the two secrets to an effective business card

Here are my thoughts on getting a business card that works.

There are two things I think are vital for a business card.

First, have your personal photo on it, a current, awesome photo. People get so many cards and they really won’t remember who it is from, but if there is a photo of you, they can say, “Oh, yes, it is that person.” It helps more than you think.



Second, use the back of the card (which is usually blank) not to set up an appointment, but to give them a pink spoon. Give them some free offer. Mine basically is like, “Hey, are you a conscientious entrepreneur who is struggling to get enough clients? Well, go to my Web site and there is a ton of free stuff.” At the bottom, there is a line with my website, Use the card as a way to direct them to some pink spoons, nothing too heavy, and they can check you out at their own pace.

Can the pink spoon be a small discount of your service? It can, but I think that is less pink spoonish. Ideally, it is something online: audio, video, written, a quiz and/or e-mail series. It is something from which they can check you out from a distance without having to book anything. No risk for them and no effort for you. That’s ideal.

It depends on the vibe. You might have a great vibe and just decide to go for the next level. I don’t know; a small discount on a service, to me, does not give me a taste. It is not a pink spoon at that point. It is just a discount.

For more thoughts on designing pink spoons you can check out this.

For more brilliant thoughts on what to put on your business card (and networking in general) go read these thoughts from my colleague Bill Baren.

four secrets to have networking turn into clients

(the following is a transcript excerpt from my six week Marketing 101 for Holistic Practitioners course. During the call, I am reading their comments in our private facebook group.).

I have some thoughts on networking including business cards and stuff.

For networking, you are basically going to events to connect with other folks who are in your industry or are hubs for you.

How do we do this?

First of all, I am more introverted than most people, I think. I can go to these events and I can do it and I can be a little exhausted afterwards depending on the event. There are a few things I want to suggest.

Networking Tip #1: First, go with somebody else; go with a friend. A friend will be able to talk you up in a way that you cannot talk up yourself. You can rave about your friend in ways which they cannot. If you go with each other, you can network for each other and it is a really fun way to do it.

Networking Tip #2: Network for Hubs. The second thing is one I got from Bill Baren, a brilliant guy. His thing was, “Don’t go networking for clients. Go networking for hubs.” I think this is one of the most brilliant thoughts I have ever heard on it. Don’t go networking for clients; go networking for hubs.

When you think about events, you are going to get strategic about networking. Do not go to the events where you will find a bunch of your clients. You want to be where there are people who are connected to lots of your clients and build connections with them.

Especially when we are talking about networking in person, you do not need to get anything from them. Just have a little bit of face time and build a personal connection. This does a ton in terms of the follow-up.

Just like with Phoenix Rudner, this realtor who focused on pet owners, when you think about all of those hubs, instead of thinking about just where the pet owners hang out, he could think, “Where do all these hubs hang out? Where do all these hubs get together in one place where I could just go to one event and meet a bunch of folks? It would be much easier.”

Networking Tip #3: Get their card. Third, do not just give your card to them, but get theirs, as well. I see this all the time with networking. People go to networking events and they run around giving out 100 business cards. It feels like they are accomplishing something, but I would say it is a false feeling of accomplishment. Of course, most of those people are going to get home and have no idea who gave them the 20 cards they got that night. They just throw them out because they cannot remember who the cards are from.

I just got a business card a while ago (pictured here – front and back). I want to suggest that business cards are not necessarily that useful. I do have some thoughts on how to use them and how to make them effective, but for years, for most of my career, I did not have a card. People would say, “Well, do you have a card?”

I would say, “No, do you have one?” and they would give me their card. I would make a note on it of something to send them: a pink spoon, a blog post, a video. It would be something useful for them that would start the relationship off with giving something generous.

Lorraine just introduced the new verb: ‘pink spooning’; nicely done. This is great.

I would get their card and I would leave the night with maybe ten cards. I want you to get that leaving with ten of their cards that you can follow up with is a lot more powerful than giving out 100 business cards. People do this. They go and they give out cards to everybody as if to say, “Hey, here’s my card. Could you throw this out for me?” That is what will happen.

Joseph has one on networking: “Do one-on-one networking. Have lunch and coffee with people you already know.” You are so ahead of the game. “Just make your intention clear. I would love to catch you up on what I have just decided to do with my business,” or, “I could really use some advice about such-and-such;” “I want to do some marketing and I want to talk to you about introducing me to your such-and-such.”

