7 Simple Phrases to Project More Confidence in Emails

7 Simple Phrases to Project More Confidence in Emails

Have you ever wondered how the people you work with might perceive you simply based on the emails you send?

What word do you think they would use to describe you? Passive? Aggressive? Assertive? Capable? Confident?

This may not matter to you so much if you’re not in a client facing role and aren’t seeking to impress. But think of it this way – aren’t we all seeking to impress someone when it comes to our work?

Consider your boss, manager or even those who report to you as though they’re your client or customer. When you interact with your clients or customers, your main goal is to build trust, for them to put their confidence in you as their service provider/supplier.

Now, imagine your client has never met you face-to-face and has absolutely no reference point to develop their impression of you, except your email correspondence. You’d like to think that you project enough confidence for your client to see you as capable of handling their business!

You could be the smartest person in the room with second-to-none people skills but that can easily get lost in the translation of emails simply because of word choice. It doesn’t matter how information-packed your beautifully written email is, a single word or phrase can so powerfully undermine your projected confidence. Annoying, huh?

 

Learning from my mistakes

In my years of consulting, I had to learn to use every word in my emails with intention to build trust with the client on the other end of the email (read about how to keep your emails professional here). It didn’t come easily. There are some phrases in our vocabulary that we tend to use out of habit. At times, we may use these phrases intentionally to soften our language for fear of being seen as too “aggressive”.

Aggressiveness is too often confused with assertiveness. You should never have to apologise for or lessen your assertiveness to please another person! This is especially true in a work environment.

The last thing I want is for you to make the same mistakes I made. The value of your eloquent emails shouldn’t be weakened by a questionable phrase that instils doubt rather than confidence in your reader.

So, I’m going to share with you a few words and phrases to leave out of your next work email and simple tweaks to boost the power of your message.

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#1 Using the word “just”

For example, “I’m just checking in to see whether you have any feedback on…”

This little word so easily slips in there as a force of habit to seem less direct in our follow ups. The thing is, all it does is diminish the value of the statement to follow.

Replace it with: NOTHING. Remove the word completely from the sentence

 

#2 Beginning your email with “Sorry to bother you…”

You’re apologising for sending an email that the other person will likely read at a time that is most convenient to them. Therefore, you’re not bothering them. So, don’t apologise for it!

Replace it with: Again, nothing. Eliminate this phrase as the appetiser for your email and get right to the main meal.

I recognise that this phrase might be used more in phone calls, so I’ll also throw in a bonus piece of advice. If you’re genuinely concerned about bothering the person with your call, start the conversation with “have I got you at a good time?” It’s that easy!

 

#3 Prefacing the purpose of your email with “I know you’re busy, but…” 

With everything we seek to achieve in any given work day, it’s likely that everyone is busy, including you. This phrase only implies that their time is more valuable than yours. Write your email as though what you’re sharing will be worth their time.

Replace it with: “I’d appreciate your time to consider…” sends the message that you value their time without unnecessarily elevating its importance.

 

#4 Beginning a sentence with “I think”

Sure, you’re sharing a thought and that’s exactly what it is, your thoughts. Using “I think” is probably okay when you’re brainstorming via email with your close team. However, when used with a client, it could introduce an element of doubt when it comes to your authority on the topic, compared to a more conclusive statement.

Replace it with: “From my experience…” already implies the credibility of your opinion. If you have no direct experience on the topic, then you can say “from my perspective…” to project greater confidence.

 

#5 Opening a recommendation with “Maybe we should…”

Like the phrase “I think”, the word “Maybe” before making a recommendation only suggests that you don’t have full confidence in what you’re about to propose. Maybe you don’t, but you don’t need the other person to pick up on that.

Replace it with: “I suggest…” communicates that what you’re putting forward isn’t a definitive recommendation but a suggestion, without the undertones of doubt.

 

#6 Following a suggestion with “Is that okay?”

