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Why Networking is a waste of time

I rarely see networking work really well.

It’s true, the majority of business owners I speak to either
network sporadically (“pitch and run”) or they spend a lot
of time networking…  and …

drumroll

They rarely get many clients through their networking
efforts.

I see you investing your time and effort into networking
that doesn’t result in new clients and worse yet, it results
in you losing faith that networking can work for you.

Networking doesn’t work unless you follow certain basic
principles of enrollment:

  1. Go to networking events regularly with organizations that
    have repeat visitors and a community
  2. Then concentrate on creating relationships first, enrolling second
  3. Have a compelling “elevator pitch” that leaves the people in
    your tribe (your target audience) wanting more
  4. Have a unique business card with a call to action on it (see below)
  5. Most importantly: follow up and schedule a “get to know you”
    session with potential clients. (Don’t wait for them to
    follow up with you, they usually won’t, not because they’re
    not interested, but because they are waiting for YOU to take
    the lead.)

A question for you: Is your business card getting tossed
within 24 hours?

A business card specifically created for networking can be
an incredible tool to build your credibility, help you stand
out and also build an audience of people who are actually
looking for the results your service offers.

Here’s how to take a plain, boring business card and turn it
into a client generating machine.

Front of the Card ideas

  1. Put a picture on the front of your card that showcases your
    personality.  This is so people you meet remember you better.
  2. Write on the front of the business card:  “I gave you this
    card because I enjoyed meeting you.  I’d love to see you
    again, so look for me.”  This line along with the picture
    will cement you in their memory and it also invites them to
    seek you out at the next event.
  3. Include a phone # or an email address (one or the other).
    You want to encourage people to use the mode of
    communication that you respond faster to.

Back of the Card ideas

  1. You want to include a “call to action”, so that when the
    person you gave the card to goes home and looks at your card
    again, they actually do something with the card instead of
    just filing it somewhere or throwing it out.
  2. I recommend that you include a link to a web page offering a
    high quality free gift like an ebook or audio from you.
  3. Nothing else should be placed on the back of the card, other
    than the URL where they should go for that action, and a
    short description of the benefits.

Here’s an example of the Back of a Business Card (using me
as an example)

“If you are coach, healer or small business owner who really
wants to make a difference with your service but you feel
disconnected, disempowered and you’re not sure of the best
ways to market yourself…

My free video training will help you find all the clients
you need in your own backyard.”

Then you put the URL of your free gift

Here are the benefits of having a card like this:

  • You get to stand out in a sea of networkers
  • You are inviting people who have met you once to come
    seek you out
  • You are developing relationships quicker
  • You are establishing yourself as an expert
  • You get to build your list when people you meet opt-in to
    your call to action.  And only the people who want what you
    have will opt-in and get on your email list.
  • You get to finally make networking work for you

Take a look at the examples below for some great cards that I
really love – and I’ve got some great free resources for you
there too.

Let me know what you think.

Once you’ve got a card that works for you, it’s time to
start learning how to work the room.  Those are some
advanced networking moves.

But that’s later… Stay tuned, my friend.  Stay tuned..

Warmly,
~Bill

 

Business Card Examples

Here are two business cards that are outstanding examples of how to successfully engage your tribe and build your list!

PS if you’re curious about what emails you should send people after they sign up for your list, you can try signing up for the free gifts offered below and see what message your receive.
BUSINESS CARD #1

Front

Morgana-card-front


Back, with Free Gift Offer

Morgana card back

 

BUSINESS CARD #2

Front

Tadd-card-front
Back, with Free Gift Offer

Todd card back

 

Some great resources for Business Cards

Here are three great sites for getting free and low-cost business cards:

Moo.com (//us.moo.com/)

VistaPrint.com (//www.vistaprint.com)

Canva.com (https://www.canva.com/create/business-cards)

And here’s a great blog post with 15 great resources for designing a business card;

//ibrandstudio.com/inspiration/15-best-resources-in-designing-a-perfect-business-card

 

 

Comments

  1. Adonia says:

    Thanks Bill,

    I enjoyed being introduced to you through Cristine Kloser’s 2015 Transformational Authors Experience. Your Networking tips and business card resources are priceless and very helpful information. Thanks for sharing

  2. Hi Bill … Fantastic tips and a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious)

    Without adding any opinions, I’ll test and measure your suggestions … Have always found they work best and then get back

    Many thanks for the ideas and your time for sharing them,

    Gary …

  3. At first, Bill, I thought to myself, “here’s a rebel going to mess with my paradigm.” When I saw that you touched on one of my favorite subjects, the unique business card, I instantly saw what was missing in my experience. Too often when I’ve made business cards for people, I’ve focused just on one to meet all applications rather than having a card exclusively for networking. Excellent idea! I remember in one of Gitomer’s Boot Camps he covers the unique business card that goes beyond the dimensions of the standard 2×3 inch template. Like he said, if one unique card cost you $100 and it got you into a presentation where the sale resulted in five or six figures commission, would it be worth it? Thanks for your article.