Yes, sometimes if I am going to meet with somebody, I will just say, “Hey, we should go for coffee. It seems that there might be a fit here of ways we could support each other. I’m not sure what it is, but let’s grab a quick, 30-minute coffee some time.”

Then you can have the one-on-one more intimate conversation which, I agree, is much better for introverts.

The thing is, if you go to an event where there are lots of people, if I think it is a significant hub or significant connection, and then I set up the one-on-one networking thing after that. You are already at events; you are already at parties or gatherings, probably. If you are going to do it, do it well.

Networking Tip #4: Get a business card that works. To find out how to do that, read this post here.

jewelry marketing genius

A few months back, when I was in Toronto, I met a woman named Jane Dallin (pictured right) who sold jewelry.

The more we spoke the more impressed I was with her marketing street smarts and hustle. Somehow, it came out, she’d managed to get the hosts of MTV’s shows to be wearing her stuff. Say what?

She also clearly had a very solid intuitive understanding of niche marketing based of the separate lines of jewelry that she sold.

I asked her some questions and she gave me some answers. And here it is.

company name?

SOOS Rocks


what do you sell?

We sell hand-made designer fashion jewelry for men & women.  Using stainless steel, vintage brasses, found objects, and semi-precious stones we create necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more.

SOOS Rocks has 3 main collections:  House of Rock which is our unisex line that is geared towards men & women that are looking for slightly edgier pieces that are inspired by rock music, urban culture, and individuality.

Our Duchess collection is more girly and frivolous and is inspired by childhood keepsakes, and antiquities, and lastly our Believe line is based in world religions, spirituality, and what inspires people.

how did you market your jewelry when you first started?

When Bryn (Bryn Nihill) and I (Jane Dallin) first started out we marketed our jewelry quite literally at the base level.  Making local appointments with small independent stores, showing them our wares, and growing the brand slowly.  We made sure to be accommodating to buyer’s budgets, and didn’t have any minimum orders so that it would be easier on a retail store, allowing us to establish some initial roots.

how did you land the MTV gig? and what has resulted from that?

We heard through our friend that worked in the accounting department at MTV that the stylist for all the hosts of the shows were looking for a new accessories provider.

We packed up our samples and immediately headed over.

We armed ourselves with everything we thought would be perfect for the genre and managed to land a short meeting with the stylist.  After showing our line, and chatting about how we thought that SOOS Rocks was a great fit for them, they agreed to use our jewelry!

We are also extremely flexible and made them aware of that.  We then set up a time to go in and showcase our complete line to everyone there and have them select the looks that each host wanted.  It was a great pairing, and we built a solid relationship with a lot of people at MTV as a whole.

This has allowed us access to a number of special events, and intern, we have met many celebrities and musicians that we have were able to get our jewelry on!  This was especially great for our American customers who seem to be a bit more interested in celebrity culture, where “who’s wearing” your goods holds a lot more weight.

how do you get famous people, iinfluencers and hubs to wear your stuff? and what’s the impact of that?

I think the best way to get celebrities, and influencers to wear your product is to create as many relationships as you can.

When you have an opportunity to socialize and meet new people in design, media, film etc. you need to make sure that you take it, and don’t shy away.  Be it going to certain galas held by art institutions, film events, launch parties, CD releases etc., and if you see someone that you consider to be an influencer, then you need to walk right up to them and introduce yourself and go from there!  Also, I think it’s great to be involved with charities and special events.

Organizers and PR companies are always looking for ways to impress their clients, and if you become their “go to” resource for “gifting” the rewards can be colossal!  We’ve met a lot of editors, actors, and people who are interested in new and exciting things by donating, participating, and contributing as individuals, and as designers.

Offer your product as a prize, an auction item, and always look the part too!  If you are decked out in your goods people usually notice and want to inquire about who you are and what you do!  It can result in magazine features, television appearances, and ultimately sales!

why do you think most jewelers struggle so much with marketing their stuff?

I think most jewelry designers struggle with marketing their work because they are used to operating behind the scenes for the most part.

When you have a passion that you would like to turn into a business you have to wear many “hats” and if you never fancied yourself an entrepreneur you may become overwhelmed by all the hoops you are finding yourself jumping through just to get things off the ground!  A lot of designers love to design and wish they could leave the business side of things to someone else.

