Posts Tagged ‘business cards’

10 Tips for Biz Card & Networking Savvy

October 7, 2011

I dusted off a card scanner to begin scanning biz cards as a form of therapy (a light duty, stress free, painless, easy, no brainer). I began to scan away at about 700 business cards. Many were great and many woefully planned and designed. I also made some awful mistakes when networking. Here are 10 tips I jotted down while scanning away:

1. Do not take a business card that does not have the person’s name on it. Read the card before they get away. Write down their full name.

2. Write the date you met the person and the event on the business card. I had some cards where I put a partial date (forgot the year); put the date and not the event; or put the event and no date.

3. Have a business card that can be scanned. Some of the business cards in my stack were made of thick plastic; the same as a credit card. Some were all black and the text could not be scanned. One card was made of a weird vellum paper and it would not feed into the scanner.

4. Be sure to get the person’s cell phone number. Be sure to put your mobile phone number on your business card.

5. Think of us forty-plus something business people when you choose a font. One of the business cards was in a 4 point font. I could not read it without a magnifier. Luckily, the scanner could scan it. Nevertheless, be sure people can read your card without squinting.

6. If your company name is inserted in your logo, have it typed somewhere else again without the graphic. Company names in graphic logos did not scan.  I put it on the back of the card. Be sure to scan the front and back of business cards you collect.  Make great use of the back for listing your licenses, certifications, tag line, etc.

7. Choose paper that folks can write on. You cannot write on plastic or vellum or slick glossy paper.

8. Save a list of your notes from the business cards you collected into a word document. It will remind you of your marketing journey – all of the events, all of the networking. Study the list and ask yourself which events resulted in work, teaming, or other collaborations.

9. Ask yourself, which events are you drawn to? My firm is 6 years old. I looked back over the past 5 years. I am primarily drawn to small business development events such as trade fairs, match making/ partnering events, and government vendor outreach sessions. Next, over the years I have made my rounds to visit with decision makers in government agencies – procurement staff, program directors, department directors, project managers. Third, I lean toward urban planners, civil engineers, and economic development specialists. So, I have attended their trade meetings (annual conferences, luncheons).

10. Lastly, use this intelligence to develop your marketing plan for 2012. Plan out the entire 12 months. Make your rounds. Attend trade meetings, conferences, etc. What will it cost to participate? Registration fees? Travel transportation and hotels? Budget for it now!
By Clovia Hamilton, President, Lemongrass Consulting, Inc.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with nearly 30 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans, intellectual property, social media marketing strategic plans, and other services. Contact Clovia at:
■ Web: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com/
■ Blog: https://cloviahamilton.wordpress.com/
■ LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cloviahamilton
■ Twitter: http://twitter.com/lemongrassplans
■ Email: chamilton@lemongrassplanning.com

How to Get the Most out of Conferences

July 5, 2010

How to get the most out of conferences

July 5, 2010 by Clovia Hamilton

Lemongrass Consulting advocates strategic planning.  I lead this charge and I advocate strategic planning in all things that we do – including conference attendance.

As a procurement counselor at the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC), I give vendors notices about upcoming business to government (B2G) conferences routinely.  I also give advice on how to prepare for conferences and for following up after a conference.

Recently Beth Goldstein posted an article “To Get the Most Out of Conferences, Follow Up” in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s smallbiz tips.  Beth states that the goal is to make solid connections.  Beth advocates that conference attendants should:

  • Thank the connection
  • Send the connection an article
  • Invite the connection to an upcoming event
  • Send the connection a copy of your newsletter
  • Introduce the connection to your other connections

The topic of what to do with business cards has been underway in the Linked in Woman 2 Woman Business Group.  Here are some suggestions that I like from this discussion:

  • Use a virtual assistant to help you add names into a contacts database (Jennifer Dixon)
  • Write a note about the person, the date, and the event on the business card (Eileen J Kennedy, Nanci Benefiel)
  • Follow up with the person you met the next day or within the next few days (Eileen J Kennedy)
  • Use Microsoft Outlook contacts and sync your Blackberry to Outlook (Eileen J Kennedy)
  • Scan business cards into your email address book as Vcards (Louise Leduc)
  • Invite your connections to Linkedin and your newsletter (Diane S Turner)
  • Keep business cards in clear plastic sheets (Gwen McCauley)
  • Select a few networking groups that you attend routinely (Nanci Benefiel)
  • Send the connection a greeting card (Gayle McKearin, Mary Kathryn Ewart, or Send Out Cards per Nanci Benefiel)

I noted in this discussion the importance of leaving white space on the back of your business card and do not use glossy card stock that cannot be written on.

I do all of the above – and I sort cards by the first name of the connection and keep the clear plastic sheets in a binder with alpha dividers A thru Z.  I also make copies of cards of potential teaming partners and keep them in a binder sorted by dividers labeled for each type of potential teaming endeavor we might pursue.

Try to connect with everyone or just a few?

Stephanie Robertson and Diane Turner stated that she usually only has 2-4, or 3-5 people that they connect with.  I have been advised by mentors to set a goal for 3 people.  This approach is to promote quality over quantity.

While the 3 people goal may be productive and may keep you from feeling overwhelmed, I have learned over the years that you will never know where your next lead, prospect, or referral will come from.  So, I try to meet as many people as possible. I do not devalue anyone.  I try to connect with as many folks as possible.  This is not really shotgunning – because out of the batch, I will target a few to follow up with immediately.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o