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Put a few extra cards in your wallet, gym bag, car and suitcase right now so you have them. You can also get a nice carrying case, so they are simple to find in order to give out, with enough room to hold cards given to you. You may even want to get two cases. People will be impressed that you’re not going to lose their card and will be less likely to ignore yours.
Every chance meeting you have is an opportunity to ask an acquaintance for their business card. This gives you a chance to you your card as well. Even if they’re not interested might know someone who is. I’ve found that an easy way to do this is while traveling, and it helps to expand your network beyond your local area.
Give everyone you give a business card to, two cards, and ask them to pass the second one on if they ever have the opportunity. As an added incentive, tell them to write their name on the back and you’ll give them a discount off your service or you’ll know to send business their way too if they’re referring you. Tell them if they ever need more, just ask.
Always talk to people in front of you in line, or in back of you, or at the bookstore, or before and after meetings. These are always networking opportunities. Ask them what they do, and listen. They will ask you too, then you can exchange cards. In 2001, I was talking to the checkout person, and the lady behind me asked for my card… it turned into a full-time job and many other valuable freelance jobs!
Once you’ve given and received cards make sure to follow up with them, ideally within two days of meeting. Don’t just add someone to your email list! Send them a friendly email, which of course has your signature to your website and maybe a call-to-action. If you feel like it would be mutually beneficial to talk more, ask to have a conversation (by phone – time saver), invite them to a networking event, or to take action such as to get a free report. Also ask to see how you can help them.
Lastly, try to create a business card that is creative enough that someone is interested when they read it. Today it is not very expensive to have very artistic and effective cards made that truly get the word across of what you do. Remember there is a front and a back to the card. This little card needs to help the receiver remember who you are and what you do for a long time. Ask people to connect to your social networks, get a free report or do an intro call in a conversation & with info printed on your business card.
My WordPress packages include a matching business card design (with a simple logo) to immediately help you connect online & in-person!
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