This might mean partnering up with someone that is excited to market your product, where you can create a successful business for the both of you.  But, if it’s you, and you alone, just take things slow.  Don’t get overwhelmed, and think of the top 5 things you can do get your goods out into the world, and put goals in place to make that happen.  Slow and steady always wins the race.

what’s your take on Etsy?

I think Etsy is a great venue for people to sell their designs because it gets their work in front of a broader audience.

Etsy is especially great for one-of-a-kind pieces, or vintage findings, and is a relatively seamless way to show as much work as possible!  It is also a great space for designers who sell a niche product.  For example if your designs are more eccentric and you are unsure of where your product fits in a traditional retail environment, Etsy allows you an entrance into a huge marketplace, and the possibility to make some great money!

I think designers could definitely benefit from taking some time to comb through all the intricacies of the site, as there is a lot of information on there about how to become a top seller!

any other advice for other jewelry makers and crafters?

I think the best advice I could give to artisans and designers is to keep creating what you love, be as proud as a peacock for taking the road less traveled, and start getting the word out as best you can!  Create an on-line presence for yourself, keep getting your goods in front of as many people as possible, and continue making as many connections as you can.

It will pay off in the end, as everyone loves to brag about the amazing things they’ve found, and the cool people who are making them.


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Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program



Honour the Host

Once a month or so I host what I call my Potlucks for Particularly Precious People in Edmonton.

I’ve done about 23 of them over the past three years and they tend to have about 30 people come. I started them because I wanted all of my favourite people to meet each other. People are welcomed in with a hot cup of apple cider and a warm hug and introduced to a gathering of the loveliest of people.

The potlucks usually start around 8pm and end a bit after midnight.

At 9:30pm or so, I gather everyone in a circle and we do a go-around where everyone has about a minute to let everyone know a bit about who they are and what they’re up to. It’s part networking and part community building.

I started doing this introduction circle because I noticed at parties how easy it was for people to just talk with the same five people all night and so I wanted to create a way for everyone to meet everyone all at once. And I can always see it during the circles, people’s eyes brightening when they hear people sharing what they’re up to and whispering to them across the circle, ‘I need to talk with you after!

Once the circle breaks the whole tenor of the event changes and people more bravely introduce themselves to new folks and make new friends. Marvelous.

But, at the last potluck I did – there was some minor hijacking.

As we did the go around circle people shared about their interests, their projects and their quirks. It was this warm and human vibe. And then it got to one fellow who was a personal trainer. And instead of sharing who he was – he used his minute to do a commercial. He gave his elevator pitch and then invited people to sign up for his newsletter – bribing them with his recipe for chocolate peanut butter bars.

It felt immediately out of place. Not massively – but subtly.

After the circle broke – people wandered about connecting with each other and hung out by the food table.

But not this fellow.

He wandered around chatting briefly and then personally inviting everyone to give him their email in his little coil binder.

“Technically” it was good marketing. He was clear in what he did. He was using Pink Spoon Theory. He was capturing people’s contact info. He was putting himself out there.

But it felt ‘off’. It felt, to me at least, like too much too soon.

Here are the levels where it feels like this kind of strategy is ‘off’.

Level One: He was subtly hijacking the space. I did all the heavy lifting for him of organizing the evening and getting the people there. And he was using that to his advantage. Now, if this was a business networking event – that would be perfect. But it wasn’t. It was a party in my home.


Level Two: It wasn’t a fit for the vibe. This was my potluck. It wasn’t a business networking event. Everyone who came, came because of their relationship to me or to someone else there. They came for an evening of warmth and meeting new people and a sort of ‘community based networking’. They didn’t come to be marketed to.

Level Three: Unwilling sign ups. I imagine that he thinks people were signing up because they wanted that recipe. To be honest, it did sounds pretty good. And I bet he thought they were giving their emails thinking that they might work with him soon. But I’d guess that most people gave him their email because they felt pressured to do so. He was standing right there saying, ‘hey, do you want this free thing?’ and so they think, ‘Well . . . how can I say no to this free thing?’ and he doesn’t give them a way out.

Sure, some people are strong enough that they’ll say ‘no thanks’ but most people really want to be ‘nice’ and not ‘rude’ and so they’ll sign up and get that recipe (which they will ignore) and then either unsubscribe from his e-newsletters or ignore them. They didn’t really want to be on them in the first place.

They gave their email to get rid of the subtle pressure they felt inside – because they want to support this eager entrepreneur. It’s like people who RSVP as attending on facebook for your events with no intention of ever showing up. When you ask them why they RSVP’d they’ll say, ‘oh, you know, I just wanted to show my support and boost your numbers . . .’ It’s the illusion of success.

