I recently attended three bloggers conferences in a single month and after the three events (TBEX Athens, TBD-Italy in Rimini and Meet The Blogger in Amsterdam) I was faced with a big problem – what the heck was I going to do with the stacks of business cards I accumulated in this short space of time? Firstly, let me say that I don’t really like clutter too much but I also hate to throw away things that have meaning to me. So below are my top tips for putting those business cards to best use after a conference or networking event:
1. First Digitize Your Business Cards
This company really solved my problem – CircleBack’s ScanBizCards system. The app works on both Android and Apple devices and allows for the easy scanning and digitization of business cards. Plus, you can sync the digitized versions of business cards with your contacts/address book. The free software even allows you to send a follow up email to the person directly from inside the app!
2. Store Business Cards in the Old Packaging
I use Moo.com to design my cards. I absolutely love the system. Although the cards are a bit on the expensive side especially when you add the shipping costs to the Netherlands, they are well worth the purchase and are definitely a talking point with all. Moo.com’s business cards usually come in a little box which you can keep and reuse. After digitizing my cards, I put them in the original business card packaging and on my shelf for safekeeping. Not only does the original business card box look neat, but now I don’t need to search high and low to find them.
Another good way to store business cards is to use business card holders designed specifically for that purpose. Or you can even get creative and make your own holders. Take a look at these lovely and useful business card holders available from Amazon for some inspiration:
3. Use That Info!
However, even before you think of storing the cards you need to make sure you capture the data. This can of course be done using the abovementioned ScanBizCards system. However, it’s important to add those people you would like to keep in touch with on your social platforms as well. Thus, I take the time to look at each card and I open my different social platforms in different tabs on my computer. Then I try to locate the person on each platform (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc.) before I put the card away for storage. I also tailor a short message to include when adding them on each social platform (if the platform permits initial messaging of course). In the message I usually outline where I met them and include a short greeting urging them to keep in contact).
4. Pin Them Up Scotty!
If you’re a star networker who likes the visual approach to things then pinning up business cards may be for you! Get a cork or felt board – something you can pin business cards onto and start pinning! Pin only the cards of people you really want to do business with or those you can see yourself working with. In this way the business card board acts as a sort of dream board – enabling you to target those contacts, learn from them and potentially work together with them. It’s a great way to make your contacts visual (especially if the cards have photos on them!).
5. Business Card String
Another efficient way to store business cards is to literally put them on a string or a stick. Punch holes in the corners of all your cards and put a string through them. Ensure you have some sort of weight at each end. This will make your cards are easily visible to you and it will allow you to easily flip through them when you need them in the future.
How do you store your business cards after a conference? What tips and tricks can you share with others? Tell us in the comments section below.