Introverts, You can Network Too: 7 Tips That Will Work for You

Put your hand up if you are an introvert.

Now put your hand up if you love social networking sites: twitter, Facebook, google+, Linkedin and the like ..

My sentiments exactly!

Let me tell you – I am not a fan.

First of all, let me assure you, I am still very much an introvert. I prefer to stay behind the camera and do my work, thanks very much. Put me in a room full of people, and you would most probably find me in a corner, talking to a close friend.

Many writers – and bloggers can relate to this. Sadly, this is not very good news. If you are in any sort of writing, publishing, blogging business, you need to put yourself out there.

As difficult as it may sound, you have to get out of your comfort zone, because this is doing precisely that. Your blog is not an island. You can’t build it by yourself. You need to find people who really connect with and form meaningful relationships.

When I went to the problogger training event, I was really nervous. Not about the conference; the talks and the workshop, I was really looking forward to it.

The 2-hour networking event AFTER the conference, that had been scaring the hell out of me. I hardly knew anyone there. ‘What would I say?’, ‘Who can I talk to?’ I spent much time agonizing over that. And yes it was hard, in the beginning, but then as few people approached me, I began to relax. Hang on, that is not too difficult, after all, these people are bloggers too and they are also here to learn and meet other bloggers.

That’s all I am saying, networking can be a lot of fun when you are talking to people in your industry. If you are clear on what is it that you want to accomplish, it can become very rewarding.

You are an introvert. That’s fine, I am one too and in many ways we have an advantage over ‘in your face’ kinda people.

The idea that only outgoing people can establish relationships with others is not true. As an introvert, you have strengths that you can use which will work well with your personality. Here are some Social Networking Tips for writers and bloggers who also happen to be introverts

1. Give yourself Permission to Network

Networking is not a bad word. Networking is as much about nurturing as it is about meeting people. It is our people skills, courtesy and developing connections.

You might have heard, in business, it’s not what you do, but who you know. As much as I used to dislike this line, now I have come to understand that, I can still be me and make it work – for all parties. All I need to do is be genuinely interested in people, helping them out and giving as much if not more, before asking anything.

2. Be a Great Listener

Being an introvert, you might already excel at this. If you rather let others do the talking, then that’s great. It shows respect towards that person. You can also find the right time to speak – never interrupting or being overly aggressive. Play up to your strengths. Listen twice as much as you talk.

3. Take in More Information

I do much more listening on twitter than I tweet. This way I get to see and remember more about people that others might miss. You can do this by connecting through somebody’s blog also, by following them closely. Just pay attention.

4. Focus on One Person

I’d rather have a one on one conversation with a close friend than being part of a lively group of strangers, acquaintances or even friends. If you feel the same way, don’t despair. Focus on one person if you are online, or even in real life. Block out the noise, strike up a meaningful conversation with someone you admire and respect a lot. It is much easier online, they can’t see the sweat running down your face. Plus, you would also make them feel really special.

5. Don’t Play Favourites

And this is the reason why networking gets such a bad rap.

It is actually easier for us introverts to build sound relationships, because we cherish each and every one of them. Unlike some savvy networkers - who meet so many people that they hardly remember them afterwards, and only pay attention to those who truly matter to them – we can really take time to build our relationships and take care of them. Remember, everybody deserves to be treated with respect and sincerity.

6. Network in Your Field

I find that I love talking to people if I can offer to help them out when it comes to writing, blogging or teaching. In fact, I take on a whole new personality.

Introverts often work very well in situations where they can use their skills to help other people. We are passionate about certain aspect of our work, product or business. We speak naturally and with enthusiasm and conviction about things that we are truly interested in. Once we go past our shyness, by focusing on a genuine reason to make a contact, we can be extremely effective.

We already listen well, help others when we can and and speak well when we are passionate about, we have the skills to build and nurture strong relationships. And this is the key to great networking.

7. Give First

I saved the best one for last. The golden rule of networking is – as I am slowly learning - always give first!

Start now by reaching out to someone who matters a lot to you. Send them an email, or mention them on twitter. Write something on their Facebook page or simply connect with a brief exchange of tweets. Send them a link to an article that would really help them out. Let them know they mean a lot to you. :)

Are you an introvert? Which social media site do you normally use? Share your best tip for making connections in the comments below. I respond to each and every one of them! :)

Have you taken my 3-minute Client Attraction Quiz? Check it out now, it’s awesome! :)

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44 Responses to Introverts, You can Network Too: 7 Tips That Will Work for You
  1. Hi – nice to meet you I saw on twitter you might be going to a meetup at the end of the year so clicked thru to see your blog. I’m not really a blogger – not an internet marketer and self published author – but must say I am ending reading a whole lot of new stuff since I said yes to a local meetup LOL.

