There’s no doubt that attending networking events can help you give your brand a major boost. As Jennifer explained, networking can also help you stay productive during slow seasons. As an introvert, I’ve tried to think of networking more like making likeminded friends, which can be really fun. But networking also takes a lot of energy and sometimes I’m just not in the right mindset, which is not what you want when connecting with strangers. If you have an off week or month where you really want to stay on top of it, but not necessarily go network your heart out, try some of these ideas instead (and jump back in whenever you can):
Improve your social media accounts. Social media can be a way of networking in itself, but let’s be honest–it’s much easier to initiate a relationship online than it is in person! Since social media requires lots of focus too, this can actually be a really productive way to retreat. A social media presence is vital in most businesses today, so you might see a major boost in business just from paying more attention to this alone. Try this list of tips to improve your Instagram to get started.
Take a branding course. I always find myself recommending Wit & Delight’s Skillshare classes to business owners looking to boost their brands. For me, taking classes isn’t necessarily about learning a new skill you’ve never had (though I do that as well!) but for giving me a fresh perspective on something I already do. I may already have branded my business, but that doesn’t mean I can’t gain new insight from going back through the process.
Implement one idea you’ve been putting off. If you’re like us, you’re always coming up with new ideas without the time to actually see them through. From a special newsletter to designing new business cards, there are a lot of business related plans that get pushed to the bottom of the list when you’re busy at events or in-person meetings. Take this time to see one idea through and see how it improves your business and inspires you to do more!
Log your goals. Or, if you’ve already got concrete goals, go back through them and brainstorm ways to ensure you get there. A goal list always helps me remember where I started and where I’m going, and it sometimes even inspires me to get back on my networking game. Just make sure you put it somewhere you can see it; it’s hard to get motivated to do the work that the goal requires if you don’t remember what that goal is. :)
Connect with a trusted friend. Lastly, if you aren’t comfortable networking at the moment, practice your people skills on someone you’re truly comfortable with. It may not directly grow your business, but it will help you gain the confidence to put yourself and your brand out there when the time comes.
Having an off week or experiencing a lull in networking events doesn’t mean you can’t keep putting yourself out there! Hope these ideas help.