At Masterly, we see you as the superhero, and we make it our mission to be your sidekick as you aim to grow your business idea from a concept into one superhuman force that can be reckoned with.
One of the most significant benefits to your business is your network. As the saying goes, it’s all about who you know, and knowing the right people can help you develop and grow your business. But what if you don’t know the right people? You’ll need to expand your network, and it’s helpful to have a few tools of the trade. Here’s how to develop collateral for your next networking event.
Networking with Business Cards
While digital promotions such as LinkedIn profiles are essential, there’s nothing quite like a physical card to give someone. It’s a tangible reminder to the person to look you up later. However, it should be appropriately applied. Here are some guidelines for the use of business cards:
1. Make them unique
Don’t rely upon VistaPrint or other mass-design services to produce a generic card. It’s worth it to hire a professional designer to create a custom card that matches your brand.
2. Think outside the box
Business cards don’t need to list all your contact details. That’s a waste of space for information that people can find online. Instead, use the card to forge a connection with the reader. Add a value statement.
3. Help people remember you
Ever found a business card in your bag but couldn’t remember the person at all? You can bet that’s happened with people to whom you gave your card. Add a brief description of what you do, rather than simply listing your name on the card. Some people get a bit tongue-in-cheek, printing statements such as “I’m that tall writer you met at the [event],” on their business card.
If you’re promoting a particular event, venue, service, or campaign, it is worth it to have something tangible you can give to interested people. Handbills are small printed documents that pitch what you’re selling. They include flyers, brochures, and oversized cards.
Brochures tend to be large and contain a lot of copy, so for networking events, you may want to use small flyers and oversized cards. These formats still give you plenty of space to pitch your offering to the reader, but they’re not cumbersome or lengthy to read.
Your Elevator Speech
Your elevator speech isn’t a physical item, but it’s just as important. When meeting a new person, you have only a few seconds to make a good impression. Have a short, prepared statement about what you do and why. The best elevator speeches include a bit of your business’ value proposition and explain why you’re passionate about your business. Follow this template, and try to keep it under 30 seconds:
- What You Do for Your Business
- What Your Business Does
- Why You Do It
If you’re at a loss for words, hire a professional copywriter to assist you.
Having your personal business toolkit of networking collateral will help you attend your next event with confidence. When you meet someone, start with the elevator speech, offer the handbill at some point during the conversation, and don’t let them leave without handing over your business card. And be sure to reciprocate by listening to your conversation partner’s speech and taking their card as well! This three-step approach will help you network effectively.
So suit up, business owners talk next time! Your Masterly Team