Growing up as an only child, I was typically labeled as being shy. By the time high school came around, I was able to acquire more confidence and became known for being blunt and always cracking jokes. This made people see me as an extrovert when in reality I've always been an introvert. I think the problem is people seem to associate being shy with being introverted, even though it's two different concepts. Being shy is when you have a hard time talking to and meeting new people. Being an introvert is when someone is able to recharge their energy by being alone for a little bit. You can imagine that a long day of networking can completely drain our energy and discourage us from attending again. So how do you work your way around this? As a blogger, I've attended many events and have learned that it is possible to enjoy networking as an introvert while not losing your sanity. Here are my best tips:
Reach Out Online First - Many networking events will have Twitter chats and Facebook groups that not only encourages people to attend the event but to get to know each other beforehand. When I attended HerCampus.com's Her Conference last summer, I posted on the Facebook group page to see which bloggers would be attending and was able to form connections easily. The best part was on the day of the conference I was able to meet all those people that I talked to which made the event so much more exciting.
Set Some Goals - What do you want out of the networking event? Do you want to give out at least 10 of your business cards? Meet at least 5 fashion bloggers? I find that I'm more motivated to talk and approach people when I have a specific goal in mind.
Engage In One-On-One Conversations - Group conversations can be a bit too fast paced and intimidating for us so start by talking with one person at a time. You'll find that you have more productive conversations and form a better relationship while not feeling as drained.
The More Interesting The Conversation, The Better - I swear nothing is more exhausting than small talk. It just feels so fake and pointless, you know what I mean? Steer clear from conversations about the weather by showing a genuine interest in the person. Ask questions like "So why did you become a blogger?" or even make a joke about how much you hate small talk! Trust me, people are looking to have an interesting conversation just as much as you are at these events.
Take a Quick Break - Networking events typically last the whole day and sometimes you just need a second to yourself. I usually go to the bathroom and freshen up (of course there's always a long line and I end up having the most interesting conversations with people while waiting!) or I'll grab a drink and check my phone at a quiet place like the lobby. Having those few minutes to myself helps me to come back stronger.
Thanks for reading and I hope these tips helped! I know that at times being an introvert may seem like the most annoying thing in the world. I remember feeling as if there was something wrong with me and that I have to be more talkative, more funny, more energetic but the truth is there's nothing wrong with being an introvert. It's just the way we are! You can be a successful blogger and still be introverted.