This question, like a reflex, pops up out of nowhere when making suggestions within emails. Perhaps it’s because we’re wanting to be inclusive in decision making or seeking confirmation to cover ourselves before we go ahead and implement.

Whatever the reason, there’s a better way. A way that doesn’t weaken the credibility of your incredibly thoughtful suggestion.

Replace it with: “What are your thoughts?” or “Let me know your thoughts” to allow the other person to provide feedback.

 

#7 Responding to a thank you with “no problem” or “it’s nothing”

I’m not going to lie, I’m guilty of using this response more often than I should! On face value, there’s nothing wrong with these phrases, in fact they’re very common in the “no worries mate” Australian culture.

When it comes to work though, these phrases can lessen the appearance of your work effort, especially if you busted your butt on that project or completed a task that took a considerable amount of work. That’s not nothing!

Replace it with: “You’re welcome” is an appropriate response that doesn’t undermine all your hard work or imply that you could produce the same result in a mere few seconds.

 

Summary Infographic for social sharing

Make these simple phrase adjustments and you immediately sound more confident in emails!

If emails are like the bread and butter of your business and you still don’t feel confident, get in touch with me so we can chat about how I can help you!

By now, you’ve probably noticed these are also phrases you use when speaking to your clients or work colleagues. The same substitutes can be used in your next meeting to confidently contribute to the conversation.

If you’ve made it this far, I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. While you’re here, check out a related post on How To Keep Your Work Emails Professional.

Why not spare another minute and leave a comment? What phrase do you find yourself using the most in your emails or conversations?

5 ways to boost your motivation when you feel like you’re running on empty

5 ways to boost your motivation when you feel like you’re running on empty

You open up your email inbox, coffee in hand and begin another day by sifting through to see what needs to be done. You think to yourself, how on earth did my inbox fill up so quickly between when I logged off last night and now?

It’s as though others have been working round the clock while you struggled to even put on a matching pair of socks that morning.

Your eyes land on an email from your boss marked as ‘urgent’. You hesitate to open it but know you can’t delay the inevitable, so you double click. It contains an extensive list of requested changes to the draft report you finished the week before. You heave a sigh and wonder where you’ll find the energy to get it done.

You recall the now seemingly distant time when you would have jumped onto those changes and actively sought an opportunity to pick her brain so you can improve next time. A lot has changed since then.

Can you relate? Motivation at work is one of those things that can disappear just as quickly as you found it. Yet, it’s key to our success in the workplace or in business.

Motivation gives you the drive to put in the effort required to achieve results. It’s what pushes us to keep going and keep growing. If you want to see progress in any area of life, it requires motivation.

So, if motivation is so important, how can we boost it when we feel like we’ve got nothing left? Here are 5 practical ways you can start implementing today.

 

Boost Your Motivation_Blog Graphic for Pinterest

 

1. Write down your to-do list for the day

I don’t mean the electronic sticky note or the list in your online task management tool. As great as those are for keeping you digitally accountable, nothing compares to pen to paper! Physically writing down the things you set out to achieve the day ahead, allows you to tick (or cross) each item off once you complete it.

Personally, I derive the greatest sense of satisfaction when I look at my list and see many ticks. It means progress! Nothing motivates you to keep moving forward more than seeing how far you’ve come.

 

2. Celebrate small wins

There can be many reasons to celebrate at work. If you’re struggling to find reasons, here are a few:

  • Completing every task on your to-do list for the day
  • Securing a new client
  • Hitting your sales target for the week
  • Reaching a project milestone
  • Receiving positive feedback from a boss, customer or client

You can choose to celebrate alone or with someone else. However you celebrate, make sure it’s something you enjoy. I have a sweet tooth that I can’t seem to shake so instead of restricting myself, I wait for the next opportunity to celebrate. When it does, it’s a reason to get my tastebuds dancing with sugary goodness.

