I have a confession to make — I’ve always been the shy person who never wanted to talk to anyone when attending networking events. Those of you who know me may think that’s no way possible, but it is 100% true.
For so many years, I was forced to attend events that I really didn’t want to attend. I was forced to meet and talk to people I felt like I had nothing in common with. Maybe I was insecure, but whatever it may have been — I hated it. I did my time and got the hell out of there.
These practices did nothing for my career. I was wasting my time.
Then there was a tipping point. I can’t put my finger on the exact moment, but I stop trying to network and started being social.
I attended a small happy hour group here in Arizona called #evfn (East Valley Friday Nights.) The people who attended mostly worked in the MarCom/Ad world and we would talk shop while enjoying happy hour.
As time past and I kept going to the same networking events and conferences, I started to notice some familiar faces. I recognized people from our little happy hour group. Now we had another reason to chat — work.
I remember riding the lightrail home from an Online Summit Marketing Event in downtown Phoenix and thinking: Networking and attending conferences is fun. I see a bunch of my friends, and we talk shop and introduce each other to others. It was finally ok for me to network.
Yesterday while attending the Infusionsoft sneak peek VIP event I was amazed that this once shy networker knew tons of people, met new people and I was introducing friends to other friends — pretty cool.
What’s the point? Keep showing up. Meet people on a smaller scale who are in your business and take those relationships to the larger events. Most of all — Don’t Underestimate The Value of Face Time.