Level Four: Looking Desperate. After my workshop in Ottawa last night, myself and some of the participants went out to a great vegetarian restaurant called The Table. We got to talking about business cards and one of the participants commented that he only gives out one card per night at a networking event. I asked him why.

He said, ‘because, if you go around all night giving out your cards – people notice that. They see that you’re looking for business – and that doesn’t seem very successful. Plus – if you give them to everyone – they just throw them out.’

I think he’s right.

You can always spot them at networking events – trolling for business, looking for leads, ‘prospecting’. And the message that sends is, ‘they don’t have enough clients’ they’re obviously not very successful. There are better ways to network anyway. SO, as this personal trainer worked the room – people noticed him working the room.

They could feel him ‘hoping’ for business.

Not attractive.

More attractive would be to radiate health and happiness all night and to ask people about their own health goals and be this unconditionally encouraging and supportive presence around whom people just feel better about themselves. And if people expressed their desire to get into shape, he could have said, ‘hey! Come to one of my classes for free. I like you. I want to help! Are you on facebook? I’ll add you and send you the info. And let me get your email too . . .’ Quality, not quantity.

As my mom put it, “This may be the downside of all the marketing hype about “networking.” Gracious is not generally valued in the marketing world — chutzpah is. Pushiness is. Over and over business people (especially small business people, of whatever stripe) are told to push themselves and their product forward at every opportunity, regardless of appropriateness. This general attitude speaks volumes about the disaster that is our current business model and is a huge reason why your work is so very important.

Yay for moms.

Level Five: Networking for Clients vs. Looking for Partners. Here’s another level of this challenge. He was networking for clients. At my potluck. But here’s the thing. They don’t know him. He’s a stranger. He’s working the room 100% cold.

But I already have a very strong and warm relationship with many of the people there.

They trust me.

Therefore, were I to endorse him, he would they would be more likely to pay attention. But he never gave me that chance – he took it himself. He could have focused on building his relationship with me and showing me that he was cool and safe with my friends.

Imagine the impact if he’d left the party and my friends said to me, ‘who was that guy? I love him! He’s so positive!’ Of course, I’d be one step closer to endorsing him. But as it was, he left and people said, ‘what was up with that guy getting everyone’s emails. That was weird . . .’

In a post he wrote recently. my colleague Bill Baren advises people not to go networking for clients – instead look for potential hubs and partners. If you’re trying to build a relationship with a hub – you don’t blatantly hijack or prospect at their events in a way that has people feel (even a little bit) uncomfortable.

In marketing, you often need to slow way down to see faster results. There’s an old adage, ‘infinite patients breeds immediate results’. The first result being a sense of inner peace. The second result being that you’re not needing anything from anyone, and so they feel safe around you. They lean in.

Let’s look at this from a slightly different angle.

Imagine you hear about a party where everyone in attendance is in your target market. They could all become clients.  This seems like a perfect chance to go a get everyone’s card and follow up. But wait. Slow down. Ask yourself, “who is the most important person in this room to me?“”

It’s the host.

Why? Because they are the one that got all those people together in one place.

Slow down some more – how did they do that?

Likely through years of relationship building and integrity and street smarts. Incredible effort was put in to build the kinds of relationships where these people would be excited to come to their party.

So, get this: you can succeed in getting people’s contact information but risk totally alienating the hub.

This is called killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

So, who do you think you should you be focusing on building a relationship with at that party?

The host.

But this doesn’t mean you try to monopolize the time of the host. Or fawn over them and obsequiously try to ingratiate yourself with them. But it does mean you ask yourself, ‘how could I add value to them?’ and that you consciously make sure you treat their event with a deep respect and reverence. You don’t do anything that might feel disrespectful to them.

To be clear: he felt genuine and sincere in what his personal training. I bet he’s great at it. I love, love, love the fact that he’s taking action and willing to do things that other people won’t do. I love that he’s questioning social conventions and willing to put himself out there. I love the boldness in asking for what he wants. This isn’t a personal critique – we’ve all got learning to do in how to make our marketing more beautiful – this is a look at the unintended consequences of certain approaches.

(to learn a better way to do it – read this post about going from being a hijacker to a rainmaker)


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Parties as Marketing

Photo from the Toronto 2009 Green Grub and Gather

So, I think parties are one of the best marketing tools ever. I’ve been talking about it more and more – and here’s some proof! This is an excerpt from an interview I did with Joel Monk (JM) and Laurens van Aarle (LV) of Coaches Rising in Amsterdam. I think you’ll dig it.

