When I was at Freelance Camp last weekend, there was a lot of buzz about business cards. Are they useful? What information should you put on them? What do you do with them?
Business Cards still work. They are convenient and definitely give a professional impression. After all shouting out your contact information during a networking event is awkward and inefficient, one missed number or letter and you’ve lost the contact.
What information to put on your card depends on your business. Not everyone needs a phone number and if your customers aren’t on Twitter, maybe there is other information more relevant than your @name.
There is a lot of thought given to the designing of business cards and as most of us know, good quality business cards are not cheap.
Make sure you always treat business cards as an extension of the person giving you their card. Even if you don’t see how your two businesses can collaborate or work together, you have no idea who else that person knows. So treat them as you would a prized customer.
Thank them for their card. Look at their card. If there is something that catches your eye about the card comment on it.
The jury is still out on writing on the back of the business card. In some cultures it’s considered rude. When I decide to write on a card, I says something to the giver about wanting to remember a particular part of our conversation or how I thought our businesses could work together or so I’d remember to tell a friend of mine about them. I feel better letting them know why I’m defacing their card.
People like being remembered.
Although, personally I’m not fond of the form “it was great meeting you’ emails cluttering up my inbox, especially if the person was pillaging for cards, “Hihere’smycardcanIhaveyoursthanksbye-next!”
When I get home, I send emails to anyone I promised to follow up with then I put the information from the business cards I’ve collected into my database. Along with where I met them, who else was in the group, items that came up in conversation like family, pets, hobbies & interests etc.
The next time I see them on an attendee list, I’ll review my information before the event and add any new relevant info bits for the future.