Wanted – Tips on Networking Please

I’ve spend years writing oodles of blog posts about the skills of a copywriter, marketer and social media user and how they can be used to help boost your business success. But if there’s one aspect of running a business I don’t enjoy, it’s networking.

Some people love it and get a real buzz from entering a room of strangers and working it.

That’s not my experience.

I hate it with a passion. I would rather swim with sharks than go networking, which is why I’ve done most of mine online. In the world of social media I get to hide behind my Mac and pretend to be whoever I want to be. You would have thought the easy solution would be for me to pretend to be that person when at an event, I tried it – it didn’t help.

The most enjoyable event I’ve been to (yes, I do force myself to ‘get out there’ every now and then) was a Dirty Dancing workshop cunningly disguised as a networking event. It was great fun and because everyone was having a laugh it didn’t seem like networking.

Dirty Dancing networking event

Yes, that’s me flying

By the way, before you think I’ve gone off my rocker, the guy that ran it is part of a business Facebook group and he offered to run the workshop (which is usually for schools, hen nights, parties etc.) as a way of a ‘getting to know you’ thing.

Now Richard who runs it played the role of Jonny Castle in the West End production of Dirty Dancing (amongst other stage and TV credits) so I was amazed when we were chatting and he said he felt the same way as me about networking.

Seriously? Here’s an actor/dancer who hates walking into a room of people and can’t just strike up a conversation with them. Me I can understand, but him?

Anyway, that is a rather long winded way of getting to the point of this post.

I’m asking you for your help – call it a bit of reverse blogging if you like – what tips can you give a non-networker like myself to convince me to get out there and give it a try?

What strategies have you used in the past to help you break into groups and introduce yourself?

You really would be doing me a huge favour by offering some advice.

P.S. If you want to know more about the dance workshops, Richard’s website is Dance With West End Stars.

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