Tag Archives: event

Business Cards: Are They Just a Waste of Time and Money?

by Stephen Labuda

It’s a funny thing about business cards…they always seem to find their way into the trash! Now, some of you may be thinking, “WHAT?” but follow me for a second…

Let’s start with what happens at a networking event. People are milling about, shaking hands, handing out business cards, etc. You meet new people, establish possible referral relationships, tell others about what you do and above all, you collect business cards…sometimes LOTS of business cards. Now, let’s fast forward to the next day…

There you sit at your desk…a stack of business cards looms before you. You flip through the stack, then put it in your desk. “I’ll get to these later” you say, and you go about your day. A few days later, you open up your desk drawer and BAM…there are those cards again. “I have to make time to get back to these people…” you say, and again shut the drawer. After a few weeks, you don’t even care, and chances are, that stack of cards will make its way into your trash. Well, if this is what YOU are doing, you can imagine that the cards you give out will eventually have the same fate in the offices of folks you have given your cards to. It starts to seem like business cards are just a waste of time and money, but is there a way to change this outcome and make them incredibly valuable tools for business? Absolutely…

First of all, think of your business cards as merely a barter tool to get business cards from others. It is THEIR card that is really valuable to you. When you are at an event and you get a business card, it is what YOU do with THEIRS that matters…follow me on this…

When someone gives me their card, I hold it up at eye level to the side and look at it as I ask them questions. “So, tell me more about ABC company.” Looking at their card while I speak with them helps me to imprint their face along with their information at the same time. This will become extremely valuable as I am looking through the cards I received after the event.

Once our conversation is over, I thank them and tell them I will be following up. Then, I turn over their card and write a few key points of our conversation on the back. This will help me to refer to these points when we speak again.

Finally, after the event (aim for WITHIN 48 hours) I follow up. This could be a phone call, an email, a letter, whatever you decide. Because I have taken the time to imprint the person’s face with their business, and write key points about the conversation on the back of the card, AND follow up, I will make myself stand out from just about anyone else that will contact them after the event. The fact is, most won’t even bother so not only will my competition be light, my technique will ensure that I am the one that makes the most memorable impression on them.

There you have it. The information above can greatly increase the value of business cards and how they can positively impact your business. Remember, business cards are NOT a waste of time and money…you need yours to get theirs and getting theirs and following the tips above is what will set you apart from most of the other business people they come in contact with.

About the Author

Stephen Labuda is an entrepreneur who built his business by networking with other professionals. You can connect with him through his Boston web design website or Boston Professional Networking.

How to Promote an Event Using Social Media

There are dozens of sites and services set-up to help you promote events such as webinars, seminar, workshops, grand openings and product launches. While these tools are indeed online you can get benefit employing them for local offline events as well.

Use MeetUp and create a group surrounding your event – this might turn into something very valuable to do on an ongoing basis and create a nice way for you to build a local community.

Publish your event to some of the bigger online events calendars such as Yahoo’s Upcoming or Eventful. These sites have geography built in and help promote events that are near users.

Create multiple Facebook pages or twitter accounts just for the event and post relevant information by building local followings through twitter search and Facebook Groups.

Do a series of interviews with participants in the event or to tease out bits of content that will be presented. Record these interviews as post casts and post them on your event pages, submit to iTunes and offer them to others to run on their sites. Just make sure it’s great content.

Upload transcripts from the interviews or slides you intend to present to sites such as DocStoc, Scribd, and Slideshare.

Include quick videos and photos of before, during and after the event and host on YouTube and Flickr for added exposure.

Submit press releases before, during and after the event to sites such as PR Web and PitchEngine.

Cross post as much information from all of this activity to all of your social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and twitter as all allow links to videos, audios and photos.

The short-term impact of working a system like this to promote an event or launch is greater exposure and hopefully greater participation, but the long term impact for future events may be the real payoff. As you get better at this kind of social media routine, you’ll find momentum building through search engine traffic too.

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John Jantsch is a veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide.

He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing system. You can find more information by visiting http://www.ducttapemarketing.com