Match the celebration to the achievement. Let me illustrate this for you. Say you receive positive feedback from a survey you sent to a client. A weekend away with a loved one seems like an excessive celebration in response. What type of celebration does that leave for a bigger achievement like completing a major project? An overseas holiday?!

Keep that up and your motivation tank may be full but your bank account will be running on empty! Instead, you could celebrate the great feedback with an early finish that day to meet a friend for a glass of wine and joyful banter.

Celebrating will keep you going from one small win to another and motivate you to keep working toward bigger goals.

 

3. Do something each day that fills your tank

What are the activities that have you feeling high on life each time you do them? The things that switch you from sour to sweet in an instant. Within reason, bring them into your daily routine.

Maybe going for a walk or hike leaves you feeling optimistic as those endorphins are released. If so, break up your work day by stepping outside and get those legs moving. Maybe you now work from home and miss the impromptu chat in the office kitchen. Pick up the phone and fill that void with a satisfying conversation.

By regularly engaging in activities that refresh and replenish you, this fills your energy tank and positions you with more to give.

4. Plan something to look forward to

It can be difficult to get through a busy and stressful season at work if there’s nothing on the horizon to look forward to. When you look forward to something, this evokes the feeling of expectation. The greater the sense of expectation, the greater motivation.

Have a look at your calendar for the next few months. Is there something in there that gets you excited for the future? If not, start planning and lock something in! It could be a road trip, a night out with your mates or a spa day with the works.

 

5. Go back to your purpose

Take a moment to consider your purpose. Not your reason for existence, that stuff is too deep for this blog. I mean your purpose at work. Why did you apply for that position? What attracted you to it?

Remind yourself of why you do what you do. This takes you back to the bigger picture when the details have pulled you down into the rabbit hole where you’ve lost sight of your ‘why’.

If you can no longer see purpose in your role, it could be time to think about where you are now compared to where you want to be and take steps toward closing that gap. Take it one day and one step at a time. Overwhelming yourself with doing too much too soon will only contribute to eroding your motivation.

 

Summary Infographic for Social Sharing

What other ways do you like to improve your motivation? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

3 Super Helpful Hacks for a New Freelancer

3 Super Helpful Hacks for a New Freelancer

I recently embarked on the journey of becoming a freelancer (a.k.a sole trader) and it’s a brave new world! After working in the finance industry for several years, I thought I knew what it took to start a new business, at least from an operations perspective. Boy was I wrong!

Taking the step out of a safe and secure corporate job into a venture where everything rides on you, takes a clothes-pile-after-spring-clean sized mountain of courage. Though unsure of what the future may hold as you walk into uncertainty, you feel a rush from making such an audacious move!

Then, with each day of setting up your business, you discover something new you need to do that you had no idea about. You experience a growing sense of inadequacy and ask yourself “am I cut out for this?”

Sound familiar? I’m with you there.

As I began my journey into this brave new world, my excitement was quickly overshadowed by the reality that dawned – I had a lot to learn. I found myself reading blog article after blog article, pinning useful tips on Pinterest and typing detailed searches into trusty Google.

 

What I wish I had known earlier

 

What I discovered was, there are key factors to consider that go unmentioned in so many of these articles that I had to find out for myself. Now, these factors may not be sizzling hot topics that drive traffic to a blog or website, but they’re things you need to know as a sole trader! Especially if you’re looking to do business in Australia and to do it right.

Disclaimer alert!

Any views or opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily reflect the position of any agency, organisation, employer or company. I don’t receive any compensation for recommendations or links included. 

I don’t qualify as an “expert” in the area of starting a business. Any suggestions I make are for informational purposes only and don’t take into account your personal circumstances. They are not a substitute for any professional advice.

Blog Graphic for Pinterest

 

What have I learned that I wish had known sooner rather than later?

 

1. If you’ve registered for a new ABN…

Calculate an income tax estimate for every invoice you generate and set aside that amount each time you get paid. This will save you from getting a rude shock at tax time. When you become a sole trader, tax looks a little different. So educate yourself up front!

