As I mentioned last week in my post, I am headed to a blogging conference next month. I’ll admit, I’m reluctant to go as I’ve never been great at meeting people for the first time. Although I come off as a pretty outgoing person, at first, I am shy and down right terrified. Perhaps it’s the people pleaser in me that is wondering what the person I am meeting truly thinks about me. Underneath my fear, is a heart that LOVES to meet new people and hear their stories. I love making new friends and to that end, next month I will be a big girl and go make friends at a new school.
When attending an event like this, it’s wise to bring business cards to leave with your new friends so they can get in touch with you after the conference. Gone are the days I’m given business cards by my employer who simply adds my name and title to their template. In this arena, the more creative the better – in order to make the best first impression. Since I have more than one blog (visit the other here), I felt at a loss for how to represent myself at the conference.
Just when I started thinking it through, I discovered I had won a giveaway from Jenny @ The Southern Institute and Moo.com. I had already been considering using Moo to print my cards because I love their fun and fresh designs. I chose a design that allows you to have multiple back sides which was perfect for the different messages I carry. I couldn’t be more happy with my cards as I think they represent my heart and my ministry well. For those of you that have blogs or small businesses of your own, I wanted to share this little part of my experience and what I’ve come to believe are the most important things to consider when introducing yourself. This post is a bit of a departure for our space but our community is pretty diverse so I believe the tips below will help many of you. As a thank you to Moo and Jenny I am sharing the great cards I was able to make, thanks to them!
5 Things to Consider When Introducing Yourself in a Professional Setting
1. Don’t overdo it. Keep it simple and understated. Trying too hard is a big turn off. That is one reason I love these simple cards.
2. Consider including a photo on your print materials. When meeting lots of people, a visual is always helpful. But I was not comfortable putting my mug on the cards for fear it would come off arrogant. Putting a picture of me and my sweet kids seemed like the perfect balance in this setting.
3. Less is more when it comes to information. I thought about including my Pinterest or Linkedin accounts on the card but it was just too much. If that information is well displayed on your website, it’s not necessary on every piece you give out.
4. It must be more about relationship and connection than it is about marketing and branding. I spent 13 years in marketing and we marketed the heck out of everything. But now, it’s so much more about connecting and building a relationship with those you meet than impressing them to the point of action. Whatever it takes to engage, do it.
5. Be yourself. Don’t do something because you think it will get results. It’s OK to be stretched (ahem, I’m going to the conference, aren’t I?) but don’t sell yourself out for the sake of attention. Period.
Whether you have a blog, desire to be a writer, have an Etsy store or hope to build a home-based business, I hope these tips are helpful. Be sure to follow along here and here and @graceformoms on Twitter between October 11-13 as I share the amazing tips and information I receive at the Influence Conference.
P.S. Aren’t my cards cute? They come with 6 different backs which I am using to share quotes from the book and our mission statements.