Networking is the biggest energy drain for introverts
- Are you an introvert who attends big or small networking events?
- Do you create a battle plan before you go?
- How do you manage your energies as an introvert?
When I have any networking event, or conference to attend, my stomach gives me all the nervous energy signs about this as the upcoming event as the days come closer.
- What to wear?
- How to be?
- How to survive a full day of networking?
Networking really drains me… I enjoy it when I am at the venue, but it will wipe the whole day out in terms of getting anything productive done afterwards.
For this reason I avoid early morning networking as they "steal away" my best hours of the day.
Having moved cities and countries multiple time, the experience of going to an events where I have never met a single attendee beforehand is common place. But it requires determination!
The rewards are amazing when you make the effort, looking back at the amazing relationships that have come from attending these events, along with the new opportunities and partnerships that have flourished make any initial anguish disappear enough to make me take that step out the door again at any rate!
5 ways to manage my energy while networking
To get through networking events like this, as an introvert, takes a lot of tenacity. But I have come up with 5 ways to manage my energy while networking that I hope help you too...
- Get your business cards printed, full of colour and life, projecting your business mission and values. Discover the hidden power of your business card in this article.
- Wear clothes in colours that boost your energy and support your message. This is super important as wearing the wrong colours will just drain you even further. Controversially, black is the biggest energy drain for many introverts and should be avoided. Black is fine in trousers or a skirt, but keep it away from your head!
- If it's a long distance event, book a room at the hotel where the conference takes place - allowing for an escape room if needed for even just 30 minutes. Allow yourself permission to take a break as there is no point being there if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Check out the list of attendees in advance and contact a few people who you would love to talk with ahead of time, arranging to meet-up and chat - so you are both on the look-out for each other.
- Post the event, keep the next day free of calls, giving yourself extra time to recuperate and gather your thoughts. Make this the day to follow up with people by email after the event to progress the relationship to the next stage.
The next time you are invited to a networking event, say "yes!" and prepare for the day to make the most of it.
Networking is a super-effective tool to grow your business, but every networking group has it's own style and culture, so if you attend one and it doesn't feel right - leave!
Then try another group. Ask around as to where other people go, and you will soon get a variety of options and hear the different ways the groups operate. Some are more casual, others regimented. Find the one that suits your personality.
Remember - relationships take time and networking draws benefits the longer you engage with the community.