It never fails; as blog and social media conferences inch closer on our calendars, people start to panic a bit. They want to make sure they have everything they need to ensure the experience is all that it can be.
One of the things I read most about on Twitter and Facebook is the need for business cards. There are a flurry of questions:
How many business cards do I need?
What do I need to put on them; contact info, blog name, logo?
How do I carry them or organize them?
This post is going to help answer some of those questions and answer some helpful tips when it comes to business cards at blogging conferences.
How Many Business Cards Do I Order?
There is no wrong or right answer here; it really depends on the size of the conference you are going to. You won’t be giving your cards out to EVERYONE you meet, so it’s not essential to have the same amount of business cards as there are attendees. With that said, especially if you are attending the many parties held at conferences, you want to make sure you have a decent amount. You’ll be chatting with people in various settings and the ole’ “Want to exchange business cards?” line will work its way into conversations. In most cases though, 250-500 business cards should suffice. Don’t panic if you don’t have enough or run out. Just make sure to bring something extra, such as stock paper or note cards to jot down your 411 to pass out. It happens! (And if you order too many or don’t use all of yours up, that just means you are all set for the next blog conference!)
What do I put on my business cards?
Again, there is no right or wrong answer here (detecting a theme of personal preference in this post?). At a minimum, you want to include your blog name and a way for people to contact you. If you don’t feel comfortable listing your phone number or address, put your email address or at the very least, your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. Some may think that blogging business cards aren’t truly a “business card” but that’s the wrong attitude to have! You are not only marketing your blog, but also marketing yourself. Even if you don’t intend to use your blog as a business, your card can encourage people to check out your blog and become your newest reader. So make sure your business card reflects you, your personality, and the theme of your blog.
Below are the examples of the business cards I made for Blissdom 2010. I included my logo on the front, used the same color scheme as my blog, and included a backside as well. One thing I suggest doing is adding a picture of yourself somewhere on the card, even if it’s small and off to the side. Ever gone house-hunting before and felt that after seeing a handful of houses, they all started to blur together? You will feel that way after meeting tons of bloggers also. Having a picture helps you remember who that person was and what your conversation was about. That’s also why I suggest including your Twitter name; many of us actually know each other by our Twitter names instead of our actual names!
(Front and Back of the card shown)
How do you organize or keep track of all the cards you receive?
Before I left for Blissdom, I created a binder with pages for notes, all of my travel details, and a few pockets for business cards. I labeled the pockets “Follow Up With,” “Blogs I Already Read,” and “Blogs I Need to Check Out.” In addition, I had a pocket for companies I networked with. During the conference hours, I tried my best to put the business cards in the appropriate pockets. Because the conference was a couple of days long and my binder wasn’t huge, I took the business cards out each night and put them into sandwich baggies with the same labels on them. This allowed me to keep them organized, but freed up the pockets to get more business cards the following day. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a fancy organizer, which is why the baggies worked perfectly.
Everyone has their own way of organizing themselves and the business cards, but this method worked really well for me!
As far as organizing your business cards to pass out, I just brought a bunch in some business card holders in my binder/bag and refilled them during the breaks or at night for the following day. Another cute idea I saw is to punch a hole in the corner of the cards and hang them on a plain keyring. Then you can just take one off and pass it around. Get creative to help yourself feel organized!
What special things can I do to make my business cards stand out?
I didn’t add any “frills” to my business cards, but there were plenty of others who did. There were business cards with candy attached or embellished with stickers. Then there were the crafty bloggers that created handmade treasures to display their business information. There was even one who made a luggage tag out of her business card. The creativity is endless! Especially if creativity reflects you and your blog, feel free to go with it and incorporate unique aspects into your business cards. It’s a great way for people to remember you!
For other tips on business cards and networking at blogging conferences in general, check out the posts in the networking and experiences categories. Also, if you’ve written a post about business cards, networking, or just have some tips, I’d love for you to share the link or tips here! The more information that’s out there, the more comfortable and confident we all feel.
Want a discount on business cards?
I’ll be posting a discount code in the sidebar soon!
*Post originally posted in July 2010