Tips on How to Use Your Business Card as a Networking Tool
Business cards have become much more than a contact information card. They are now a way of getting your name out in the deep waters of business, to introduce yourself and to set yourself and your business apart all wrapped up in one tiny piece of cardstock.
So just how should you use your business card as a networking tool? We've put together a few tips and facts for you to consider while passing out business cards.
- The business card is perhaps the oldest way to network; it's been around long before such social networking sites as Facebook and MySpace and is almost a non-spoken must-have in business circles.
- It is a common practice now in China to include instant messaging contact information on business cards and resumes. If you decide to take a page out of the Chinese book then don't forget to make sure that your profiles are business ready and have no personal information on them that might turn away clients.
- When you give out your business card be sure to immediately ask for their business card. When you have a few moments, jot down a sentence on the back of the card that will help you to remember the person that gave you the card. By doing this you ensure that you will be able to find the person that you need and actually remember them when you look at their card.
- After every event during which you have collected cards (and written tiny notes on the back of each) sit down for a few moments and sort through the cards. Decide just how each person you've connected with can assist you with your business goals and how you can help them with theirs. A mutually beneficial relationship is always best for business relationships. After you have decided this then go about contacting the person to set up that relationship.
If you follow these tips, you will quickly start to bolster your business contacts, using your business card to the fullest of its potential as a networking tool.