Calling All Introverts: Here’s How To Start Virtual Networking In 2021
It’s well known that knowing other business owners, and connecting with them consistently, can bring value to your business, help you get more clients and customers, benefit your social life, and help your overall happiness level.
Building relationships is key to scaling your business and with this Covid pandemic still, all around, we just can’t meet in person yet or go to big events with a huge audience.
Well, maybe for all the introverts out there, this is definitely not a bad thing, huh? And here’s the thing with networking: Sometimes it’s really subtle, and sometimes you have to be a little bit bolder.
It’s been a year now that the pandemic brought along with all the anxiety and uncertainty, the easiness of working from home.
With technology making it easier and easier for people to connect from all over the world through video calls on Zoom or Google Meet, undoubtedly, you can find many different ways to build your network without having to commit to going to in-person social events.
You don’t need to be the loudest to make an impact!
While not all introverts are quiet, it’s likely that you’re not the loudest in the room. And that doesn’t mean you can’t be a good leader in your business area or a great entrepreneur.
On the contrary, being an introvert, you tend to be much more connected with your intuition, closely observe people and things around you, and take calculated or inspired action.
Don’t ever let a label hold you back from being successful, whether you define yourself as an introvert or extrovert.
Reminder: Just because a particular soft skill may not come naturally to you, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn it and with practice, improve it.
All it takes is some determination and the intention to learn. We all have the means to grow if we truly want it.
Believe you can achieve, and you can find a way.
Self-promotion is an absolute necessity
The internet is a big, noisy place. While there is room for everyone, you have to really put yourself out there in order to be seen and heard. Not only that, you need to be consistent about it.
Allow yourself to feel the fear and nervousness that comes with promoting, but don’t let it paralyze you and prevent you from doing the necessary self-promotion.
The most important thing is that YOU see the potential in it and that YOU believe in it. I struggled for a very long time not knowing how to position myself out there, showing the value of what I do to others.
I came across The “I am Remarkable” movement and its mission. This is a Google initiative aiming to empower women and underrepresented groups teaching them exactly about the importance of self-promotion at workplaces and beyond. I recently became an “I am Remarkable” facilitator helping people to acknowledge the importance of self-promotion and making them feel more comfortable about it.
Self-promotion is not a display of arrogance
It’s super important to note that self-promotion is not a display of arrogance. Rather it is a display of confidence. You believe that you can provide value, answer a question or solve a problem.
You are letting people know that you can do and are good at one or more tasks. There is someone out there who needs your services, who needs your help and you are the right person to do it.
While self-promoting online can be the easy route, especially for an introvert, it’s just as important to self-promote offline.
So here I gathered 8 tips to make self-promotion and networking much more effective, so that you can see the results from it and start your journey into spreading your word and impacting people.
1.Have a clear idea of who you want to connect with
Knowing exactly what businesses out there you are most aligned with, will help you tremendously in reaching the right audience for YOUR business.
A lot of online research needs to be done BEFORE you actually start reaching out to all those people. Gather information on who your ideal connections are, research, and make a list of all the possible and probable people and businesses you might have access to connecting with.
2. Pick your choice of online platforms
If you’re an introvert, then you probably aren’t going to feel drawn towards extroverted ways of promoting yourself, like YouTube for example. That’s OK.
Instead, work on your strong sides. If you like writing as a way of expressing yourself, you could choose LinkedIn, which enables longer written posts than Instagram and covers a wide range of business areas of all types. It’s a great chance to connect with business owners and professionals from all over the world.
3. Plan virtual coffee dates
Reach out to someone online you’ve already aligned with to have a conversation with and invite them for a virtual coffee chat over Zoom. Be sure to have questions prepared ahead of time to get the conversation going. Always great to bring a notebook to jot down ideas and valuable advice you may receive.
4. Collaborate with people who complement you
There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. Introverts have strengths and weaknesses, and so do extroverts. Collaborating with someone who complements your traits is a great way to play to your strengths and fill in the gaps where you are weak.
Find someone on your network who has a skill you don’t and be straightforward – ask for a collab. It could be a Live on Instagram or on LinkedIn. You can also set to go on a call on Zoom, just the two of you. You could chat about some interesting and relevant topic and record it to release later on, on your social media accounts.
5. Hire someone else to make some noise for you
Having an introverted personality shouldn’t hold you back from having thoughtful conversations and creating valuable relationships. However, when it comes to networking as an introvert, you may need some professional help in case you don’t have the energy to give.
If you have the means to, hiring a VA (Virtual Assistant) can come in handy. Besides being professionals who work remotely from anywhere in the world, they can come up with nice tactics and even teach you a bit about online marketing.
6. Apply for coaching programs, masterminds, courses, etc.
Learning new skills, especially the ones you are not that good at, is a great and effective way of networking.Why? Simply because you are in contact with people. Your network is made of people after all, right?
I started a coaching program two weeks ago focusing on making 2021 the year I get shit done and make things happen. My focus for this year is pivoting and becoming a full-time digital nomad improving my skills in content writing and copywriting.
And guess what?Three out of eight participants in this coaching program are currently working as digital marketers and copywriters and have already offered themselves to help me with wherever I need to launch myself as a full-time freelance writer!
Knowing many different kinds of people = exponentially more business and career opportunities.
You don’t need to start networking with a bunch of people at once or reach a certain number of connections until a certain day. Forget about big milestones! They are a reason for a lot of anxiety, after all!
Start small. Networking can be as simple as joining a relevant group online. Or inviting an old colleague to connect on LinkedIn. Or sending an email to a professional or personal contact you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just take one small action –– you never know what the ripple effect might be.
8. Get out of your head
Be yourself. You have lots of interesting things to share. When you are not thinking about that end goal (that new gig you’re looking for, or that new client you need to scale your business) you can actually focus on being yourself and talking about things that truly matter to you.
And always remember to have fun!
As an introvert, you naturally have the ability to listen, observe, be sensitive to your clients’ needs, and be focused on the tasks at hand and this gives you the potential to be a great leader if you want so. The trick here is to acknowledge your strengths and do whatever works for you.
I am really curious to know which idea was your favorite and which ones you are you going to apply right away? Message us on Instagram!