JM:            So tell me more about this hot marketing because you’ve really got me going here. Did you say about hosting your parties and stuff?

TH:            Yeah, one of my big things these days has been this idea of parties as marketing. And where this came from was I was in Toronto doing a workshop and I heard about this guy in L.A. who on the Saturday night of his workshops, his business marketing workshops, he would take everyone out for dinner at this Italian restaurant.

I just always thought that was the coolest idea. I felt like, that’s so classy. That’s so nice.

What I liked about it, too, was it created a social setting that wasn’t there at the workshops. Because the workshops I do are super-interactive but it’s still a workshop. It’s not like hanging out with people.

One time I did that and it went really well. I really loved it.

What I found is we went to a restaurant and everyone basically sat at their tables. They were in a big, long row but nobody moved so people were just mingling with the people sitting directly next to them and that wasn’t what I was wanting.

So I tried a few more restaurants, same kind of thing and eventually moved to a house party called the Green Grub and Gather. But as that transition was going, I remember sitting there right before the dinner thinking about, “Oh, I’ve got these other clients of mine who I would love to—from past workshops who I really love—and they should come to dinner.”

So I fired off a few texts and a few of them came. And then it really occurred to me that there are people in Toronto who are super successful already and have just no interest in coming to my workshop. Like there’s a guy, in Toronto who’s a green realtor. He’s incredibly well known, super tapped in in the Toronto green scene. He’d never really come to my workshop. He doesn’t need my workshop. But if he knew about what I did, it would be useful.

People might ask him, say, “Hey, Chris. Seen this marketing workshop for hippies and green businesses. Is this worthwhile?” And if he says, “I don’t know.” That’s one thing. But if he could say, “Yeah, it’s totally worth your time,” that’s a really solid endorsement to have.

And how do I do that because he’s not going to come to my workshop to check it out but he might come to a party. So it eventually evolved into doing house parties for like 40 people. Everyone at the workshop, and I had like 20 people at the workshop so maybe 15 of them actually show up and can make it.

And then I invite my favorite alumni from that area, plus people who are hubs, people who are influencers, people who are connectors in the scene in that area. And that party has been awesome for me in terms of building relationships, building connections with people who I normally probably wouldn’t have had a reason to connect with. Yeah, I could have gone to lunch with all of them but that would have taken a lot more time so I did that.

JM:            I love the idea of getting them all in one place. Because a party’s so relaxed, isn’t it? You’re at a party to have fun and people just let down a lot of those boundaries. It’s just a great place to make a friendship with someone. I could see that being really—I’m thinking about how we could do that. Everybody loves a good party.

But yeah, I don’t know what you think, Laurens, but I love this idea of just having a party. It takes away all that pressure, doesn’t it? You’re just going to have fun. Everyone wants to hang out and maybe get some good music on. What stands out for me from what Tad said is even if you just speak to that guy for five minutes, you’ve already made a connection. He’s already put a face to your name. He knows what you do and he’s probably going to be pretty impressed that you’ve put on a party like that.

LV:            Yeah, it sounds like a great way to both have fun, market, connect, make that human connection with people, expose everybody to what you’re doing and at the same time, just enjoy great food, music and company.

The World’s Greenest Business Card

So, you want business cards for your networking but you hate the disposability of it? Well, why settle for anything but the best. Check out the world’s greenest business card. Imagine how attractive you’ll feel giving out a card that you know that you have a card that is so green. From their website:

Why are these the World’s Greenest Business Cards?

The cards themselves are as sustainably produced as possible

We have looked at every aspect of how The World’s Greenest Business Cards are manufactured and tried to engineer them to be the most socially and environmentally responsible as possible. All aspects of the cards are as ‘green’ as we can make them, including:

• Printing on a waterless press so no effluent goes down the drain with vegetable-based inks
• 100% Post Consumer Waste recycled paper (means no new trees harvested)
• Paper manufactured in Canada (small carbon footprint)
• FSC and EcoLogo certified stock means you can have the FSC logo printed on your card if you would like

Business Cards That Work

Alex Mandossian

Most business cards are lame – here’s how to create a business card that makes you money.

This is genius, genius stuff from Alex Mandossian.

To find out out you can make a great, business generating business card . . .



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