Networking and Self Promotion: Interview With Meredith of Do Justly Now
Welcome back to the Introvert’s Bubble Podcast. On today’s episode, I will be chatting with Meredith Jones of Do Justly Now. Meredith is an attorney and yoga teacher, and she is building a new business that takes the practice of yoga-based mindfulness to attorneys so they can apply it to their lives and career.
Yoga and law are two things that may not seem like they would go together, but yoga has been a career lifesaver for Meredith. It has helped her cope with her stress successfully, and she wants to give other law professionals the tools they need to manage their anxiety, too.
Since Meredith is in the planning phase of her business, she does a lot of solo-work out of her house. However, as we have talked about before on the Introvert’s Bubble, professional networking is inevitable and unavoidable. Here are some of Meredith’s top tips for networking when starting your business:
Attending every single networking event in your area can lead to burn-out. Choose the most valuable ones for your business and mark them on your calendar. When you arrive, keep in mind that the quality of conversation is better than the quantity of interactions. You want to build genuine connections with the attendees, so remember that it isn’t a race to see how many people you can chat with in one night.
When you are speaking to someone at an event, ask questions and listen to their answers. As an introvert, saying, “Tell me about your most recent project,” is a lot easier than starting off by talking about yourself. As the conversation progresses, begin to weave in your expertise and business.
You are going to see a lot of faces while you are networking, so remembering everyone can be overwhelming! When you receive a business card from someone, jot down a few notes about what you talked about. It will help you remember who they are, where they are from, what industry they are in and the types of clients they serve.
Business cards are made for a reason – for contact information! Give each person a follow-up call with a simple “It was great meeting you the other night,” or “Tell me more about XYZ. It sounded very interesting!”. This will build a good professional relationship and keep them in your networking circle. You may not be their ideal client, but that person may be a good business connection in the future. (Hint: You can also follow their business profiles on social media!).
Bring a Friend
Find a business buddy to accompany you to a networking event. It will calm your nerves and give you more confidence. Try not to be joined at the hip, though – the whole point of these gatherings is to meet new people. Check in with each other throughout the night and even use those times as an opportunity to introduce them to a recent connection. This also shows the person that you remember who they are and were listening to what they were saying.
Once you begin attending events, you will start to know the people who are running the show. A great way to break the ice is to help out at the check-in desk. This is a stress-free way to meet everyone immediately (especially if you are writing nametags!). As the night progresses, it will make the mingling process easier, since everyone has already seen your face.
If going to these events sounds terrifying to you as an introvert, Meredith suggests doing a few deep breathing exercises in your car before you walk in. The most important thing is to relax, and be excited to talk about your business with others! Showing your comfort and passion throughout the night will help build a trust-factor with everyone you meet and hopefully help build a few long-lasting business relationships and connections.