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12 Networking Tips for Introverts

In a world that often seems tailored for the extroverted, the prospect of networking can feel daunting for many introverts. The bustling crowds, the small talk, the onus to bring immediate value, and quick introductions—it can all seem overwhelming and many will turn their backs on the process. But there’s a big problem here; networking is important.

According to Hubspot, as many as 85% of jobs are filled through some form of networking. It builds relationships and connections, markets your brand, and promotes your work. As SocialTalent’s resident networking expert, Kingsley Aikins, states:

Opportunities don’t float around on clouds, they’re attached to people. So if you’re looking for an opportunity, you’re really looking for a person.

And while networking can seem like the antithesis of an activity an introvert can flourish in, the truth is quite the opposite. Introverts possess unique strengths that can not only make them effective networkers but exceptional ones. Let’s discover how!

1. Embrace the Power of Listening

Introverts are natural listeners, often preferring to absorb and process information before speaking. In networking scenarios, this can be a powerful tool. While others talk, take the opportunity to truly listen—this helps in understanding the speaker’s needs and concerns, allowing for more meaningful and thoughtful interactions. Remember, people often appreciate and remember those who gave them the space and attention to express themselves.

Extroverts can have a tendency to suck up all the air in a room—and while to some this may seem like a strength for networking, it can often work to the detriment of the speaker. 

2. Quality Over Quantity

The introvert’s networking mantra should be ‘less is more’. Instead of trying to meet everyone in the room, focus on a few meaningful conversations. It’s these deeper connections that will likely prove most beneficial in the long run. You don’t need a vast network; you need a relevant and supportive one.

3. Preparation is Key

Walking into a networking event can feel less intimidating if you’re prepared. Research the event, the speakers, and the attending organizations. Having a few prepared topics related to the event or industry can serve as icebreakers. Even preparing a few open-ended questions like “What brings you to this event?” or “What projects are you currently excited about?” can ease you into conversations.

But don’t stress this stuff too much. Trying to shoehorn irrelevant small-talk into conversations isn’t the goal. And remember: the onus isn’t on you to fill the void constantly.

Learn more: Author Spotlight – Kingsley Aikins

4. The Digital Gateway 

Introverts may find it easier to initiate and nurture professional relationships online. Great networkers understand that technology can bridge the gap when it comes to making connections and how the traditional three degrees of separation is just now one click away!

Engage with industry leaders and peers through LinkedIn, X, or other professional forums and communities. Comment on posts, share interesting articles, and partake in online discussions. This digital interaction can lay the groundwork for more comfortable face-to-face meetings later on. And it also gives you an opportunity to learn about these people – these nuggets can be vital when it comes to making conversation down the line.

5. Small Groups and Quiet Spaces 

Networking events can be overwhelming with their noise and crowds. If this is something which triggers you, seek out smaller groups or quieter corners where conversations can be more intimate and less pressured. Often, these settings can lead to more in-depth and focused discussions. After all, networking is a long game; you’re not supposed to make meaningful gains immediately!

6. Bring Along a Buddy 

Having a friend or colleague at your side can provide a sense of security and ease. They can help initiate conversations and can serve as a familiar anchor in a sea of new faces. It’s important to not be overly reliant on these people, however and sink into obscurity. But as you’re finding your feet, it is a great way to learn the ropes and get a reprieve from the spotlight! 

7. Empathy – Your Secret Weapon 

Introverts often possess a heightened sense of empathy, making them attuned to others’ feelings and needs. Use this to your advantage by genuinely engaging with others. Show interest in their work and offer insights or help if you can. Networking is about building relationships, and empathy lays a strong foundation for trust and connection. In his SocialTalent training content, Kingsley Aikins states that:

Networking is all about giving, and the most generous thing you can give another person is your full and undivided focus. Rapt attention is a profound act of generosity.” 

8. Know Your Limits

It’s important to recognize and respect your own limits. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to step out for a break. Networking events can be draining for introverts, so listen to your body and mind. Setting a time limit for how long you’ll stay can also help manage your energy.

The easiest way to make an exit is by saying you need to use the facilities or get another drink. Smile and emphasize that it was really interesting to talk to the person and would be good to talk again. Then take a couple of minutes to breathe and regroup.

9. The Follow-Up 

The power of good networking often lies in what happens after the event. Send personalized follow-up emails or LinkedIn messages. Mention specific details from your conversation to show that you were engaged and valued the interaction. This can help turn a brief meeting into a lasting connection and can be an element many extroverted people overlook.

Learn more: Author Spotlight – Aimee Bateman

11. Practice and Patience

Like any skill, networking gets easier with practice. Each event is an opportunity to learn and grow. Be patient with yourself and remember that networking is a journey, not a destination. No one is born a good networker – it is a learned skill and can take time to find the rhythms that work best for you.

12. Embrace Your Authentic Self

Lastly, don’t try to be someone you’re not. Authenticity resonates with people. Embrace your introverted nature and remember that it brings its own set of valuable skills to the table. There can be such a huge temptation to mimic the loudest voices in the room, or panic because you’re not constantly saying something funny or interesting, but this will not serve you in the long-run. Understand that your networking strengths may be different to others, but they’re no less powerful.


Networking for introverts doesn’t have to be a dreaded endeavor. By understanding and utilizing your inherent strengths, you can navigate these waters with a newfound sense of purpose and effectiveness. Remember, in the symphony of professional networking, every voice, no matter how soft or reflective, has a vital part to play. So take a deep breath, step forward, and let your unique voice be heard!

With Kingsley Aikins and Aimee Bateman in our faculty of experts, SocialTalent provides industry leading networking training – for both introverts and extroverts! Talk to us today!

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