Ladies why you need business cards
I am fresh from one of Belgium's premier women's networking events, the JUMP Forum 2014. I ran a workshop on effective networking and building a personal brand, attended by probably about 30% of the conference delegates. As women came to see me after the session and I mingled throughout the day, one thing struck me like a hammer. A big one. Business cards. Or rather a lack of business cards.
80% of the women I spoke to didn't have either business cards or personal cards.
Something I always bash on about to anyone managing their career is that in todays uncertain times there are countless elements outside our control. So what we need to do is to take firm charge of the things that we can.
One of these is having business cards.
These were the reasons for their absence :
- Forgotten the cards - OK easily done, I have done it myself. The trick is to keep small numbers in most handbags or purses. A few times a year I make a point of slipping cards into all my handbags and purses, jacket pockets. I also keep a small number in my car. Only yesterday at an afternoon champagne tea I needed a card.
- Running out of cards at the event isn't necessarily bad thing. It would mean you are Little Ms. Super Networker. Unless there are extenuating circumstances running out of cards before arrival is just about organisation.
- Not issued corporate cards. This could be because you are too junior or not in an external facing corporate role and not eligible.
Even if your organisation won't provide corporate cards there are many online organisations that supply them for between €10-20 and have them mailed within days. You don't even have to leave your desk. It is the same price as a small pizza at the lower end of the scale and a movie ticket with popcorn at the other end. Choose 250-300 gr high quality card, with one colour printing and include all your main contact details.
If you don't know what title to put on your card - use your U.S.P.
If you don't have a USP check out the 3Plus coaching programmes.
It's clear than the trend towards not using business cards is increasing, but in large events where keying in names and data into phones or tablets is frequently challenging or even impossible because of the crowds. So although business card usage is declining there are times when it is vital, especially in a major networking event.
So PLEASE invest in yourself and buy yourself 100 business cards!
Ladies, you have to take care of your own careers. Why.......??? Because no one else will!
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