Episode 217 | Networking for Introverts
WITH Maureen Werrbach
- Episode 217 | Networking for Introverts 00:00
Hey Group Practice Listeners! Do you want to feel more confident in networking as an introvert? This type of business is most common to extroverts but do not worry, as introverts, we also have what it takes to be successful in networking. Listen as I unravel networking tips for introverts!
- What can realistic expectations bring you in facing networking situations?
- Why is it more engaging to let others talk about themselves as a true agenda of networking?
- How much quality beats quantity in terms of building meaningful work relationships?
- When do you need to give yourself the grace that the success of an introvert will just be different from those of extroverts?
- Where should you bring yourself after meetings as a personal recharge?
- How can these five tips for networking help you succeed in the market?
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Welcome back to another episode of the Group Practice Exchange. I am excited to talk today about five tips for networking as an introvert, as many of you know, I am a huge introvert. I do not love to be around big crowds of people, and it takes every ounce of effort. To feel comfortable and be in a room with people I don’t know, or even just a group of people that I do know.
And so throughout the years as I’ve grown my own group practice, I’ve thought a lot about what ways I can market my group practice in a way that aligns with me and who I am as a person. And for many years there was a lot of shame around feeling like I was a good marketer or a good networker because I was so introverted and just didn’t thrive in those types of environments where I had to meet new people.
And it’s taken a lot of years to realize that we have been taught that networking and marketing is this extroverted experience and that anyone who’s introverted. Has to learn how to fit into that in order to be successful and grow their business. And so I wanna talk about five things to think about or five tips for networking.
If you’re an introvert. This obviously works also for extroverts, but. Most extroverts have less of an issue when it comes to networking with people that they might not normally know. So the first thing is to set realistic expectations for yourself. Don’t look at what everyone else is doing in their group practice when it comes to networking or marketing because.
What they’re doing might not fit what works for you. So setting realistic expectations might come to think about what makes you most uncomfortable. Is it being around crowds, right? Is it big networking events? That’s an issue for me. I don’t love going to large networking events, especially if I don’t know people.
I tend to do better if I have one person I’m close to who I can go to an event. And so if I have to attend a large networking event, I will go if I have a person I feel safe with, who’s also going to be going, who I can be around. But another thing that I do is focus on more one-on-one networking and marketing because I find that I thrive better in talking one-on-one with people than I do in large groups.
And so I set that expectation for myself. Another thing around setting realistic expectations might be. Around limiting your time investment. Some networking events are several hours long and you might get depleted within the first 15, to 20 minutes. And so you can set an expectation for yourself on how much time you wanna invest in a networking or marketing event.
And maybe that means that you’re leaving before the event even ends. And that’s totally okay. So if being in an event and having enough energy and internal. You know, energy to be able to attend for a half hour, an event, go for a half hour and make use of the half hour. Rather than trying to spend the whole two hours at a networking event and feeling like you’re depleting minute by minute.
Okay? The second thing is to lean into your therapist hat. The best networking is about getting to know others. It’s not about talking about yourself, and I think a lot of people forget about that. And so we as therapists, we know how to listen, and that is the best skill that you can bring into a networking event is to go in, whether you’re one-on-one or you know, meeting someone for coffee or going into their office, or if it’s at an actual networking event, is that you don’t even have to talk about yourself.
People love to talk about themselves and about their businesses and about what they’re doing, and if that’s something that causes you to stress or anxiety, you can attend a networking event or go to a one-on-one where you ask them to talk about their business and what they’re doing, and just by doing that, you are likely gonna have more quality.
Connection with a person because they’ll feel like you’ve listened, you’ve learned about them, and they’re likely gonna ask, tell me a little bit about your business. And that tends to be less daunting for an introvert if they don’t have to start by. Talk about themselves, and so get to know people.
Don’t worry about talking about yourself. That will come naturally even if you don’t start by talking about yourself. Third is quality over quantity. You can set a goal to network and make deeper connections with just a few people over trying to reach out to every business in the neighborhood. I think having three to five really great relationships are much better than.
Investing in trying to get one-time meetings with a hundred different business owners or companies or schools in your area. Think of three to five people who work with your ideal clients that your group practice works with, and establish a relationship with those three to five people. It’s, that’s much less time-consuming, but also less anxiety provoking for an introvert, knowing that they just need to establish really good relationships with three to five businesses that cater to their ideal clients and leaving it at that and continuing to reach out every couple of months.
I do every quarter. These three to five people, right? It becomes much easier for an introvert to get to know a couple of people and starts to feel comfortable talking to them than it does to have one to two conversations with a hundred different people who you never establish a deep relationship with.
It’s not gonna yield you more clients anyways. And so sticking with three to five businesses or practitioners who. Really working with your ideal clients is going to be a bigger investment anyways and softer on our introverted hearts. Number four is to give yourself grace. There’s a lot of comparison that goes on, especially with technology and social media and seeing what other businesses are doing, and so it can be easy to start to be down on yourself as an introvert, thinking, I’m not good at this.
I’m so bad at networking. When in reality you’re looking at. Marketing and networking have historically been viewed through this extroverted lens, and so being able to give yourself grace and remind yourself that networking can be successful for an introvert, and it’s just gonna look different than it does for someone who’s extroverted and loves to attend all the networking events, all the Chamber of Commerce meetings, you know, trying to be the president or secretary of your local Chamber of Commerce versus.
Not attending these large events and really reaching out and finding safe spaces to meet one-on-one with another local practitioner who works with the ideal clients that you work with. And then fifth is, which I think is really important, and something that is underutilized, is having an after-meeting plan for yourself.
Something that you do after either a one-on-one or a networking event, but something that’s just for you, something that helps you decompress, that feels self-care ish. That’s gonna be something that helps you recharge as an introvert so that you’re not holding onto the body sensations or the mental stress that might come with engaging in a networking event.
As an introvert, these things have been really helpful for me as someone who doesn’t love to meet new people or be in large crowds, and it’s allowed me to be successful in getting my business. Known in the community without causing too much stress on myself as a person and really, Keeping in line with understanding who I am and navigating and running my business in a way that aligns with who I am versus trying to fit me into the box of what the standard is for networking.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you’re an introvert that has really good tips on what you do to successfully market or network in your community, Please be sure to share that in our Facebook group, the Group Practice Exchange Facebook group, because there are so many introverts out here who are trying to figure out how they can grow their business.
Without sacrificing their sanity and being in large crowds and networking with people that, um, they might feel uncomfortable being in that space for networking. So let us know what you do. Those are my five setting realistic expectations for yourself on what you can and can’t do. That feels comfortable for you when it comes to networking, making sure that you lean into your therapist hat and put on those active listening skills and not worry about talking about yourself, but rather listening to those that are around you.
Thinking about quality over quantity three to five, great networking people. Relationships are gonna be so much of a better investment than trying to. Meet with as many people as possible, making sure to give yourself grace and not compare yourself to what other people are doing. And then lastly, having that after-meeting plan for yourself where you can decompress, de-stress, and kind of set yourself back into the baseline.
If you’ve gone to an event and are, you know, sort of in a hyperactive space or. Depleted space. All right. I will see you next week. Thanks for listening to the Group Practice Exchange Podcast. Like what you heard. Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support. Join the Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of training ready for you to dive into.
Visit www.members.thegrouppracticeexchange.com/exchange. See you next week.
Thanks For Listening
Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.
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Meet your host
Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:
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