What I didn’t previously know, was that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) doesn’t issue quarterly Pay-As-You-Go statements (to pay tax in increments during the year) until you’ve submitted your first tax return under your new Australian Business Number. 

To allow a bit of a cushion, I prefer to overestimate my tax (by not taking into account deductions) and transfer it to the savings portion of my business account. Hello, emergency funds!

 

2. If you’re yet to make $75k or more per year in your business…

Did you know you can hold off on registering for Goods & Services Tax (GST) until you generate $75k? I didn’t!

After stressing out about whether I needed to charge GST on my first client invoice, I stumbled upon (okay, I intentionally dove into) an ATO article that told me I could forget it. At least, for now as a new business.

So, if this scenario applies to you, you can leave the GST off your invoices, your first-mover clients will be grateful for it! Just be sure to keep them informed when you do register for GST at the time you hit that $75k revenue mark.

 

3. If your office is your home & you use email marketing…

Apply for a PO Box or GPO Box to protect your privacy. Apparently, by law, email marketing platforms like MailChimp and ConvertKit require the disclosure of the sender’s mailing address at the bottom of every email.

You can imagine my surprise after typing my first welcome email, sending a test email to myself and discovering my home address right down the bottom. I almost missed it too!

To minimise the chance of you being the target of a creepy stalker fan or nemesis, get a PO Box for your business. No unwanted visitors here!

Summary Infographic for social sharing

The journey as a freelancer should be just as the name implies – freeing! The last thing you need is operational technicalities holding you back. Staying educated is key to thriving in this new capacity.

Leave a comment and let me know what you’ve learned from your own experience or even from people you know who’ve started a business on their own.

So, you quit your job before finding a new one. Now what?

So, you quit your job before finding a new one. Now what?

What do you do when you quit your job without another lined up?

I don’t mean a reckless, spur of the moment hissy fit that ends in you walking off the job to never return. Although, that could describe your situation. If so, no judgement.

What I’m referring to is the type of resignation that you mulled over for months, hoping to find a replacement job, until you couldn’t manage to delay the inevitable any longer.

What would you do if you found yourself with no job to go to when you wake up in the morning? How would you spend your time?

I never thought I would have to answer these questions. I didn’t think I would be the type of person to quit my job before finding a new job. I became that person the moment I decided I wanted something more fulfilling yet wasn’t sure what that looked like.

I had no plan. No particular prospects in mind. All I had was a vision, deep-set desires and emergency savings to live off as I figured out what to do with my life.

What I had previously thought would be an anxiety-inducing decision, ended up being the most freeing decision I have ever made in my career!

Now, I’m not writing this to encourage you to quit your 9 to 5 this minute and run off with the gypsies to live a life of no restrictions. If leaving your job is something you’ve been considering for a while but put off due to fear of the unknown or, you’re currently without work, I’m writing this for you.

In the current uncertainty of a global pandemic, quitting your job without a plan may not be the wisest decision. If your finances are accented with a question mark or you have dependants who rely on you for provision, you may want to rethink that decision.

However, this pandemic won’t last forever. When it does, will that desire still be there?

 

Blog graphic for Pinterest

 

The benefits of no back-up plan

Making a shift in your career isn’t easy. It’s especially difficult to move on from a job you’ve had for many years. Over the years, you grow comfortable and familiar. Breaking up with “comfortable” and “familiar” is a tough task. Perhaps the “it’s not you, it’s me” line would work for this break-up!

All jokes aside, kudos to the people who know exactly what they want from their career and make it happen. They move on from one job to another with minimal hiccups and little time in between.

That wasn’t me. After leaving my secure job of 7.5 years, I needed some space and time. Can you relate?

The benefit of having no back-up plan, no “safe” option, is that it gives you space. It allows you to dream and remove the limits from your thinking. You’re not constrained to thinking about your future at the end of the workday or on the weekend, with the issues at work still weighing on your mind.

