Networking for Introverted Entrepreneurs

Like it or loathe it, networking is necessary for your business to thrive.

Tassia Agatowski
Aug 23 · 6 min read
Image courtesy of @bitcloudphotography via Unsplash.

Like it or loathe it, networking is necessary for your business to thrive.

The more people you know, and the more people that know about your business, the more brand awareness and professional authority you’ll have, and the more sales you’ll make.

Simple, right?

But if you’re someone who shudders at the thought of networking, like myself, it’s hard to know what steps you can take to boost your brand.

It’s usually the environment that causes people to shy away from networking.

Being in a room full of people talking to each other, with noise and commotion all around is enough to make any introvert retreat.

But never fear — there are other ways to network and build your brand.

We’ve compiled a few different networking methods that you can try, to see which one best fits you, plus a few extra tips for in-person networking because there’s no denying how successful in-person networking can be.


Online networking

First things first, the introvert’s best (and worst) friend: The Internet.

There are a few brilliant apps and websites that you can use to develop your professional network — something invaluable to business owners and any person looking to move up in their career.

Here are a few things we’ve tried out, along with some tips on how to get the most of them:

Shapr

Shapr is an app developed to help people network with other professionals, useful for job-hunting, finding or becoming a mentor, or just widening your network.

Try to keep your searches narrow, or you’ll end up with too many contacts to connect with.

Then you’ll get so overwhelmed you won’t be able to develop any real relationships with them.

Bumble

Bumble is an app for those looking for friends, professionals, and loooove connections. Bumble Bizz is for those seeking professional contacts.

Before messaging someone with your generic icebreaker, read their profile and refer to it in your message — for a truer connection.

When arranging a meeting with someone, it’s a good idea to see if you can get a group of you to go together — not only for safety but so there’s not so much pressure on just the two of you.

LinkedIn

In my opinion, LinkedIn is a social media platform that every professional should have — whether they’re employed, in-between jobs, unemployed, freelance or self-employed. (groups and personal account).

Make sure your profile is fully completed — not just because it looks so much better, but it helps provide context for anyone you might connect with, and can help more people find you.

Write posts regularly and comment on other people’s.

Join some groups.

Groups on LinkedIn aren’t what they used to be, but they can still be useful in getting some like-minded people together.

Plus you can see who else is attending the events you might be going to, so you don’t have to go alone.

Industry blogs

So many of us read lots of industry blogs and related Medium stories, but rarely leave comments on what we’ve read, even though we have insights.

Share your thoughts — you could start an interesting conversation with a fellow reader.

Webinars

Taking part in webinars can be fruitful, and engaging with the presenters can get you valuable connections.

But the best way to network with webinars is by hosting them yourself.

This sounds daunting, but if you have a subject that you’re confident about, it’s a great way to showcase your skills and knowledge and help out other people in the process.

Use existing contacts

Asking for help is NOT a weakness.

It’s a strength.

And your friends and colleagues might have more contacts that would be beneficial to you than you realise.

Why not arrange a ‘bring a friend’ night out?

You won’t feel as pressured, as you’ll know a bunch of people there.

Or you could go to a networking event with your friend, so you’re not just standing awkwardly by yourself between plucking up the courage to talk to someone new.

Blogging

Writing blogs and Medium stories are great ways to network — people read them and post comments, and you can show your skills even further by responding.

Even better is asking for guest blogs or asking someone if you can guest-write a blog post for them.


Hopefully, now you’re feeling pumped to get introvertedly networking!

If you still need a bit of a boost, never fear!

Here are a few more top tips to get you revved-up:

  • If attending an industry event, try to book meetings in advance, even if they are just for a coffee and a catch-up.

If there are any other tips that you think we should mention, pop them in the comments below, or if you’re still not keen on networking, feel free to get in touch and I’ll see if we can think of a solution together.

Now get out there, and get networking!


Tassia Agatowski is the Lead Marketer and Co-Founder of Night Sky Creative, a collaborative blog for creatives and business owners to share knowledge and grow. Follow Tassia on LinkedIn and Instagram for her latest goings-on.

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Tassia Agatowski

Written by

Marketer (digital marketing/copywriting) | Co-founder of NSC (nightskycreative.org) | Advocate for equal rights/sustainable living | General geek

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +525K people. Follow to join our community.

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