It seems many people, myself included, have ended up having to spend much of their time trying to attract attention to themselves. Whether it’s through writing blogs, tweets or meeting people at conferences, it seems hard to succeed without jumping up and down like a small child, shouting “Look at me! Look at me!”
I do it. I want people to pay attention to me, because I’m building up a business, and more attention means more people know who I am. The more people know who I am, the more credibility I have, the more people will use and share the things I’m building. More connections beget more connections.
And ultimately, the more people I can get to care about who I am and what I’m working on, the more potential customers there are.
Meeting people doesn’t come very naturally to me, which is why I somewhat prefer writing blog posts in the peace of quiet of home. I don’t consider myself a particularly outgoing or gregarious person, so I find networking events difficult. But like everything else, networking is a skill which can be learnt and practiced. There are some good articles that pop up from time to time, like Kevin McDonagh’s How to attend a conference, which has some good tips - not that I’m yet go-getting enough to follow all of his advice.
The more I talk to people, the better I find I’m getting at it, and the easier it is. It will probably never be effortless though. I’ve always been the kind of person to have a small circle of friends, than someone with a broader network of acquaintances.
I’m also pretty bad at remembering people’s names. It all comes down to laziness, I suppose - my brain has no need to remember a person’s name, until it has established that the person is interesting or useful somehow, but it can take a while for my brain to reach that point.