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Networking is an important part of converting leads to clients, signing business contracts, or scoring big with investors. However, for introverts, it can be difficult. Networking may not be easy for you because you are more comfortable around people you know. Going out of your comfort zone and interacting with potential clients, business partners, or investors can be challenging for you. However, it is important if you are to reach your business goals. The best thing is that you don’t always have to attend in-person events. You can take your networking online to reach your goals. All you have to do is polish your virtual networking skills so you can reach the desired outcome.

If you are an introvert and looking for ways to improve your networking skills, you’ve come to the right place. This article covers 10 effective virtual networking secrets to help you grow your professional network and take your business to the next level.


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One of the main things that make networking difficult is not knowing what to say or failing to keep the conversation going. So, you have to prepare in advance and always plan. Whether you are meeting with a client, business partners, coworkers, or attending a social event. Understand what the discussion is about and be ready to participate in conversations, answer questions, and ask the right questions. Do enough research to ensure you don’t get stuck. For example, if you are meeting with a potential client, know what they are expecting from you. Identify their needs and cater to them. Mention a few things you admire about their business, what you do, and how you can offer practical solutions to a certain problem. Practice active listening and make sure you understand what the client needs and expects from you. The goal is to prepare in advance and gather as much information as you can about the company or person you are meeting with. That way, you’ll be more confident, respond to questions accurately, ask the right questions, and drive the conversation home.


The best way to succeed is to state and understand your goal. So, what do you want to achieve from the networking event or meeting? Why are you attending it in the first place? Do you want to meet new people and build your professional network? Do you want to reach new leads and convert them into customers? Are you looking for career advice? Or do you want to find more business opportunities, partners, and investors? Whatever your goal, make sure you state it. Doing this will help you plan effectively and ensure the desired result.

Once you define your goal, identify key persons that can help you attain it. For example, if you are attending a certain networking event to get career advice, who are the top 3 people that can offer the advice you seek? Which industry experts are attending the event and how can you best reach out to them? If you are meeting with a potential client or an existing one, plan for it. State what you want to achieve from the meeting and outline the steps to take to ensure you reach your goal. If you are meeting with an existing client, communicate before the meeting and agree on the meeting agenda. Doing this will help you conduct enough research, get your notes in order, and ensure you meet the client’s expectations.

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If you are worried you might run out of things to say, keep a notepad. Write down key points and everything that needs to be covered in the meeting before it starts. Some of the most important things to note are, the purpose of the meeting, what you want to achieve from it, key questions to ask, responses to questions that are more likely to be asked, and how you’ll respond to demands or questions you don’t have answers to. When commenting or asking questions make sure you remain professional. Use a professional tone to show you appreciate the time you have to network or connect with people you are interacting with.


Introverts are good listeners. You understand things best by spending more time listening and less time talking and you like it that way. So, take advantage of your good listening skills when interacting with other people. Be present and avoid thinking too much about what you are going to say next. Remember, the best way to keep the conversation going and get something out of it is to make the other person feel understood. Show that you value what the other person is saying. Show you are not only concerned about being heard but hearing what others have to say as well.

Actively listen and be engaged throughout the conversation. For example, if you are using Zoom Conferencing or other video networking software, be present. Nod your head, maintain eye contact, and do other small interjections to show you are present. Practice active listening to understand others better, identify their needs, enjoy the conversation, and get the most from it.

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Social media is designed to build and strengthen remote connections. Being active on social media can help you get comfortable interacting with others, easily connect with people, and improve your networking skills. So, take full advantage of your social networks. Use your accounts to connect with like-minded people, learn the best ways to connect with others, and build your network. Join social media groups, follow thought-leaders in your industry and chat with them. Identify relevant conversations and participate in them. Share your thoughts about the topic under discussion to get the attention you need. Reply to comments and leave constructive comments on other people’s posts. If you see something you like, share it, retweet it, or hit ‘like’. Doing this will get you noticed and help you to build connections.

The most important thing to do is ensure you join conversations that will help you form relations with the right people. For example, if you specialize in online marketing and want to connect with industry experts, participate in discussions led by them. Follow them, comment on their posts, and retweet some of their tweets. When commenting, make sure you add value. Figure out what sort of value you can add to the conversation. Say something interesting or share a different perspective on the topic under discussion. Show you are learning from the accounts you follow and appreciate the value you get from their posts.


Attending in-person networking events can be difficult for you. Fortunately, virtual networking events aren’t as challenging. So, join virtual events to improve your communication skills and build relations with like-minded people. Doing this will help you connect with other people, get used to sharing your views, and be more comfortable initiating conversations. So, attend at least one virtual event per month that’s solely dedicated to helping you cultivate your networking skills. If you have a busy schedule and can’t afford to set aside time monthly to socialize, try attending one event every two months. It will help you in the long run. You can attend virtual conferences, short online courses, social events, join a coworking space, and so on. The goal is to meet and connect with people so you can become more comfortable sharing your views.