    • Bill Baren says:

      I hope you get on of these cards for yourself, Gilbert. Share it here if you can. ~Bill

  4. John Prusa says:

    Bill,
    I was totally turned off by your subject line. You had the audacity to tell me that what I’ve been doing for 60+ years is a waste of time. How wrong you are.

    I went even further and read your dribble to see why you would make such a statement. Then I discovered you problem, you were measuring results. You were looking for clients when “in my opinion” you should not have.

    Networking is about serving people, connecting them to resources & people in your network. When you show them you care about them, they will come to you or refer business to you.

    It’s all about helping (serving) others and not yourself.

    John Prusa
    Promotional Fool

  5. Sanja Cooklin says:

    Great post and ideas! However, these 2 examples I find to be cheesy, and I would have absolutely thrown both of them away.

    • Bill Baren says:

      Thanks for the kind words… As far as these cards, you will throw away cards from business that do not provide value to you. ~Bill

  6. Hey Bill!

    Thanks for this awesome post. I am just getting ready to order new business cards and am so glad that I read this post prior to order!

  7. Greg Wilson says:

    I like the idea of a unique business card with a call to action. Thank you for the ideas. It helps a lot. I especially love the two examples. I was just getting ready to make up some new business cards and this idea helps me greatly in design ideas. Thanks Bill!

  8. If my free offer is going to be a chapter in my upcoming book, should I put a picture of the book on the back & myself on the front?

  9. Hi Bill!

    Love your site and the resources you’re sharing! 🙂

    I have had a lot of success with networking by using the steps you’ve outlined. By success I mean I’ve grown a large network, and I’ve developed a very positive reputation within it.

    One thing that helps me a lot at networking events is to always ask myself, “how can I serve this person”? Find out how I can help them be successful in whatever it is they’re up to. Sometimes they need some referrals. Sometimes they need some resources. And sometimes, they even need my services!

    I’ve also found it helpful to go in with the awareness that someone may be ready to hire you NOW. Those clients do actually exist at networking groups… so be ready for them! 🙂

    And to be honest, where I break down most is in follow up. I’ve seen that I’ve had a great result in my business by doing follow ups, but what weighs on me the most is the “no’s” and “not now’s”. So feel a little defeated by the process.

    Here’s the thing: I LOOOOOOOVE coaching with all my heart. I’d even say that I was born to coach and to inspire. It’s my biggest gift to the world. However, I’m blocked by money no’s all the time. What can I do to “convert” more? (I’ve signed up for your upcoming webinar)

    One guess is I’m not clear on my niche — I’ve done work with Callan Rush (whom I love! 🙂 ), but I often fail to get clear on my specific audience.

    Any ideas?/Advice? (more in the how-to’s vs. being )

    • Dave, if it’s not the card you gave someone at the beginning of your first meeting that draws them to you and your services, maybe it’s the card you sent a week or month later saying, “thank you for our meeting,” or “it was great to serve you as I had done,” or “here’s a simple suggestion to help you with your business endeavors…” Often, our follow up emails are lost in SPAM. Our telephone messages go unanswered; or worse yet, the voicemails are cut off. Form letters are spammy at best. But, a heartfelt card featuring something about that person you’re following up with and containing your words can go a long way to provoking a response and possibly creating more business for you.

  10. Bill this is great!

    Thank you for the excellent (and timely) tutorial on networking and creating a business card that stands out! I had been unhappy with my current one and am now more equipped to create a new & more exciting one!

    Thank you. Thank you!

  11. Hi Bill,

    Thank you for your post.

    I have to make some new cards for an upcoming event and I hadn’t thought about putting a picture of myself on the front doing something memorable. I really like that idea!

    In the past I used my QR code which led people to a URL for a free download. I found that to be quite effective as people would just be curious about what was hidden inside the code. I may do that again and provide the URL for those who don’t like QR codes. (They’ve gotten better and easier to use over time.)

    I do disagree with you on one point. You suggest adding this to the front of the card, “I gave you this
    card because I enjoyed meeting you. I’d love to see you again, so look for me.”

    I see that statement as being ‘canned’ and disingenuous. Giving that statement out to everyone at an event seems less personal even though the statement is personal. I might handwrite on the card, “I enjoyed meeting you” if indeed I did enjoy meeting the individual but I wouldn’t put that on every card. Sometimes people take cards without me ever meeting them.

    Of course it is whatever works for you.

    Thank you again for your great suggestions!

    Best,

    Janine

    • Bill Baren says:

      Hi Janine,

      I have only given out cards to people I have liked, resonated with and want to have a connection to. And my suggestion for the text is just a guideline and not text to be copied in its entirety (some people have of course).

      Love the dialogue…

      Bill

      • donc il n’y a pas d’absolu (tion) entre laugh (vivre en attendant la mort) et slaughter. Pfff, faut depasser ce dilemme (sans bravado quand meme. Tout le monde n’est pas ne pour etre un torero. Ce qe D. et Traube devraient avouer. Car ce blog n’est pas une vraie arene. On s&sleuo;ensabrq, bien souvent.

    • Janine’s perspective is a helpful mention to offer a personalized touch – “the effect with a handwritten comment” is perfect.

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