Last week I got some great advice that has really helped me in the last week to relax more at networking events – and also follow up more effectively with people I do feel a connection with.

Instead of going to a large networking meeting and seeing how many business cards you can collect – go with the intention of forming a connection and having a good conversation with just two or three new contacts. When you finish your conversation ask for their card and make a couple of notes about your conversation on the card.

When you go home from the event make sure that you follow up with these two to three people.   You can send a card or an email, or connect with them on social media.

What I have been doing is to send a “Nice to Meet You” physical card to them through the mail using my Send Out Cards system.  I have this card designed and template saved in my account and it only takes me a few minutes to put in the contact information and send the card to them. The card is personalized with a picture of myself, my husband Todd, and my dog Tanner – and thanks the person for taking time to chat with me, plus it says that I hope we have a chance to catch up again soon.

At first I was worried about people not having a mailing address on their card (I don’t!) – but everyone that I’ve met does – and if they don’t you can always visit their website or an online white pages to find their business address.

In my card system with Send Out Cards I can also put in a note on the new contact page that reminds me to follow up with each person on a particular date so that I can call them to make sure that they received the card – and then set up  a time to meet them for lunch or coffee to build our relationship by getting to know them better and find out how I can help them with their business.

Of course you don’t have to use Send Out Card to make this system work – it just makes it super easy and quick – and the personalized card with my picture makes me stand out and also be remembered by my new contact. (If you want to check out the Send Out Cards system you can visit my website – http://www.sendoutcards.com/chonody to send a free card and try it out!)

I’m also a big Facebook user – so I have been visiting each contacts page (if they also use FB) and adding them as a friend – make sure you put a personal note on your friend request!  You can also find their business page on Facebook and become a fan (or like the page) – and you could put a little note on their page just to say that you enjoyed meeting them.

I hope these tips have given you some ideas that will help you build your own network.  Please feel free to share some of your own success tips in the comments ..