To ensure you can keep in touch with contacts, and reach for full social butterfly potential I've a few tips for you.
IDEA 1: File your Business Cards
EVERYONE receives a business card at one point or another. If you haven't either your a wall flower, never leave the house, or may need a breath mint; but networking etiquette and tips on where to meet professionals is a completely different post.
When you get home after receiving someones business card. Make a note to yourself where you met the person, what you have in common, and anything else that was memorable about them. By making notes to yourself you ensure that in a month or year after you have forgot the good times you had talking to that person, that you can easily call them up and have something to remind them about your conversation. You should NEVER get rid of a business card, unless you truly don't like that person. Even then its nice to keep so that you can write notes on it.
Quick Break Down of idea 1
- Take notes, and save them with your business cards (or write on the back of them)
- Never throw away a good contact (or bad if you want to be able to remember them)
- Store them with a Rolodex or card scanner
Within a week or two of meeting someone you should always say a quick hello if you enjoyed meeting them. I admit I don't always remember or have time to do this, but its always a nice gesture. It's best not to call unless you have a reason, like setting up a meeting. Simply send a quick email thanking them for their conversation and maybe mentioning something you guys talked about.
Completely Fictional Example:
It was great meeting you the other day at the AdFed Student Advertising Summit. I really enjoyed learning about all of your exciting projects and that you also love snow boarding. If you get a chance it would be nice to get the link for that blog we were talking about. Anyway keep in touch, I'm sure we will be seeing a lot of each other now that your a member of Ad Fed. Feel free to give me a call if you need any help with a web design project.
Desarae A. Veit
IDEA 3: The NETWORKING BINDER
From the Minneapolis store of Russell Hazel comes the "Networking Binder."
Who knows someone in Boston or Barcelona? Who has an in at that hot new company? Who can help get me an interview—and help me avoid saying something stupid once I get it? That's where your Networking Binder comes in. With sections for employment, school, and more, it's an indispensable resource for accessing the knowledge and connections that can make things happen for you. Meet 'em, talk 'em up, and file 'em away for the future. Keep in touch and the right opportunity is bound to come your way.
Put It Together
1. Create a section in your Mini Binder each facet of your network, then make lists of all the people, past and present, who may be valuable to know. Here's a place to start:
Employment: co-workers, bosses, clients, vendors
Education: instructors, classmates, counselors, department heads
Clubs: fellow members, teammates, coaches, mentors
Miscellaneous:friends of friends, friends' parents, family friends, co-volunteers
2. Separate each section with a labeled Index Divider and a Paper Pocket. Use the Paper Pocket to hold all the materials collected as you network: business cards, meeting notes, company background, member lists, etc.
3. Write up your lists of contacts. In addition to basic contact information, try to note when and where you met them, their position, personal interests you might share or anything else that can help rekindle your association later on. Three-hole punch your lists and snap them in by section.
4. Update and add contacts as you go. Remember—you never know who you might be a great future contact.