Even if you weren’t a boy or girl scout, you can probably appreciate the value of being prepared. Be prepared for unexpected marketing opportunities is especially important for business success. Here are some simple items, some physical, some digital, that you should have on hand so you are ready the next time opportunity knocks!
Biography – Have a short (25 – 40 words), medium (75 – 100 words) and long version of your bio, filed in a way that you can easily find and send it digitally to anyone that may need it.
I would NOT suggest printing out large quantities of these as you should update it frequently and this way, you will always have the most recent version available. Post the long one on the ‘About’ page of your website and remember to use the short one as a footer for any guest blog posts, e-newsletter articles etc. that you may publish.
I frequently reply to HARO, www.helpareporterout.com queries (and highly recommend you do the same!). A basic bio is almost always required when responding to a query and having one on hand makes it that much easier to put together a timely reply. The short or medium length version is usually a good fit.
Basic class, webinar and live presentation promotions usually require at least the medium length description and a keynote opportunity may require the full version. Having all on hand is a good practice!
Resume– If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I am a huge fan of LinkedIn. I try to keep my profile updated, visiting it regularly to add or change info as needed. I recommend that you do the same. As I always say, even if YOU don’t use LinkedIn, many professionals do, so make sure to have a decent, professional profile there at all times.
Rather than providing people with a paper, or even digital resume, I will often send people to my LinkedIn profile or company page. It has all the basic educational and work related info of a regular resume plus the added value of a photo and the social proof of recommendations. An additional bonus is that the viewer can also see who we both know in common, an ice breaker and possible deal making plus!
And if you DO still need to produce a traditional resume, LinkedIn has an app for that – their ‘Resume Builder’ tool will take your profile info and plug it into a traditional resume format suitable for printing or sharing digitally.
If you do insist on maintaining a traditional resume, you may want to upload it, via box.net or host it on your website to link it to your LinkedIn profile as while they do have an ‘import’ resume feature, it only allows you to temporarily upload it for the purposes of using that info to flesh out your profile, it does not display nor link to it.
Business Cards: Design one, run them, carry them and GIVE THEM OUT! All the time. As I have said in a previous post, if you have beautiful, expensive cards that you are reluctant to share freely, spring the $15 – $20 for a run of less expensive cards that you will be able to give out without hesitation. See this post on what to do if you run out of business cards and this one on what to do with them.
If you have boring, unprofessional and/or unbranded business cards, we can help. We offer a VERY affordable logo design package that provides you with both digital and printed files and also offer business card set-up.
In addition to distributing your cards at networking events and anywhere else you might meet people, be sure to give extra cards to your clients and colleagues that recommend you and your services to their friends and colleagues as well!
These simple preparations can really help build your business. These are just a few suggestions, what would YOU add to the list? Please add your comments below!