Networking advice please
October 7, 2013 12:05 PM Subscribe
Business Networking for a nervous nellie who wants to be a natural
posted by Kitty Cornered to work & money (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My partner and I moved to Tampa/St Petersburg area recently from Denver. I took most of the summer off and gave thought to my career. After much thought, I decided to start a one-woman show, or when stated appropriately, a small human resources consulting firm.
I'm finding my way through all the starting a business stuff - this is not the issue. I'm preparing to showcase my expertise by taking the licensure exam (SPHR). I love HR, and I'm confident about the field of work. As far as owning my own business- I have a good work ethic and understand it is hard work to be an entrepreneur. (Although if you have any ideas, please share, it's just not my question.) Financially, I am prepared to not make any profit for 1-2 years. If that point it isn't profitable, it will be time to end it likely.
My concerns are, 1) I have a huge fear I will not get any clients. Ever- at all. This is doubtful. I've created a marketing plan and I know I will get a client. I just had to throw it out there because it does scare me.
But my real question is about networking. Networking is big here and I've joined a few groups/meetups to see which seem worthy. I will try a few different ones to see which feel best to me. I can be shy with strangers and have a bit of social anxiety (nothing to make it impossible for me to do this however). And specifically, if someone comes up to me and starts chatting, I can do well and talk back. But the idea of ME walking up to someone or a group is mortifying.
I refer to myself as shy, but not timid. It is incredibly intimidating for me to walk up to someone I don't know and begin chatting. However, I will have to do it and I knew this would be a struggle for me when I decided to start this company. My business is the type that most people will not "need" my services initially but hopefully will think of me when the need comes. So I will need to network my feet off. Sigh.
The time has come, all my business starting tasks are complete and this is my week with networking events scheduled. I must go forth and network
So tl; dr: tips on networking for a slightly socially anxious person--how do you do it successfully with a new consulting business, and in a new city?