There I was, the barely 20-something-year-old walking into a room of blogging and digital marketing royalty. I sat at a table of people who had “been there done that” and chatted with women that probably didn’t even know some people had “hobby sites” because “boss business woman” was proverbially written on each and every one of their foreheads.
And the brands I met? They weren’t interested in me at the time.
I was small potatoes.
At the time, I was so young and clueless that as I collected all their business cards I just shoved them in my pocket, forgot about them, and only hand-picked a few of them to keep just because I admired them. I am pretty sure one of them got stuck between our sliding doors once because my toddler started playing with them… and it stayed there until we moved out of the house.
I didn’t have a business card organization solution and it was costing me money.
No, really. It was.
Instead of really solidifying relationships that mattered and reaching out to brands once I got bigger that fit my audience (that I had met in real life) I was just winging it.
But that was about 5 years ago. Now I have a solution and it has landed me real paying jobs, helped me pitch brands to get the contract that matters, and allowed me to genuinely network and connect with others in the same niche publishing market as I am.
How to organize business cards in a meaningful way
There are really some great digitizing solutions when it comes to storing business cards and I even digitize my kids’ creations.
But the historian in me needs the paper card, the actual document handed to me at an event. And there are multiple reasons for this. As I have become better friends with people over the last decade or so, it’s fun to look back at these relics. But also, it means that if I keep the card AND digitize it, I am less likely to lose it.
Business card solutions bullet journal style
What I do is take all of the business cards I have and put them in one of those notebooks I will inevitably come home with from a conference. Using washi tape I can quickly and easily take out a card to look at it, get the information I need, and put it back.
- This means I am not writing on the business cards
- It allows me to record important notes, conversations, and memories like buying tampons for a woman I hadn’t met before. (Plus if I see them at multiple venues, the list can continue)
- The power of written word helps me remember people better.
- PR agencies don’t typically highlight the companies they are repping on the business card. SO sometimes before I was left with a card and I didn’t know what company it was for at all.
How to master pitch emails and thank you letters after conferences
Now that you have compiled the ultimate business card journal, you’re set to have a great record of business cards to help you pitch for years to come. But what’s most crucial is establishing the relationship now.
While I don’t always get around to it, I try to use Boomerang for Gmail to compose emails each night after I receive someone’s card. It makes it more personal, it allows me to remember more, and it gets it on their desk say in 4 days on the Monday morning after they return from the trip. And it makes it look like you’re on your A-game.
Because I can write the email, set the timer, and forget about it until I need to reply.