This career gap is an opportunity to learn more about yourself, what you want and what you don’t want. Grab a journal and take note of what stirs you, what motivates you. This could give you an indication of the direction in which you’re heading.

 

Use this time wisely

I’ll be honest with you, I spent most of my first few weeks of freedom napping, snacking, and binge-watching Netflix! I quickly realised that lifestyle would soon become a habit if I wasn’t intentional about how to spend my days during this transition.

So, how do you ensure you’re spending your time wisely after you quit your job? Do at least one of these 5 activities each day during a career transition to remedy the guilt that comes with time-wasting.

 

1. Rest

There’s no better time to get much needed rest than now! Make the most of this additional time you have on your hands to rest properly and reset for what lies ahead.

When I say rest, I don’t mean just napping on the sofa (although a good power nap can be life-changing!). Try to engage in other activities that fill your tank such as reading a book, going for a walk or relaxing by the pool.

 

2. Connect with loved ones

You can now say “let’s catch up soon” and know it will happen! No more playing Tetris between calendars, struggling to find a mutually beneficial time for a coffee catch up with your shift worker friend.

I took this up avidly during my career transition and became quite the lady of leisure! Enjoy socialising while you can.

 

3. Brainstorm the day ahead

If you’re someone who often ends up being idle for lack of a plan, develop a go-to list of things to do when you’re bored. This list may include things like spring cleaning, life admin, gardening, creating something new or volunteering at a local charity.

Use this time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do more of but never seemed to have the time.

 

4. Refresh your resume

If you’re anything like me, you probably haven’t updated your resume in years, letting it collect dust like an old trophy on a shelf reminding you of your glory days. Well, pick up that trophy and dust it off my friend!

Your resume is your ticket back into the world of employment, so get it ready for when you’re ready. Start by giving it a new look. If your resume looks aesthetically pleasing, you’re more likely to want to update its contents. For new and fresh designs, try Canva, a design tool which includes a range of professional resume templates.

This is also the perfect opportunity to reflect on your most recent employment as you summarise your experiences and achievements in writing. What did you value most from this experience? What key skills did you learn? How did you grow?

 

5. Don’t stop networking

Networking isn’t only for the employed. In my opinion, it’s probably more beneficial for the unemployed! Maintain your connections and continue to build these relationships even after leaving your job. This will help you eventually ease your way back into the workforce.

Even if you intend to move on to a completely unrelated role or start your own business, you never know what seeds you have planted by having conversations with people in your network.

 

Summary Infographic for Social Sharing

A career transition without known next steps can be scary and full of uncertainty. Though you may not have to answer to anyone, there is one big question worth answering for yourself – what do you want your life to look like?

Once you can answer that question, even at a high level, you’ll have a better idea of the actions you can take today to move toward that life.

Are you or have you been in a career transition without a plan? How did you spend that time? Leave a comment and please share with your social networks!

 

5 Practical Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Burnout at Work

5 Practical Strategies to Reduce the Risk of Burnout at Work

I thought I could do it all. I couldn’t. 

I thought I was invincible. I wasn’t. 

It’s a mindset that all too many of us get caught up in. We watch others experience emotional stress, mental breakdown, and burnout at work, thinking we’re the exception. So, we take on another commitment, knowing that we’re already at full capacity.  

We tell ourselves “this is an opportunity I can’t say no to, I’ll make time for it!” Sound familiar? 

You might work in an environment where admitting your weaknesses means giving power to someone else. Or maybe pushing back when you know you can’t take on any more is interpreted as though you aren’t capable enough. 

As much as it’s hard to admit, no person is immune from stress and its harmful impacts on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. 

 

Crippling consequences

Burnout at work is real. It’s not a cop-out or an excuse used to pass up responsibilities. Just ask that colleague who couldn’t get out of bed for weeks for fear of not living up to the expectations of the day ahead. Or that friend who ended up in hospital after being crippled with stress-induced anxiety.  

