Just Got Made Networking for Introverts Breakfast Club


Networking can be a daunting task for anyone. Our Junior Consultant, Kristy Collingbourne works with entry level candidates placing them in their first and second jobs in publishing. A lot of the time Kristy’s job involves helping these candidates who have limited knowledge of the industry and finds that the more they network the easier it is for them to break into the world of publishing. But what happens if you are not out going? Is it better to stay hidden at home? We say no and here is why…

 I know many times in the past I have had to take a deep breath when faced with networking so I can really empathise when it comes to networking as an introvert. There are often events run by “expert networkers” who make it sound very simple and easy but we know that it is not always the case. So I went along to the Just Got Made Breakfast Club Networking for Introverts, to uncover the top tips and share them with you all. 

Just Got Made was founded and created by Helen Kemp. The company runs events, workshops and general meet ups for creative businesses all over the UK. With London Book Fair looming it seemed fitting to share a blog with my thoughts and a few pointers I gathered from the morning.

Here are a few interesting points that I learnt from the day:

  1. ‘We are all curious creatures; observers’

    So when you’re speaking to someone share your curiosities and explore what they are saying, this will help you to identify with the other person and enable you to create a bond with them and the topic of conversation.

  2. It may sound silly but remember you are doing things. You are an interesting person with hobbies and talents. You have an interesting story within you and you should be confident in sharing it because people are interested in what you are doing.

  3. Some challenges faced along the way and even in networking situations are that introverts tend to be better in a one on one bonding scenario, but know that it is okay to start out small and with practise larger groups will become an ease. Practising networking is probably one of the best things you could do, if you make it part of your routine it will become another element that you are comfortable with.

  4. There are tons of networking events you can attend you just need to look for them. Make sure to look at networking events where you want to make friends and be part of a community, you are all there for the same reason so it does not need to be daunting. Some that we attend are the SYP (Society of Young Publishers), Book Machine, Borough Book Bash, Galley Club – just to give you some inspiration.

AND if you’re still not sure about where you might fit in then why not host your own event!

Here are the TOP TIPS for before, during and after networking events.

  1. Why not research some of the attendees and hosts? Social media is a massive help in this day and age, just hop onto Twitter or LinkedIn and see who’s mentioned that they are attending – it can also be a really handy conversation opener.

  2. Got business cards? Take them! You never know who you might meet or where they will come in handy but this way you can find out.

  3. Make sure to arrive early – this is crucial, it tends to be that the people who want to network will arrive early; you don’t want to miss out on speaking to someone important.

  4. Make sure when you’re speaking to someone you swap contact details, this way you can stay in touch – you never know, they might need you one day or vice versa!

  5. Helen had her very own tactic which she calls ‘The Three and Leave’, this entails meeting three interesting or useful people at the event before being able to leave. Obviously, this can be tailored for each person but this is a great way to build up your confidence. Before you know it your set target is five or six people!

  6. A good tip from the group was the ability to remember people at events, if you are meeting quite a few – if you manage to attain their business card then make a few notes on the card so that when you do follow up you have your conversation information on there.

  7. Importantly after the event, FOLLOW UP! The sooner you do it the fresher in their mind you will be, in that email you should include what you talked about, this will be the start of building a relationship with them.

  8. And last but in no means least diarise follow ups just to check in, your new contact may need your help without even realising it.

Attending the Just Got Made Networking event was really eye opening for me, as I learnt some key skills that I can not only use myself but pass on to others. Networking doesn’t have to be daunting, there are plenty of opportunities and interesting people to meet, and it’s just finding the confidence within you to do so. SO why not join me in my networking journey, come and network with me and we can grow in confidence together.  Follow @inspiredjobs @krisp23  to find out where we are next networking, and come and try some of these top tips out.