The Only Time Management Hack You’ll Ever Need
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. Individual 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 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 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 + 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 so 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 entrepreneur’s 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 is way less scary than phone, so what have you got 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’s 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 yourself 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.
Chloe Thea is a Holistic Time Management and Productivity Coach who helps big-hearted creatives become masters of their time. Her blog, You Can Go Your Own Way serves up practical and empowering time management tips.
Find out more at: youcangoyourownway.com