    And this was the perfect post to find here – in real life I am quite shy and have never found a real reason to buy into “networking”!
    Lissie recently posted..Non Fiction Sales Month 4: How to Publish in iTunes

    • marya

      Hi Lissie, welcome to Writing Happiness. :) It’s really nice to meet you. Came from twitter? That’s great, that’s why I am falling in love with twitter. That’s how I got to chat with lovely Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living as well or I might have missed out.
      I had a little look at your blog – wow – you can actually teach me a thing or two! I am learning all that I can about monetization and stuff. If you need any help with blogging tips, feel free to ask, I’d love to help out.
      Many thanks for your lovely comment!
      Marya

      • That’s the bit I don’t get about twitter – how can you communicate anything sophisticated in 140chars? As you can see on my blog – I’m a little long-winded LOL
        Lissie recently posted..Non Fiction Sales Month 4: How to Publish in iTunes

        • marya

          Well, it took me a while to ‘get’ twitter too. My best tip for new/newish users of twitter would be to try and strike up a conversation when they see somebody they like, in REAL TIME and also do this when you have some TIME to interact so that you have tweets going back and forth. Many times, we sent a tweet to someone specific (@mention) and leave twitter in two minutes so we miss out on what could have been a small conversation. Instead of spending time sporadically, its much better to spend 15 minutes at one time. Do you use twitter much?

        • Lissie – Don’t try for “sophisticated”. Try for short and sweet and simple. You can always post a link to your blog for the bigger stuff.

          Many of us use Twitter as a way to practice writing short clear text. It’s a great writing exercise.

          Others use it for poetry or descriptions of life. I have a “List” of people who compose what I call “word pictures”.

          The most difficult thing to learn about Twitter is that it’s exactly (and only) what you make it. It takes a while to discover what it can be for you.

          You might find this article I wrote to be useful: http://cfcl.com/vlb/twelcome.php

  2. Another great post here Marya. It’s exactly what I’m working on right now, networking with other bloggers, writing guest posts and starting my own community and hopefully be accepted in everyone else’s communities.

    Thanks for the good read. :)
    Josh Sarz recently posted..8 Most Difficult, Life-Changing Advice, EVER

    • marya

      You are very welcome here Josh. :) I have checked your blog, and it looks awesome. You really caught me off guard, but I am sure you get that all the time. :) Let me know if I can help you with anything …

      Marya

  3. Tip # 7 ought to be the jumping board for introvertish .
    I think one of the reason people are introvert is lack or absence of self-confidence outside their expertise zone.(I have made this term up on the pattern of comfort zone) . Usually introverts are extroverts in their own field of specialized knowledge. I know a person who is a commercial airline pilot.He would stay quiet mostly but would talk at great lengths about flying , aircraft and about aviation in general. He gets transformed and people notice. Perhaps this sort of transformation could be possible in networking also.
    I find other tips very appealing as well.

    • marya

      AOA, first of all it is great to see you here – it has been a long time. :)

      I agree with you – you have made a fantastic point hence my point#6 (Network in your field).c

      All my life, I haven’t really felt shy to talk to people, but I am my most comfortable when I talk to like-minded people. In fact, that is why I enjoy teaching and writing this blog so much much because I can go on and on about on a topic I am passionate (and knowledable about) and nobody can stop me.

      Many thanks for the kind words. What’s happening with your blog -may I ask? :)
      Marya

  4. I’ve been here a total of something like 3 days – and I’ve already learned so much.

    Networking is really something in which I’m striving to improve.

    For a while now I’ve had a blog. And, while I read LOTS of blogs – and followed them regularly – I never posted.

    Then it dawned on me. They have no idea I’m even out there. Reading. Learning. Growing. Occasionally disagreeing.

    Now I’m much more chatting in comments.
    And, I’m putting myself out there – like choosing a topic like “31 Days – 31 Minutes to a More Organized Life” – and promising 31 days of tips.

    Little by little it’s helping.

    I’m still hoping that I’ll get more comments on my blog. And, more conversations on my blog’s Facebook page.

    But, ultimately, I’m bearing in mind that they might be like me. Just because they aren’t commenting, doesn’t mean they aren’t reading.

    Thought it DOES mean that they AREN’T NETWORKING :)
    Thanks for the reminder!
    ~
    Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D recently posted..Where’d She Go?!

