Business cards are boring.
When I first started to freelance here in Atlanta, the big hit tactic was “network, network, network!” It made sense of course: if you want more clients, you need to meet them first, right? So I began to binge on local networking events and found that it was actually quite rewarding to get to connect with my peers in the local industry. However, there was always a moment of hesitation during our interaction when the notorious business card exchange was to occur!
There were usually two ways that this panned out:
- We would naturally exchange business cards upon realizing that we could really benefit from each others’ services; or
- We would linger towards the end of the conversation awaiting a somewhat cold & formulaic exchange of business cards.
As you can imagine, I was somewhat disenfranchised with option 2, so I began to search for a solution. I stumbled across the concept of a value-add in this article by Brennan Dunn, and came up with an idea: when I’m exchanging my business card, it’s more than a piece of glossy cardboard, I’m exchanging potential value.
Realistically, this is the first time a potential client of mine is experiencing what I have to offer. It’s almost 100% of her experience with my services; what does my current business card say about my business?
Well, let’s take a look:
At first glance, this card is actually not that bad. The recipient has everything they need to do business with me, right? Of course they do – but all of this is available in any directory in which I’m listed, what have I done to make their experience with me (the physical person handing them the card) unique and, more importantly, memorable? What have I shown them about my value as a resource to their team? Nothing!
I decided to personalize my business cards just a bit more: every time I hand out a business card, I make sure to include something that really showcases my value as a consultant. Given that most of my non-tangible value emanates from my friendly nature, ability to explain complex concepts and problems in simple terms, and ability to solve my client’s problems creatively, my little “value-add” has shown itself in various ways:
- Taping lollipops on the back of my cards (see below);
- Writing a personalized note on the back of my card for the recipient;
- Leaving a simple (hand-written) discount code on the card;
- Writing something actionable that I can do for them somewhere on the card.
Adding a pen to my repertoire of networking tools has helped me tremendously! After all, building deep quality relationships is much more valuable than many shallow ones (especially in freelancing).
I decided to personalize my business cards just a bit more: every time I hand out a business card, I make sure to include something that really showcases my value as a consultant.
What better way to showcase your value as a consultant and build the relationship than a simple personalized business card?
Call To Action: What can you do to personalize your interactions with the attendees at your networking events? Come up with a list of at least four new ideas and put them to work at your next event! If you’d like some pointers, shoot me an email and we’ll work together.
Now get out there and build some relationships!