I wish I had asked. I wish I had taken the measures to prevent burnout from becoming a personal anecdote. I thought I had but it was too little too late. 

Years of overextending myself caught up with me after stepping away from a stressful environment. I slept through the weeks to follow thinking that would be enough. It wasn’t. 

A few months later, burnout showed up at my front door in the form of a chronic illness commonly known to be triggered by stress. I didn’t see that coming! 

A thief in the night

Burnout sneaks in like a thief in the night. It can be concealed by “coping strategies” you convince yourself are enough, ignoring the fact that you’re running at over capacity. The warning signs are there but you fail to see them or even worse, normalise them as behaviours that come with a busy life. 

How can we avoid burnout at work and in life? It starts with recognising the warning signs for what they are – bright orange lights flashing for you to slow down! 

Common warning signs of being overloaded might include: 

  • You repeatedly double book (or even triple) book yourself 
  • You find it difficult to be present in the moment, always thinking of the mountain of things you need to do 
  • You stop enjoying the things you once loved to do 
  • You tend to frequently skip meals
  • No matter how much sleep you get, you constantly feel fatigued 
  • You don’t have enough time in the day to get your recommended 6-8 hours of sleep each night 
  • You plan days off but keep overriding them with other commitments 

Burnout can present itself in a variety of ways and the list above is by no means an exhaustive list. If you identify with any of the above warning signs, start using these simple strategies today to reduce your risk of experiencing the unbearable weight of burnout. 

 

How to avoid burnout_blog graphic for Pinterest

 

How to avoid burnout at work

It’s important to note that even though many of us are now working from home, burnout at work is still possible. As the lines between work and play become more blurred, it’s crucial now more than ever to put practices in place to avoid burnout while working from home.

1. Set clear boundaries and communicate them 

In all areas of life, especially work, boundaries are your best friend. Start by defining the boundaries needed for your personal health and well-being. Is it being uncontactable outside of work hours? Not working on weekends? Only going to one after-hours work event per week? 

Within reason, communicate these boundaries with the people you work with. This lessens the awkwardness of saying no to someone, because you’ve already expressed your personal boundaries to them. You can’t argue with that! 

 

2. Show yourself grace and compassion 

Be kind to yourself. There’s no shame in passing on a networking event to go home early and have a bath or watch your favourite movie. Listen to your body and give it what it needs. If it’s crying out for rest, give it rest. There will always be another networking event but there’s only one you. 

 

3. Ask for help 

It doesn’t matter who you are, no one is completely self-sufficient! Asking for help might be a blow to your ego but what’s more valuable, your ego or your time? Two are better than one. Cut down the time it takes you to do a task by reaching out to a colleague or friend for help.  

 

4. Schedule non-negotiable rest days ahead of time 

This one became a game-changer for me. When planning the month ahead, block out a rest day that is absolutely non-negotiable. Make sure this day appears as otherwise occupied in all your calendars – personal, work, shared.  

When you schedule rest days ahead of time rather than on a whim, you’ll find it a lot easier to follow through. My “Saturdays of Solitude” during my busiest seasons were treated as almost sacred! 

 

5. Don’t be afraid to say “no” 

We’re told that if we want to get ahead in life, we need to say “yes” to the opportunities that come our way, to expand our horizons. What they don’t tell us, is that saying “yes” to every opportunity becomes a liability to our health.  

So, instead of saying “yes” to everything, learn to say “no” every now and then. Figure out what your “yeses” are (the things that are aligned with your personal goals) and your “no’s” will be a lot easier. 

 

How to avoid burnout_Infographic for social sharing

Have you personally experienced burnout at work before? If so, how did you recover from your burnout and what strategies do you use today to prevent burnout? Leave a comment and share your wisdom! 

If you found these tips helpful, please spread the love and share with your social networks! 

How To Conquer Online Networking As An Introvert

How To Conquer Online Networking As An Introvert

When you hear the word “networking” what emotion does it provoke? Anxiety? Dread? Nervousness?

