It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. You know? Get-It-Done Guy has six must-have tips to get you started on building your professional network.
#4 - Use business cards
Yes, business cards. We may live in the age of LinkedIn, but a business card makes an impression. If you’re an employee, you can just use your company’s standard business card format. But if you’re self-employed, consider spending the money to get something distinctive. People notice. Sometimes, they’ll even comment on how memorable your card is.
If the person you've met is someone you want to connect with, make it as easy for them as possible.
For a job interview, always have a physical business card. Never tell someone to “look you up online.” That puts the onus on them to stay in touch. If the person you've met is someone you want to connect with, make it as easy for them as possible.
#5 - Make your business card useful
A business card is something your new contacts will find again later that will remind them of you. If you can find a way to make your card useful, that gives them an excuse to keep it in front of them.
On the back of my card for Get-it-Done Groups (GDGs) there’s space to write your top 3 priorities. Two lines of instruction say “Write your top 3 priorities and keep this in front of you all day. Do what’s important, not just what’s in front of you.”
People comment on this all the time. Even if they don’t intend to use it, the conversation makes it—and me—more memorable.
#6 - Build memory hooks for them
You and I know that you won’t need their card to remember them by. They were fascinating. They had amazing things to say. You have a perfect memory.
But just in case you’re kidnapped by aliens who replace your memories with the script to your favorite episode of Game of Thrones ...
When someone gives you their card, jot down on the back what you had in common as well as something to help you remember them. Grab your phone and snap a picture of their card. That way, if you lose the card, you won’t lose contact.
Pro tip: Jot notes by hand, not on your smartphone. When you’re face-to-face, making a note on someone’s card is quick and easy. You can keep your attention on them and on your interaction.
Do these things and you’ll be off to a good start. You’re playing a new game—the game of relationships. Your network is your fortune, you have to built it, and now’s the time to start. Go to conferences and presentations to meet like-minded people. Ask for their contact information and give yourself memory hooks to help you remember them. Give them a memorable business cards to remember you by; don’t rely on their memory.
In part 2, we’ll dive directly into several other tactics you can use to start building your network.
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Work less, do more, and have a great life!