Networking Beyond Business Cards

“So, what do you do?” It’s the world’s most dreaded question. Few people like to answer it, but everyone asks it. When it is asked you expect some boring answer or pre-recorded pitch. Nobody really listens.

If you like answering it, then you’re either 1. doing what you love or 2. doing what everyone else would love to do even though you don’t like it. If you don’t like answering it, then you probably either 1. hate what you do and don’t know how you ended up there (i.e. underemployed) 2. love what you do, but don’t think other people value it, or 3. are in transition looking for your next move (i.e. unemployed).

Here’s what I recommend…

Don’t answer the question!

It’s a trap. If you answer the question, then everyone at the networking event will know you for what you are today rather than who you want to be. By the end of the night, each person you meet and everyone they introduce you to will know you as John the Banker. Most people go to networking events to meet people who can help them get somewhere (else) because where they currently are is boring. Therefore, you should tell people about that “somewhere else” rather than where you are.

As long as it’s not a business networking event to increase your sales, don’t hand out your current business card because that just solidifies who you are in the mind of the people you meet. Instead of telling them what you do and what you are, tell them what you what you want to do and who you want to be. That’s probably way more interested. You will be surprised at how many people start to open up once you take the first step—like you, more people than you think have side projects going on that they are more passionate about than their job and they would rather talk about them.

Their interest in what you want to do and your interest in what they want to do will open up the conversation. Now the real networking begins. After their interest is peaked and they ask you how far along you are, then you can tell them about your day job. Once they know where you are (Point A) and where you want to go (Point B), they can help you fill in the gap and the real networking begins. The word net-working suggest weaving a net together string-by-string. Business cards don’t do that but figuring out how you can help one another beyond this event does.

So the next time you go to a networking event, leave you business cards at home and start every conversation with “So, what do you WANT to do?

Networking, Personal Branding

How Business Cards Get People To Click With You

Questions  #1: How big is the stack of business cards of people you’ve met but never followed up with at your home or office? I’m sure you had a great conversation, but why didn’t you reach out again?

Question #2: How many stacks of business cards is your business card sitting in? Probably tons!

Your business card is a reflection of your personal brand. It’s an advertisement just like the ones you see on Google. But the beautiful thing about business cards is that the person gets to experience you before they receive the card. Their experience of you is what gets them to call, email, or buy.

When you’re networking, what kind of impression do you leave on people?

Do they think of you as someone who is valuable that they should keep around?

Is your 30 second pitch clear enough that a person you told 30 minutes ago will be able to explain your value to someone they want to introduce you to?

Just like money, business cards are simply pieces of paper, but they can become currency if you get or give it to the right person. In other words, having Oprah’s business card with her direct number and email is probably a lot more valuable to you than having any other person’s business card.

Buy how valuable is your business card?







Successful networking is not about how many business cards you give out or receive just like Google Adwords isn’t about how page views you get. Success is measured by how many clicks you get or how many people click with you!

Dream awake!

Jullien Gordon

2. Attract Your DREAM Career, Networking, Personal Branding

Business Cards

Business Card Content
Full Name: Empty
Job Title: PurposeFinder (<==Your Superhero Name) Address Line 1: bio, resume, & more at: Address Line 2: Phone: (646) 875-8477 Fax: Empty Email:

1. Create Your DREAM Life, Networking

30 Second Pitch

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