AskPat 810 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to AskPat, Episode 810. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. We have a great question today from Brian.
Before we get to that, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is awesome. It's actually a fan favorite here for those who have hired people. Because what ZipRecruiter does is it allows you to just post your job description once for the type of person you're looking for and it puts it out to over 100-plus job sites. It puts out that description. Really it's just all with a single click.
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Here's the call to action for you. All you have to do is go to ziprecruiter.com/pat. Guess what. You'll be able to post jobs for free. Again, that's ziprecruiter.com/pat. All right, now here's today's question from Brian.
Brian: Hey, Pat. This is Brian. I am starting a business, hopefully. Still working through some of the startup procedures, I guess. Not really quite sure where to go with some things.
I had a question about business cards. Do you have a business card? When you go to these conferences, do you bring business cards with you? Or should I skip the business cards and just have a memorable website so that people can remember and easily go to whenever they return to their computers?
Thanks so much for all your help. You're really great and I really appreciate all you do with both SPI and Ask Pat. Have a great day. Bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Brian. Thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate it. The first thing I want to mention to you, and this is for everybody who is just starting out, don't worry about your business cards. Your business cards don't matter until you have a business. I know you're in the starting phases. I don't want to sound harsh or anything like that, but truly your focus isn't where it should be. It should be on solving problems and figuring out how to provide those solutions to solve those problems. The business card can come later.
Now, I know where this is coming from. This is, okay, you're going to be at conferences. You're going to be meeting people. That's fantastic. That is one of the best ways to go out there and connect with people and build relationships that can help you and help you build these solutions that you're hoping to build to solve these problems.
Do business cards still get passed around at these things? Yeah, they do, really interestingly enough, but I don't print them anymore. I used to, but I don't anymore. What I would rather do, if I were you, Bryan, I would go to these conferences, meet and talk to as many people as you can. I wouldn't offer them a business card because mostly what happens is people bring this huge pile of business cards home and they just put them in a drawer somewhere or throw them away. They're going to bring home a ton of them.
Your goal is to take the opposite approach and say, “Hey, can I have your business card or can I take down your contact information,” if they don't have a business card. These are for people who you want to connect with and follow up with and that's exactly what you do. You follow up with them.
During those conversations, become memorable. You provide value in some way so that when you reach back out to these people, they're going to remember who you are. Most of the people who they collect business cards from are not going to reach out to them. They're going to expect people to reach back out to them for them. That's never the case. You need to be proactive and that's what I feel going to conferences and following up with people is great for, being memorable and just mastering that relationship-building process.
No, I don't think business cards are necessary, so don't feel left out when people start passing them around. You're not going to get left out. Start collecting them. Start collecting them from people who you want to follow up with and then go follow up with them after the conference. Remind them about why you're important, and what you can offer them, and how they might be able to help you as well.
Now, there is another form of a “business card” that has been used and that is a book. A lot of people have said in the past, and I sort of agree with this, and that is a book is just an oversized, more-expensive business card. I understand where they're coming from because people bring their books as a sign of they have this expertise, they've spent time to write a book. Not everybody has done that.
When you offer a book to somebody, it's something that they're likely not going to throw away. If they read it, they're going to get value from it. That's really where that comes from, the idea of a book as a business card, because it really is something that starts the conversation. It's something more than just a little piece of paper with a contact information on it.
Plus, when you consider how easy it is to connect with people nowadays, versus when actually people use business cards to find their phone numbers and stuff, it's so easy now because you can get somebody's Twitter handle or Instagram handle and connect with them that way in a direct message. It doesn't even have to be an email if you don't have their email address. Initially connect on the social media platform that you're comfortable with. If they're on there as well, for these people who you want to connect with and follow-up with, and that's where you start.
I was just saying things about a book because I have one right in front of me here that relates to all of this. There's actually a chapter where I talk about how you should stop worrying about the business card and build your business first.
It's really funny because in high school, for whatever reason, there was this fad for three or four months where people started printing their own business cards. We were all in high school. We would just put our names on it, a little bit of clip art. I think it's when people started getting access to the computer lab that somebody had this great idea to create their business card. Because he was a popular person, everybody else started doing it, too.
Of course, I followed suit because I was just this lame guy who followed the crowd back then. I had my own business card, too. Business for what, though? It was like we called it a business card, but none of us had a business. It just said our names, some of our talents. Mine said marching band and soccer player and tae kwon do or something, and my phone number and pager number. Who was I handing these out to? People who I already knew. Right? It just didn't make any sense.
Don't worry about your business card. Worry about building your business first. With the book-related thing, don't even worry about that right now. That can be for the future when you build a book or create a book. For now, just build these relationships. Go out there, go to conferences. I think it's great that you're doing that. One of the best ways to build your offline brand is to go online. Keep doing that and then follow up with people. That's going to be your golden ticket. Follow up.
All right, Brian. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Thank you for all of you who are listening. Brian, I want to send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you. Hey, every Friday on my Facebook page—this is brand new here in February, been doing it for a few weeks to test it out and now I'm ready to share it with you guys—AskPat Live happens every Friday 1:30 p.m., Pacific, so far. I don't know if it's going to go on indefinitely, but I've been doing it for a few weeks now and I'm enjoying it quite a bit, so I'm going to continue to do it.
AskPat Live is going to happen on my Facebook page. It's going to be streamed live. You can ask your questions. If you don't want to wait for a podcast episode to potentially answer your question, you can potentially get your question answered in these live sessions. Now, if you get your question featured there, you don't get a T-shirt, but it is a way for me to have more access to you. Just excited about that.
AskPat Live on my Facebook page, which you can go to at facebook.com/smartpassiveincome. It goes live every Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. for one hour. I do give away a T-shirt and a book or other things at the end of those shows, so I'll see you there. Again, that's facebook.com/smartpassiveincome, Friday at 1:30. I'll see you there at the end of this week.
I want to thank you, guys, so much. If you have a question that you want featured here on this show, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Finally, here is a quote from Lord Chesterfield. He says, “Patience is a most necessary quality for business. Many a man would rather you heard his story, than grant his request.”
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