I have been attending blogging conferences for a year now and I'm starting to feel like I've got the hang of it. At first, while really fun, the conferences were incredibly overwhelming to me. I mean, I'm a solid introvert with anxiety issues anyway so that's not a surprise. I knew that I needed to figure out some systems and things that worked for me so that I could continue to attend these types of events. I gotta say, I have learned A LOT of good stuff but my #1 blogging conference tip is…
BRING REALLY GOOD BUSINESS CARDS
Full stop, y'all. You can plan meetings, attend the best sessions, and wear the right clothes but if you're not passing out a great card that represents your brand… you're missing out on A LOT of opportunities. I can honestly say the 45% of the paid opportunities that I got last year were a product of me passing out my business cards at conferences.
This is not an exaggeration. Not only did I receive paid work from passing out my business card to brands and businesses at the conferences – I also got work from fellow attendees! See, bloggers are a very networked group and we talk to each other constantly. Often, if a blogger has to pass on an opportunity, they will pass along the name of someone that they can attend or is a better fit. And how do they do this? By going through their network of blogging friends.
I learned really quickly at my first conference to hand those cards out like they were candy. YOU GET A CARD AND YOU GET A CARD AND YOU GET A CARD. EVERYBODY GETS A CARD. I literally take 150-200 cards with me to each conference (yes, EACH CONFERENCE) and pass out most of them. I'm not joking. Every single person I talk to, even just for a moment while in a line or waiting outside a session, gets a card. If I so much as make long, awkward eye contact with you – Imma hand you a card.
And why do I do this? Because, after the conference is over, I take those cards that I get from other people and start friending them on Facebook like a madwoman. About half the people friend me back and we start a nice online relationship. In fact, I've developed some really amazing friendships from doing this… and, like I said – some of them recommend me for programs, press trips, or opportunities that they think will be a great fit for me. All this from a simple business card.
BRING A GREAT BUSINESS CARD
I also think it's really important to bring a great business card. In my opinion, the best business cards aren't necessarily the ones that have a huge logo or picture on them. In fact, I personally think that the ones that stand out that most are the simplest ones on really great paper. I used to buy business cards with my logo or picture on them and include lots of information -then I had them printed out on standard stock paper. And they would get shoved in a stack with everyone else's cards in the blink of an eye.
Lately, I've been using a MUCH simpler design (one that doesn't even use my logo or a picture at all) and the most basic of information. I've got my name, blog name, tagline, website URL, email, and basic social media handle. That's it. It all fits easily on the front of a single card. Then, I get the thickest and richest feeling paper I can to get them printed on. And those business cards? Get held in someone's hand a little longer… probably because they just feel better.
Here's the design I used – I found them on Minted and LOVE them. I chose a color that was most like the shade of blue that I use on this site (but didn't stress about an exact match). I had them printed on DoubleThick paper (sooooo nice, y'all!) and choose a striped background for the back of the card (I noticed that people like to make handwritten notes on that side). I handed out SO MANY and people constantly commented on how pretty they were and how nice the paperstock was.
So, to recap – git you some GREAT business cards and make it rain at your next blogging conference!