Tips for following up with contacts after a meeting or conference

I was at the BlogHer ’08 conference this past weekend and did a lot of networking and now have a pile of business cards that I have to follow up with.  Although it can be a a lot of work, following up with your new contacts ASAP is an important process of building an effective network.

Here are some tips for managing your business cards and ensure that you network more effectively:

1. Write notes about your conversation on the back of the card and any specific action items at the time of the conversation.

2. When you get home, use a business card scanner to scan the business cards into your computer. As you scan your contacts into the Contact application of your choice, make sure you type in the notes that you took on the business card.  This information can be used later to remind you the where you met the person and nature of your conversation.

3. Write a follow up emails. I write a “Nice to Meet You” note to EVERYONE I meet and include the following information in every note:

  1. Introduce myself and include a link to my bio page, which also includes a photo of me. This allows people to remember who I am and give them more information about my background (information I would not necessarily go into at our initial meeting).
  2. Specify where we met and recap our conversation.
  3. Include any action items that I promised that I would execute at the time of our conversation (Article link, Referral Contact, Attachment with more information, etc).
  4. Include a signature with your business URL and your contact information.

Each time you return from a meeting or a conference the first item on your agenda should be to record and organize the new contact information you’ve gathered as it is still fresh in everybody’s mind.

Take charge of your networking and foster your communication with everyone that you connect with and you will build a great list of contacts to tap in to when you are in need.



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