Charge Up is about proactively managing your life and career and filling your tank full of delicious alone-time goodness, so that socializing, networking, building your biz and spending time with people is awesome, not awful. It’s full of tips, tricks and hacks from Allie and Claire (both entrepreneurs themselves at The Wonderjam and Claire Deane Marketing) as well as insight from other successful bloggers and entrepreneurs from Columbus to Brisbane, Australia. Today these biz ladies give us a brief sneak peek of their soon-to-be released eBook, Charge Up: Build Your Business And Manage Your Energy With Your Introversion Superpowers and share 9 ways you can overcome your shyness and grow your brand. – Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump…
For introverts, networking sucks. Let’s just put it out there. It feels sleazy, it’s SO awkward, and walking into a room alone with a room of extroverts in sell-mode is enough to make an introvert want to step over their own grandma to get out of there. While we may look like a particularly social bunch if you were to go by our Twitter feeds, a large proportion of entrepreneurs and bloggers, in particular, are introverts. While introverts gain energy from being on our own, as biz ladies we need to be able to sell our services and ourselves.
But who says networking events are the only way to meet new potential collaborators, clients and business partners? Here’s 9 non-traditional ways to “network” that guarantee you’ll never have to set foot into a conference centre again.
- Send an email to someone you admire, and ask them for coffee. Indivitual networking is better for introverts because we hate small talk! Getting to know someone personally allows for a deeper connection, meaning they are more likely to remember what you do and makes them more likely to refer you to their networks.
- Start with people you know. Who within your circle of friends could use your services? That tenuous existing link can make it so much easier to reach out, and there’s plenty of research indicating that loose ties are the most valuable to you from a business perspective.
- Start a blog, and write about YOU. Make it interesting, funny, weird, honest – say all the things you couldn’t say to people in real life about yourself. Keep at it, and people will be coming to you!
- If you are going to a conference, research the guest list first. Ask your Twitter followers who is attending, write on the event’s Facebook wall – make at least one contact before you rock up and arrange to meet up with that person so you’ve got one familiar face at the event.
- Introduce two people via email every day! It establishes you as a hub, resource and connector. Plus, people will feel like they owe you. You’re not making these connections solely for this reason, but if you’re a giver, it’s also more likely you’ll receive great things back.
- Contact someone you want to work with through LinkedIn and arrange to meet one-on-one. Individual meetings are much less daunting than a room full of strangers. Vow to treat that meeting like you want to become friends. Less sales, more relationships.
- Share other entrepreneurs’ content online. By spreading the word about the work of someone you love, they are more likely to notice your efforts, and when you do reach out, you’ve already established a connection.
- Create a free, downloadable resource for your audience. Building your email list gives you instant access to a list of people who find you trustworthy and relevant.
- Guest post or write for other blogs and publications. Email isn’t as scary as talking on the phone, so what do you have to lose by reaching out to blogs you admire to see if you can write for them?
If you do find that events and conferences are a really effective way to make new connections and promote your biz, here are 4 ways we make them work for us:
- Manage own expectations. If you are going to go to a networking event, don’t expect to make 20 new contacts. If you make one, that’s enough!
- Give yourself a time limit at an event, say 30 minutes. Walk in, stay for 30 minutes, and then see how you feel. If you’ve been a good little introvert, and have filled yourself up with lots of good energy in the lead-up, you might want to stay for another 30!
- Set some goals. Go into a networking event wanting the business card of one particular contact. Having an objective makes it feel less like meaningless small talk.
- Change up the way you think about networking events! Think of the event as an opportunity to meet and go deep with someone new who you can also help.