Business networking is a lot like dating. No matter what you are looking for, one of the first steps is by simply putting yourself out there.
Therefore, attending various networking events or groups is essential. However, each gathering you are invited to or attended in ended up collecting and sharing business cards.
Before too long, you can’t even remember who is a good contact or perhaps, they have forgotten you as a potential connection.
So, question is, how can you increase the odds of turning a piece of card into a successful networking relationship?
Rules Of Engagement
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a new business, a new career or operating a business, business cards are the most efficient tool of branding yourself.
If you are uncertain, think of it as your miniature résumé. But, nobody likes an obnoxious person at the networking event handing out business cards as quickly as a casino dealer.
The entire concept of business networking is to be able to meet like-minded people whom you can offer help and who may be able to help you in the near future.
Handing out and collecting business cards should be done with considerations, not an intrusive act of self-promotion. Keep in mind that your business card is the perfect method to leave someone to remember you by. So, be tactful.
It would also be ideal to ask for his card after the conversation. This person would likely reciprocate and ask for yours in exchange. Thus, wait for the opportunity to give a person your card.
Importance Of Knowing Your Audience
Knowing what your audience be like is imperative. You need to know who you will be handing it.
So, make a card that showcases your personality or your business. This must represent who you are, what you do and what you can do.
Always ensure that your card is also appropriate for your industry, but be creative. Explore your imagination.
Understand that your main goal of handing out your card is to make a good and unforgettable impression.
One Card To Rule Them All
In a world where Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn exist, you still return to a networking event handing out and gathering piles of business cards.
What surprises you is that how this piece of card still survives?
Business cards have a powerful tool of connectivity. You can have unique potential connections which can generate leads.
Here’s how to optimise the page of this piece of card and make it stand out every event or group you are attending.
Include Relevant Social Outputs
The world is already entering the digital age where Internet-of-Things and latest means of communications are mostly used.
Therefore, you need to highlight your social media account to engage with clients and share your thoughts. So, include relevant social outputs and be interactive.
Lose The Kitchen Sink Approach
Sometimes, you are tempted to offer a wide array of contact options – home, office, email addresses, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. A better approach is to prune ruthlessly.
Ask yourself – where do you usually spend time connecting with potential contacts? Don’t you know that a full street address would suffice the needs of getting a contact?
Skip Your Homepage
This might be counterintuitive though your homepage might be the best place to start a conversation. But, you need to skip your home page.
Instead, make a resource page or a landing page where they can access free downloads or video tutorials that are entertaining and helpful.
It pays off to be creative. Try using images or graphics. A simple logo is a definitely a yawner.
Avoid using a traditional text. Consider using short and sweet phrases.
You can also use curiosity-arousing messages such as “Connect with me at (your email address)” or “You know where to find me the next time you’re in London.”
Link Your Online And Offline Worlds
One card can be a bridge between your online and offline worlds. So, always take note of that.
Think Of Your Card As A Call To Action Button
Create customised business cards for a specific event or gathering. You can showcase a specific offer from your product or business.
Most business cards are stacked in a drawer especially if you don’t have an interest in contacting them. This goes the same as yours.
If you don’t want to be one of those stagnant contacts, create a business card where they can re-use it. For instance, business cards with a mini spiral-bound notebook. That’s pretty useful!
When To Use Them?
Now, you have a business card ready to rule them all. Your next step is how to maximise the reach of your network using business cards.
Make It An Exchange
Going in a business networking event might give you a hype in giving out your business cards to everyone. You just realise that you have gotten no contacts when you reach home.
When handing out your card, make the move to ask his first. This will initiate of asking your card as well. To keep you posted, you can jot down important notes at the back of his card. This makes it easier for you to recall this person once you do the follow-up after the event.
Never Leave Home Without It
Some people lose their belief in business cards. Don’t be.
Never leave home without it. You can bring at least a dozen of it or a pack of cards that would simply fit in your purse or wallet.
Take note, you will never know when you can meet a potential connection. It can be in a coffee shop or in a park. Be prepared.
Make It Captivating
There is no such thing as being too professional with your card these days. Avoid using typical templates but rather, create luxury business cards
Your business cards best describe yourself. Handing out one card gives a person to quickly connect with you later.
Your business cards can be a conversation-starter on a business networking event. Thus, make sure you bring one.
Case Study: Designing Business Card that Rocks!, Hongkiat.com