My 5 Favorite Ways to Network

I considered myself an introvert until 2020 hit, and I was isolated away from people. It then hit me that I am a social person, and I prefer to be around people I am comfortable with. This has made networking more difficult for me because I observe, and then I might chime in on a conversation if it feels like I will be received well in the group. This can make for awkward situations. Well, at least that’s what I think. I am sure most people don’t even notice and don’t over-analyze things as I do. In a previous blog, I talked about how important networking is, and now I want to let you know some places I have found to network that have made it easier for me.

Get Involved with an Organization

Moving to a new city, I found an organization with a mission I am passionate about, and I started going to their meetings and volunteering to help. The initial discussions I engaged in were about the organization but lead to conversations about other things making this an organic approach to networking. This has helped me find a circle of people interested in the same things and makes it easier for me to have conversations since there is already established interest.

Join a MeetUp Group

Meet Up groups are great for networking. Again it puts you in a situation where you are participating in an activity with people who are either trying something for the first time or are passionate about what you are meeting up to do. I joined a kayaking meetup, and there is a mix of experienced and novice kayakers, so it’s been fun to get to know the people in our group. It’s led to many conversations about other things we like to do and what kind of careers we have, and I’ve had some people recommend me for something based on getting to know individuals in this group.

Go to a Conference

This is a hard one for more introverted people, and if you’re anything like me, it’s a challenge for me to interact with people I don’t know or have never met. Although this was a fear of mine, I went to a conference by myself, and it was a great experience because most people were there by themselves and were looking to get educated and network with other people. That specific conference was sensitive to people having difficulty putting themselves out there and did virtual networking before the in-person conference. I met several people I could go to sessions with and network with before I arrived at the conference. These are some of the best connections you will make. I have formed lifelong friendships and business partnerships just by going to this one conference.

Business Networking Events

I enjoy business networking because it is often done for business or professional purposes. Because of that, business networking is a good one to go to because the people are attending mean business. These relationships are typically local, so it’s easy to have a follow-up meeting and dive deeper into how you can work together on a project or collaborate in different ways.

Throw Your Own Party

When we first started our business, we wanted to get our name out into the local community and with local businesses. So we decided to throw our own party. This was a grassroots operation. We went door to door to hundreds of companies in the local area. We invited the business owners to come and have some complimentary cocktails and network with other small businesses. This ended up being a great event and forced me into the role of hostess. I greeted everyone at the door, helped them with a name tag, and handed out a goodie box (like a goodie bag but way better). This forced me to meet every person and allowed them the opportunity to speak with me. This was probably one of my favorite events because I connected with many people. Our business hosted the party, making it easy to have conversations with everyone there. I highly recommend this option.

The farther you get in business, the more I realize how powerful your network can be. I encourage you to network with everyone. You never know what meeting one person could do for you and your business. If you have questions on how to host your own party reach out to us!