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One thing that makes networking difficult is lacking confidence in yourself and your abilities. Once you improve your self-confidence and trust in your abilities, you can connect with others. You may not be a great conversationalist like extroverts, but you’ll look confident and connect with others better. Don’t try to be someone you’re not just so you can look and sound confident. Be yourself and be true to who you are. That means while aiming to go out of your comfort zone, you mustn’t lose sight of who you are. If you attend a social event and don’t like being the center of attention, don’t pretend you do. Shift the attention to someone or something else. For example, you ask other people about their careers, interests, goals, and so on. Improve your self-confidence to connect with others better and be more comfortable interacting with people you don’t know. If you have faith in yourself and are true to who you are, you will easily build relations with others. Plus, people will love you for being true to yourself.


One of the most important things that people often neglect is nurturing relationships formed through networking events. Don’t make the same mistake. Maintain relations after the event is over and stay in touch with the people you connect with. Send a follow-up email to start building relations with people you meet during the event and solidify relations. Your email should state where you met, what you talked about, and why you are writing.

If you are emailing an industry expert you spoke to, for example, be sure to include all those details. Remember, influencers get tons of emails daily. So, you want yours to be different, attention-grabbing, and worth a reply. Keep your email brief to ensure the influencer opens it and reads to the end. If you get a response, be sure to reply and thank him or her for the email. Take it a step further and connect on social media. Follow their accounts and engage with their content. This will get the influencer to not only notice you but become interested in building relations with you.

If you are meeting with clients or hosting a webinar, be sure to maintain relations afterward. Offer a giveaway in exchange for the attendees’ email addresses and send follow-up emails. You can send automated thank-you emails, welcome emails, and a summary of what you covered during the event.

If you want to build relations with a potential employer or investor, your email should mention where you met, what you discussed, what you learned from the conversation, why you are writing, and how the recipient will benefit from the relationship.

If you are contacting a potential investor, ask for a second meeting to keep the conversation going. Ask if it’s possible to have a virtual 30-minute meeting. State why you want to meet and how it’s going to benefit both of you. Make sure you ask when they are available so you can meet at that time. That way, you can increase your chances of getting the investor to agree to meet with you.

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Improving your in-person or virtual networking skills can be challenging. So, you have to practice over and over until you get it right. Practice until you are comfortable sharing your views and connecting with others. Practice with close friends, coworkers, or other introverts. If you are practicing with a close friend, pretend you are meeting them for the first time. Try to initiate the conversation and keep it going. Don’t worry if you fail to get it right the first time. You’ll get used to it with time.

Another effective way to practice is to participate in office chat programs or video meetings. Whether they are social or outside your area of expertise. The goal is to become more comfortable around people, adopt good communication skills, and effectively voice your opinion. Be active in group discussions when chatting with coworkers to improve your confidence levels. Listen to what others are saying and share your views concerning the topic at hand. If you have nothing to say, don’t beat yourself about it. Look for an opportunity to share your personal experiences. Especially if there’s a connection between what’s being discussed and what you want to talk about. Sharing your experiences makes it easy for other people to connect with you and take interest in what you are saying. Someone with a similar encounter may talk about how he or she experienced the same thing and easily connect with you. When you become actively involved in the right discussions, more people will feel comfortable connecting with you and even set up meetings after the discussion or event.

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Remember that improving your networking skills and growing your network takes time. So, take it one day at a time. Don’t get frustrated when you run out of things to say during discussions or fail to get the desired results after trying for months. Improving your networking skills takes time and so is growing your network. You just have to be patient, put in the effort, and take it one step at a time.

Another effective way to cultivate your virtual networking skills is to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone as often as you can. For example, you can attend in-person networking events within your area and never leave without striking a conversation with at least one person you don’t know. Doing this will help you build your self-confidence, express yourself better, and connect with more people.

Another option is to ask for a one-on-one meeting with a potential client or connection. For example, when you identify an industry thought-leader, CEO, potential investor, or promising client you want to engage in business with, approach them. Send a persuasive email and ask for a one-on-one meeting. Don’t depend solely on attending big events that they’ll be a part of because you may not get a chance to talk to them. Even if you do get a chance, you may not bring yourself to begin the conversation. That’s normal for introverts. So, try to get a one-on-one meeting instead. Be a good communicator to overcome fear or feelings of discomfort in virtual networking events. Make sure the people you are talking to understand what you are saying or what you are trying to communicate. This will help you retain your confidence, communicate better, get your message across, and connect easily. Remember, there are other introverts in attendance as well and people who feel the same way you do. The most important thing is to sound confident, look confident, and stay confident.

Do enough research before attending important events to stay confident throughout the discussion. Set goals and know what you want to achieve from networking. This will help you connect with the right people, stay confident throughout the conversation, and reach your goals. Take advantage of your good listening skills. Use them to understand what the other person is saying and connect easily. Use social media to cultivate your networking skills, connect with more people, and strengthen relations. Join relevant discussions and share your opinions about the topic at hand. Share unique perspectives, interesting facts, or your personal experiences. As long as they are relevant to the topic under discussion.

Best of luck!

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