    • marya

      Hey Dana, I HEAR YA!

      Everything you say here is true. In fact, people go as far to say that connections in the blogosphere are much more useful than traffic. But ‘connections’ is such a ‘bad’ word – I just feel dirty saying it. I mean, it just straight out implies that you need people so that you could use them.

      I wasn’t too enthusiastic about networking as well until I met some great fellow bloggers at Problogger event. Now as another opportunity is coming up, I feel like I can be honest, sincere and really myself and still network.

      Here’s to networking – helping and gaining friends! Cheers
      Marya

  5. This really bugs me. Introversion is not the same as shyness.

    Shyness is an anxiety. Introversion is when a person prefers alone time and being around too many people is an energy drain.

    Some introverted people are shy, but it’s not one and the same.

    For instance, I’m a loud mouth and I’ll talk to anyone, anytime. I just would rather be home entertaining myself.
    asrai recently posted..New reality show or just insane?

    • marya

      Hi Asrai.

      I hear you – Introversion and shyness is not one and the same thing, although, the majority of introverts I have met are quite shy. My point though was this; introverts don’t like to network much, as you have said yourself, they prefer to be on their own.

      I have used ‘shyness’ as an addition to ‘introversion’ rather than implying that they are mutually exclusive. Sorry, if it came across that way.

      Many thanks for your comment. I always appreciate when someone takes the time to post in disagreement. :)

      Marya

  6. Helpful post Marya – I think at least 4 of your points hit on the number 1 principle of networking – which is to focus on the other person! listening, taking in more information, giving and paying attention are all about the other person. well, you inspired to comment on an extra blog or two today:)

    • marya

      Hey Vishnu, good to see you again. Many people think why bother leaving comments if they don’t get any traffic from it. I say, always comment to connect with the blogger themselves, to show that you care enough to comment. Most people seem to forget that and I’m so glad you have gotten it right. :) Best of luck for commenting spree (if you do more), lucky bloggers!

      Feels good to be responsible for this kind of behaviour! :)
      Marya

  7. that’s so true Marya
    i used to be an introvert long ago and i changed to become an extrovert

    • marya

      Hmm, that’s an interesting comment Farouk. May I ask what made you want to change and how did you do it?

  8. i’m one of the introvert before.. i don’t talk too much and i am shy to express my opinion.But when I start working online i learn to express my opinion through guest blogging and commenting.I overcome my shyness..
    attending events is a great help to develop self-confidence.

    • marya

      That’s good to know. Guest blogging and commenting is the way to go, helps you get expsoure too.

  9. Marya,
    I just signed up today for a Twitter course. I’ve been fighting the whole S N thing for a long time and now that I blog, I’m feeling pressure to do something. I refuse to FB because of the problems involved with identity and today, read another article about it. But I”ll do Twitter. I have a Linked In account.

    I was planning on mailing privately but I’ll ask here seeing as its linked to the subject of SNetworking: Marya, you are still ‘relatively’ new to the social aspect of blogging including making new contacts. How the heck do I make contact with another blogger that is not through ‘commenting’? And if I’m interested in making contact with other like minded bloggers in my nieche, what do I do? Email and say “Hey wanna be friends?” :)

    I’m struggling to find support from other bloggers either in the flesh or on line. I feel I’m out there alone trying to break into the business on a social scale.

    Could you go into detail sometime as to how to approach other like minded people that either blog or blog in the same niche. I’m frustrated operating alone out here.

    Glad your back. Thanks
    Catherine recently posted..Overwhelmed and confused; All part of finding life’s purpose.

    • marya

      Hi Catherine, good to see you. :)

      Actually, twitter is the easiest one to start with. It doesn’t require huge time commitments and initially you can just ‘listen’. Slowly, you can start to get in touch with people you really like, maybe retweet their posts (and don’t forget to include @theirname so they know that you really enjoyed it). Maybe contact them and let them know you really enjoy their work as it is less daunting than approaching someone via email. It’s brief, and most people check their mentions so you are more likely to get a response back. That would be my way of establishing contact with bloggers. Most are very nice and they always appreciate genuine shout outs. I would start with that.

      Another thing you can do is, look into guest posting if you haven’t done so already. That’s another way you can approach a blogger. Approach somebody whose blog you have been following for a while and pitch them with an idea of a post. Have a look at the latest post on write to done by Mary Jaksch, she makes fantastic points. You could look into A list blogging club, it has a wealth of information on everything blogging.

