Handing out your business card to potential clients, other freelancers, or anyone that could help grow your business is a great and cheap way to network.

However, you shouldn’t simply hand your business card to a person because they happen to be directly in front of you.

If you really want to see a return from the business cards that you hand out, then you’ll need to hand them out selectively.

2. Give Your Cards Out Selectively

Your business cards are not a gateway drug to your business. Handing out a thousand business cards at a networking event doesn’t mean you’ll get a thousand calls. In fact, it probably means you’ll get zero calls because you haven’t taken the time to get to know and connect with any of the recipients of your cards.

When attending networking events, take the time to build personal connections with potential clients and prospects. The purpose of a business card is not to replace you, but only to give out to a point of contact after a true, real, and personal connection has been made. Focus on making that connection!

With the connection formed, you’ll have a reason for exchanging business cards with the other person. But beware: only hand your business card out when and if you have been asked for it. Don’t offer it yourself, and definitely don’t force it on the other person by cunningly slipping it into the palm of their hand.

What if your new connection doesn’t ask for your card? Ask for theirs! That way you have control over contacting them if you think there’s potential in the relationship, rather than hoping and waiting that they’ll call you.

What’s more, proper business card etiquette dictates a reciprocity of exchange. When you ask to receive a business card, it’s likely you’ll be asked to give yours as well.”

See the other 2 tips at Tuts+.