Last week I broke down my step-by-step tips for how to network and pitch while at conferences, events, and talks. No matter what line of business you’re in, there’s always people to pitch who can help your business or with whom you can create mutually beneficial partnerships. But let’s say you’re just back from a conference, or even better, about to go to one. After you’ve gotten the pitches right, and met all the right people, how can you best make sure you nail the follow-ups to your benefit?
Enter the cloud. There are a variety of cloud-based technologies that can help you manage the data you’re taking in during these events and help you sort it back out when you’re done. While you may have little more than a smartphone with you when you’re interacting with people at these events, using the cloud you can automatically sync everything that comes in with your desktop computer back home. Today I’m going to take a look at some of my favorite ways to use the cloud to make sure you capture all of the data from an event and turn that into an actionable plan for you to work from.
1. Put Business Cards in the Cloud
Every day you’ll be grabbing (and, hopefully, handing out) dozens of business cards from potential partners, potential clients, or even just people you’d like to see again. But by the time you’re back in your hotel at the end of the day, never mind by the time the conference is over, you will surely have forgotten why you took some of those business cards and all will be for naught.
If you’ve already standardized your personal note-taking on Evernote like I have then the best option would be to use Evernote Hello. Far more than just a place to capture business cards, Hello captures people, interactions, notes, meetings, and helps you build a rich history of when you’ve seen someone before and what you discussed. This way, when you run into someone at a conference, you’ll know exactly what you discussed the last time you saw them.
Business cards are a necessary evil. I hate asking for them at events because I really don’t want to be tasked with the responsibility of doing something with them later, but I feel like a dork if I don’t ask for a card from somebody who just asked for my card. So in my quest to completely get rid of business cards, I have found the Card Scanner Pro app for iPhone that provides quick and easy business card scanning to save directly to your phone’s address book. Read More
If you’re a heavy Twitter user and own an iPhone or Android device, chances are you meet enough people in the same boat that you could simply use the Hashable app to connect with people, trade contact information, and grow your network without having to hand out business cards like a robot.
After you’ve done your chit-chat/elevator pitch at an event, immediately following up via Twitter (“Hey, it was to good to meet up with @[Twitter handle] tonight at blankety-blank event”) a is the popular way to go. Sometimes finding a Twitter name, following them and/or sending out a tweet in the middle of a conversation can produce 50/50 results via your Twitter client of choice. Hashable looks to smooth out that process by letting you set up your profile ahead of time and trading information in just a couple of clicks. Hashable also includes several pre-defined hashtags (hence the name) that you can choose from to quickly send out a “guess who I just met” Tweet without all the fuss.
Once you’ve made the connection and added their contact information to your iOS or Android device, Hashable can help you grow your network by seeing who your friends are connecting with – There may also be a potential match there for you as well. If you feel that there’sa person in your network you think someone else should meet, you can “Send Intro Tweet” by picking the people you want to introduce, and adding a quick message. Bam! A Tweet will go out and @mention both parties. All this is done in the Hashable app without all the clutter or steps you would have to navigate through to handle the same task via your Twitter mobile client.
There is much more functionality in Hashable that I haven’t touched on, including a leader-board to see who is making the most connections, so you will have to download Hashable for the iPhone or Android and toss those business cards!
If you just love your business cards to death, you can add a QR Code to your business cards and make them interactive…but that’s another post for another day.
Every Friday we review a FREE mobile app that you can use right away to help you biz grow–we call it Happy Hour Friday). This week I want you to take a look at a FREE mobile app called BUMP! This app enables you to quickly and accurately exchange biz cards with people. The BUMP app can work on the iPhone, iTouch and on Android phones like the Motorola Backflip.
Here are the steps to making it work easy for you: 1. Install the FREE BUMP application on your mobile (both phones must have the app to exchange info)
2. When you are ready to exchange info, simply launch the app and then bump the 2 phones together
3. The app will accept the info and ask you to confirm that you want to receive it
4. The info will now appear in your contacts!
I’ve used BUMP quite a bit and love its ease of use! It’s the new way of quickly & accurately capturing contact info. However I do miss the good ‘ol days of whipping out the PalmPilot and exchanging contact info by a beaming infared light – that was so 90’s :-)
Here’s a short video of BUMP in action, take a peek:
BUMP has been downloaded by 80+ million people so it is has some significant penetration. Ask around, I bet some of your colleagues, peers, customers have the BUMP app on their phones. Why not get it on yours???