To put real value in your network and stay connected to people who are not online, you also need to think about your network in the real world.
I am an introvert. That often surprises people because I regularly get up on stage to speak, and am loud, expressive and Italian. But I’m also an introvert.
One hazard of being an introvert is we are not natural networkers—especially in the real world. I went through most of my career thinking I was the only one who was bad at networking.
Over time I’ve learned a few important things that make networking more doable and comfortable, even for introverts:
1. Most people consider themselves bad at networking. If you are struggling, know you are not alone.
2. You can become good at networking, even if you aren’t good at it today. But you get good at it by doing it, not by reading about it. It gets easier and more comfortable with practice. The more you do it, the more sense it makes and the more valuable it gets.
3. You can build a network without going to uncomfortable networking events where you eat cheese cubes and collect stacks of business cards. You can do it by meeting a few people you genuinely like each year and staying in touch with them.