Business cards remain staples of networking, and for good reason. They are an efficient way to give out your contact information and are also a great way to keep track of who you’ve met and, with some organization, where you met them. That being said, business cards can also be frustrating in an era where the Rolodex has been replaced by the contacts app, and where the phone is often replaced with online communication.
Here are some quick tips for managing your business cards:
- Renovate: when it’s time to print a new batch of cards, update the information to include more than just a phone number, address and email. Add your website, LinkedIn profile link, and other relevant social media channels such as Twitter or Facebook.
- Remember: when you return from an event, write the name of the event on each of the business cards you received in order to easily recall your new connection when sorting through your business cards. Additionally, jot down memorable topics about them or a conversation you had with them on the back of their business card. The more you can remember, the deeper the connection can develop!
- Routine: when you get back from the event, go through your stack of business cards and send a LinkedIn request to everyone you met. Remind them where you met, what you do and mention that you would like to stay connected. This is where your notes from tip number 2 will come in handy.
- Reinvent: if you have trouble keeping track of the physical business cards you receive or if they are creating too much clutter, store this information electronically. With software such as Evernote Hello, all you have to do is scan each business card and the contact information will be entered and organized automatically.
- Rekindle: Whether you keep the physical cards or store them electronically, don’t just stash them somewhere and forget about them. Use them! Making and holding onto connections can only benefit you and/or your company. Every so often, flip through the contact information you’ve acquired and follow-up with old connections.
With these simple tips, you will be able to enrich your networking skills and make exchanging business cards the beginning rather than the end of the conversation.