      Hope this helps. Remember, master one social medium at a time, and look into guest blogging. :)
      Marya

  10. I love that you placed emphasis on giving first when it comes to connecting with other bloggers, Marya. It’s one of the first things that I’ve learned being a new blogger. I found that giving first helped me break out of my shell of being an introvert and slowly becoming more comfortable connecting and sharing with others. Listening is also very important. It’s one way to get ideas of what your readers want and by doing that, you get this sense of direction on the kinds of posts to focus your energy on.
    Adeline recently posted..I am Rich! Financial Management Seminar Singapore 2011

    • marya

      Very well said, Adeline. :) I agree 100%. In fact I would admit to not getting this when I started out. I thought, oh, I would get in touch with ‘big’ bloggers and they would see my potential. HAHAHAHA. Doesn’t work that way, you really need to reach out to others and expect nothing in return. You have to be genuine in your desire to make friends and take it from there. Thanks for your comments. much appreciated, as always. :)

  11. Hi Marya,

    Excellent post. Does this classify as networking. For example, I look at you as a mentor and learn a lot from you in terms of improving my writing. In this process I build trust and relationship as bloggers/friends/business. I noticed that some of the points you mentioned are more focused towards individuals and learning to connect with others.
    Eddie Gear recently posted..15 Questions To Ask Yourself When Doing SEO Analysis

    • marya

      Absolutely! You are most appreciated as a reader and as a friend Eddie. :)

      And eatablishing a connection with someone is the most important part of networking, won’t you agree?

      It’s always a pleasure to have you over. Marya

  12. Ali

    Isn’t this virtual networking a lot stress-free than networking in real life? I believe it’s easier, especially on the introverts, since you are not face to face with a stranger. And guess what, these tips can help you network in real life as well.
    Ali recently posted..Why Google’s Latest Freshness Algorithm Is A Blessing For Writers & Bloggers?

    • marya

      As an introvert, I would agree Ali. I find it far easier to connect with people via the virtual world. Just gives me a moment to compose myself before I blurt something that I regret later. heheh. And yes, these do work in real life situations as well, I have been practising! :)

      Marya

  13. Hi Marya,
    It is a vety nice and informative post.Thanks for sharing the 7 ways that work for shy type people.This post is really helpful.
    Pete Goumas recently posted..VisiVite Coupon – Review

    • marya

      Hi Pete, thanks for your kind words. Glad to help out! Cheers

    • I also wanna thanks Marya for this wonderful post. it is a great pleasure to read this article and is also very helpful indeed, thanks.

  14. very good tips Marya
    i used to be an introvert long ago and i understand very well how frustrating can it sometimes be for someone to network
    your post is certainly very helpful

    • marya

      Thanks very much for your kind words Farouk. I am still learning myself! :)

  15. Thanks for the great advice! Definitely steering the shy types in the right direction!

    • marya

      Yes, now if I could only follow my own advice! :)

      Marya

  16. [...] post – that took hours to complete - is not a lame attempt to ‘network‘ with these bloggers. Many of them are too nice (and too clever) for that. Plus, most of them [...]

  17. [...] Introverts, You can Network Too: 7 Tips That Really Work for the Shy … [...]

  18. Hi…

    I’m only in the beginning stages of networking…I’m still not comfortable with the whole process yet but i will definitely admit like one of the users above that it is much easier to network in the virtual world than in real life…=))
    Jassie recently posted..~Jab Lurve Hua Part 270~

  19. hmmm, that’s what I’ve always feared! not being able to get myself out there because I keep myself tucked away in here. I must say, this site has been great to look around today, it seems like it’s written for me. subscribing as we sp…uh…type?

    • Aha – another introvert. Well, I know how it feels …
      Thanks for your kind words, too. It’s always fun hearing from kindred spirits …

  20. Hi – Two comments.

    First, Introvert does not equal shy. Please help us in stopping that myth. There are shy Extroverts and not-shy Introverts and people who hate networking and are not shy.

    Second, for your statement about “I used to be that way too” to work, there needs to be something before it that you aren;t any more. Since the only things preceding the statement were “an introvert” and “love social media”, and it’s not possible to stop being an introvert, I have to conclude that you no longer love social media. That’s sad.

    But… the article is about networking. Perhaps it should have said “Do you hate networking? I used to be that way too.”

    • Can I plead ‘young and stupid’ for this one?
      I know what you are saying. Apparently I didn’t know that when I wrote this. Reckon I should update what I said before …
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Vicki.
      Marya

      • Of course. (I don’t see a date, so l’ll assume you write this a while ago.) And… you did some editing. Cool!

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