I know I’ve mentioned this a few times before: I hate networking.
But I also know how important it is for growing my business.
Recently, I was watching a video from Joshua Boswell entitled The Fastest, Easiest Way to Get Your First Client. It was a bonus for attending the teleconference with him and Rebecca Matter in which they unveiled the new Launch Your Writer’s Life in a Day Tour.
Anyway, what was the fastest, easiest way to get that first client?
You guessed it: networking. Reaching out to existing contacts, to be exact. And while that might not seem like a big deal to some, it’s networking all the same. For those of us who hate networking, it’s almost on par with cold-calling.
You see, an extrovert looks at a personal contact list as a resource, and actually enjoys reaching out and starting those conversations. An introvert looks at personal contacts much differently, viewing them more as private, guarded connections. Because of this, mining personal contacts for business purposes is a much more uncomfortable endeavor.
Networking with Friends
Still, I started the process, at least. When I first launched my Facebook business page last year, I sent a brief personal message to almost all of my Facebook friends, telling them what I was doing and asking them to visit and Like my page.
About 100 friends did so. Not a bad response, really.
The problem was, I didn’t follow up on that. I let the Facebook page slide back into oblivion. And I never asked them — directly — if they or anyone they knew could use my services.
It was the classic case of growing Likes instead of business on social media. For someone who hates networking, this seemed to be a dead end.
Of course, I was wrong.
I’ve been observing some things lately. I know there’s a whole bunch of small businesses represented in my Facebook feed. And there’s even a few who are using that medium very well to promote their business.
This leads me to believe that Joshua is absolutely correct: there are opportunities within my personal network. I just need to reach them.
So I’m assigning myself two tasks:
- Get “better” at networking
- Partner with those who are already good at it
Networking for Introverts