If you’re an extrovert or even just an all-round “people person”, it could evoke a sense of thrill or excitement at the thought of meeting someone new. Someone who previously wasn’t a part of your world. The endless possibilities may stir up the urge to make the first introduction.

Well, that’s not me. As a writer, I may have the ability to enter the mind of an extrovert and accurately express their emotions through words, but, networking? Sweat beads form along my brow line and upper lip merely at the thought of it!

 

A necessary evil

Working in professional services as a consultant, there was no escaping the activity of networking. It was a necessary evil to perform my role effectively.

Perhaps you can relate? Maybe you have a list of strategies tucked into your back pocket that you pull out the moment you’re about to step into a crowded room. You’ve mastered that self-talk to convince yourself the benefits outweigh the discomfort you experience. At least for the next few hours or so.

 

The new world

Then came the Covid-19 global pandemic and the concept of networking was turned on its head. You were just getting good at in-person networking, now you have to figure out online networking?! From social media algorithms to LinkedIn stories and Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting, the inevitability of change only seems to push us to keep learning and growing.

If you’re an introvert (like me), look at it as an opportunity. For now, your fidgeting fingers and buckling knees will go unnoticed by the person you’re interacting with. Win! Body language becomes less of an issue and words and tone become the focus. Finally, things you’re good at!

While online networking may be familiar to social media influencers, it’s unfamiliar territory to those of use who are used to conducting our business in a physical environment. So, how do we conquer online networking, especially for us introverts who hold negative associations with the activity?

How to network online_blog graphic for Pinterest

 

How to network online

1. Find your kindred spirits

If the fear of not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing to the person on the other side of the screen keeps you up at night, start by finding kindred spirits. Find like-minded people who have similar interests as you and you’ll have much to talk about!

This builds your confidence to eventually reach out to others who may be out of your comfort zone. That’s where you discover the unexpected opportunities.

 

2. Build over time

I could think of nothing worse than small talk. Talking about the weather, what I did on the weekend, the latest news story – not my idea of an enjoyable conversation.

But when the conversation begins to venture into something deeper, I’m all in! Yes, I’m that person who will willingly share what drives me and gives me a sense of purpose with someone I just met. Or didn’t you notice by the name I gave my business?

What I’m saying is, it’s okay to prioritise making a meaningful connection with one person over a surface level connection with ten people. Online networking shouldn’t be merely a numbers game. Build the relationship over time and see where it takes you.

 

3. Be the first

Step out of your comfort zone and start a new conversation. Be the first to reach out to the other person. This positions you to steer the conversation in a direction you’re comfortable with.

In networking, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a conversation about your most hated topic (politics?!). Don’t get yourself trapped inside that jail cell waiting for the guard to let you out, though it might not be your style, lead the conversation and create a positive networking experience.

 

4. Ask questions

Season the conversation by asking the other person questions about them. It tastes better in their mouth. Keep the focus on them and watch their face light up.

People generally love talking about themselves. It also takes the pressure off you having to think about what to say next or ways to keep the conversation interesting. You showing interest is all it takes.

 

5. Actually listen

Listening is like a superpower for introverts. Naturally, we tend to be better at active listening, that is, giving our full attention to the person speaking. Maybe it’s because we’re more comfortable when we’re not the one speaking.

Whatever the reason, this is a priceless skill in a world where everyone wants their voice heard but no one wants to listen. Use your superpower and build valuable connections!

How to network online_Infographic for social sharing

That’s it. Five super easy ways to conquer online networking, written by an introvert to introverts. Not saying if you’re an extrovert, that you didn’t get a thing or two out of reading. I hope you did. I know I still have a lot to learn about online networking and I’m ready to take on the challenge!

If you made it this far through the post, why not take another minute to leave a comment and let me in on your networking insights. Do you have any other tips or strategies you can share for how to network online successfully?