Networking: an introvert’s guide

As a lover of words, I love the self-indulgence of writing. It’s funny because hiding behind a screen, putting words together, truly is my happy place. I love a blog, an email, even a little activism now and then (nothing radical!).

However, tell me to pick up the phone or meet a stranger and my heart starts racing, my palms go sweaty and, for some unknown reason, I get the buttock wobble (finding this out when leading a whole-school assembly back in the day was not ideal!).

So, having recovered from the shock of taking on a share in a bell tent business and all things new that came with that last year, I decided that June 2023 was a great time to throw myself out of my comfort zone once again – imposter syndrome, buttock wobbles and all (you know, just as the heatwave hit).

So far our little colourful business had grown pretty organically through links with Craig’s marquee clients and Baylily venues, word-of-mouth, repeat guests, website hits and social media. That was always the plan – see what happens in the first year and go from there. And then the wedding season hit (or more the rain stopped) and my socials filled with the most exciting venues and events that I hadn’t ever heard of (spooky but I try not to think about Meta ears). I decided that we needed to get involved – beautiful wedding venues, fantastic festivals, the works.

So, then what? Cold calling is simply the worst thing in business. For every email I lovingly respond to, I probably delete 5. I didn’t want us to be ‘one of them’. So, I decided to be honest, mindful (and let our most beautiful photos do the talking).

And, here’s the thing, human-to-human works. I got replies. Some said ‘thanks but not for us’ and that’s fine (tents can be an acquired taste). But most said ‘great, let’s have a chat. Let people know about us and we’ll let people know about you. We’ve been looking for something like this’.

And one said those dreaded words: let’s meet…

To be continued…