
Even if none of these traits speak to you, you should still continue reading. It is possible that you might get a new trick out of the following tips. Better yet, you might gain a better understanding of your fellow introvert.
Tip #1 Think About What You Want To Say
Sometimes, I feel like there is pressure on me to immediately reply to a comment or a post. I do my best to come up with a reply in the first five minutes of seeing the feedback — the result is a short, half-hearted, and awkward reply that leaves me feeling inadequate.
My solution for this issue, I now take some time and think about what I want to say. I look over the comment and maybe even the post that inspired it. I assume sometime and think about what I want to say. I write out no more than five responses, choose the one I am the most confident in, and reply.
Side note: Depending on how well my brain is functioning that day, I might set a time limit so that I do not spend too much on one reply.
Remember it is better to give a good, well thought out reply than a short generic one that the commenter can not respond too. I feel it is essential to keep the person engaging if possible.
Tip #2 Strategize and Prioritize
Implementing this tip can be harder than it sounds. I learned that I become overwhelmed when facing the process of networking. The way to overcome this is by focusing. I need to focus on what is crucial, prioritize, and come up with strategies so that I know what I am doing.
To clarify this point, I am going to go over how I came up with my current networking plan.
First, I had to choose how I was going to network. What social media platforms did I want to engage on? How often did I need to network? And what was I going to do to the system? Ok, decision time.
Since I am limited on the amount of networking, I can do a day before needing a nap. I decided to limit myself to four social media platforms.
- Of course, Wealthy Affiliate
I decided that I should engage on each platform four times a day, every day. Having multiple short sessions allows me to keep the content flowing and myself in everyone's feed. I set a time limit, and I focus on adding the new material first.
In the morning, I add a good morning happy post, usually in the form of a meme. Then I will respond to any messages and replies I have gotten. Since in the morning I am still waking up, I usually look for and start following new people. I try to "follow" five new people per platform a day.
Poof, I am done socializing until noon. At my noon socializing time, I then either add links to my new content or I like and comment on something that someone else has posted. On WA, I take the time to read a persons WA blog and comment on it. Once again, I reply to comments or messages.
I then post again at 5 PM. If I did not share my new content, I do it now. If I did create content that day, I then share older content from my blog. However, if I have already shared my content, I then like someone's post and leave a comment. I make sure that I have shared my new blog post on WA for comments and commented on at least three other blogs.
My last networking of the day is simple and easy. I share something that someone else has posted. I still reply to any replies that have resulted from my previous engagements.
What do I do after I am down networking? Well, that leads us to the final tip.
Tip #3 Take Breaks and Reenergize
By laying out my networking plan, I have inadvertently, also laid out the times that I take a break. After doing all that socializing, I get up from my computer and breath. For me, breathing includes going outside, sitting on the ground, and practicing mindfulness. This simple ritual allows me to calm more nervous (quiet my anxiety) and refocus.
I find that after these small five to fifteen minute breaks, depending on how much engagement I did, that I am able to continue with my routine — allowing me to accomplish what I need to accomplish.
Get Out There and Network
Your socializing plan will look different than mine, and that is ok. It is all about what you can do and what you can handle. I know by working with the above tips that the whole networking prospect will become easier to handle.
Not only will you not be as anxious about connecting with others, but you will also engage better. You will be able to cultivate lasting relationships. You will gain more confidence in your engaging skills. As well as, you can now reap all the benefits of being on social media. Do you have a tip that can help introverts with networking? Or are you an introvert that has transformed into a social butterfly? I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.
Until next time, be the light in the world.
The Snoozy Mom