Turn Your
Business Card
Into Business

Reno Lovison

148 Pages 8.5 x 5.5 Trade Paperback

How to Win the Game of Networking and Make Your Own Rules

BCMMONEYThink of networking as process rather than an event and use business cards as a way to keep score. This entails setting a goal such as planning to meet three new people a day and giving them your business card. If you achieve this objective you will have met about 1,000 new people in a year. Do you think this would grow your business? At this point I am not even talking about improving the “quality” of your contacts but simply expanding your sphere of influence.

Back in 2008 after President Obama was elected I set a goal to meet 100 people in 100 days. The reason I set this goal was because after the election everyone was talking about the new President’s first 100 days. I thought wow look what everyone expects of him. Let’s see what I can accomplish in 100 days. Let me tell you this is not as aggressive as my first example but still quite challenging. But I am still reaping the fruits of that initiative.

To make this a game you need to quantify your goal. I made the rule that a new contact had to be someone I had not met or had a meaningful interaction with before. To score the encounter as a success I had to have a conversation to understand who they are and something about what they do or what their interests are; and they in return had to have learned something about me. The deal is sealed by giving a business card so that I know they have my contact information. Ideally I have gotten their name and contact information as well. You can set your own parameters for your “game”.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about business cards and how valuable they may or not be. Also when to give them and whether to give them at all. I say stop thinking so hard about it. A business card is a very inexpensive slip of paper with your name and contact information, and maybe some information about the kind of product or service you provide. That’s all. It has no magical powers except that it can help people to remember your name and know how to contact you. Giving someone your business card is simply a courtesy and an invitation to connect. Some people may keep them and some people may throw them away. The only business cards that are important are the ones that go out in the world bring back business. The more you distribute the better chance of getting a return on your networking investment and winning the game.

If you want to include online contacts I have broadened it to include a person-to-person phone conversation and some “proof” that they have visited my website. The point is to encourage meaningful personal interaction not simply emails or texts. Part of the reason is speed. Yes you can build valuable relationships in other ways but it takes much more time. Phone is best.
Phase two is follow-up and expand your relationship. Understand something about the needs, wants and interests of your new friends. Be a giver. Share an article or other resource on a topic they might find valuable, interesting, or amusing. There is no need to “hard sell.” Find ways to interject reminders about your product and service as it makes sense. Such as, “I just got back from Connecticut where I was videotaping a three day conference about construction safety. On the plane I read this article I thought you might find interesting.” Be sure to connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn and/or Facebook or other social media so that you can build your relationship through posts and casual comments over time.

Networking is not about attending networking events, though that can be helpful toward the goal of meeting more people in a shorter period of time. It is about a process of meeting and connecting with new people to build a mutually beneficial web of resources. There are opportunities all around you. Get in the game.

Reno Lovison is a web video and book trailer producer based in Chicago and is the author of “Turn Your Business Card Into Business” The Fundamentals of Building Entrepreneurial Business Relationships.

This Month’s Business Card to Business Networking Meeting

We have an in person Business Card to Business Networking Meeting in Chicago the LAST TUESDAY of every month.

Doors Open at 6 PM and Meet until 8 PM     5203 N. Kimball Ave. Chicago.

Plenty street parking or get there from the Kimball stop on the Brown Line or the Foster or Kimball Buses.

All business people are welcome. $3.00 suggested donation goes to the venue.

Check out this link for details or join us via video stream right here to see the meeting LIVE from about 7PM until 8PM.

Live streaming video by Ustream

If you have trouble with the player here visit our Ustream Channel.

Networking meeting begins at 6PM but we start the video stream typically about 7PM with intorductions and sharing of ideas based on the topic of the day.

You may see a short Video advertisement from time-to-time but it does not interfere with the content you will see the entire meeting.

Quality Business Cards Express Value

As technology has advanced the variety of business card options at an affordable price has been rapidly expanding. Thirty years ago, four-color printing was reserved only for the largest or most creative companies who were willing to expend a sizable investment to make a colorful first impression. Over the past twenty years we saw that gap narrow considerably as desktop publishing and digital printing  became the industry standard. Now there was no need to set type, create film separations, and multiple printing plates that inflated costs which could only be marginally offset by larger print runs, which is now ancient history. Other popular add-ons in the realm of creative printing expression included full bleeds, embossing, foil stamping, die cuts, special coatings and of course specialty papers or substrates such as plastic or metal. The desire to make a meaningful or creative first impression with a beautifully produced business card has existed as long as the medium itself but was an elusive goal for the majority of businesses whose budget did not permit them to invest possibly thousands of dollars to that end.



Recently I was sent a sample pack of outrageously beautiful cards produced by DGI – Designline Graphics, Inc. For the record I have no affiliation with the company other than their request that I examine and review their work. It is difficult for me to decide where to begin other than to say that from what I can see their four color printing is perfect in terms of registration and basic execution and the variety of additional printing techniques is limited only by the designer’s imagination.

The printer’s basic “silk card” utilizes a special laminated coating that gives it a very smooth or “silky” feel that is water and tear resistant. If this were their only product the company would stand out as unique. The “Silkcards X” is double the thickness and includes a die cut or perforation option that adds a visual and further tactile dimension to your card.  Add foil to make it shine and you will have a card the really stands out from the crowd.

Of course I am not a believer in creativity just for the sake of being creative but I do believe in making a statement that reflects your image, reinforces your message and will help you make a favorable impression. You should begin with that in mind then see which printing processes help you achieve your goals.

design-graphics-cardDGI’s own card skillfully and tastefully incorporates a number of techniques that serves to showcase their skills and abilities including very tight registration; tone-on-tone printing; double thick laminated stock with a multicolor “see through” die cut; edge printing; embossing; and their signature silk finish. It’s a card that makes you want to think about how you can express your own message in a more creative manner.

Another end goal of an effective business card is to create a card that is not only a visual expression of your company but is something that people want to keep. The side effect of a well designed card is that people will “value” a beautiful business card because they appreciate the effort you have expended. If it is really nice they might even be compelled to show it off to others and thus carry your message even further.

As so much of our marketing media today is virtual and ephemeral by design, we might reexamine well produced business cards as a rare commodity designed to be retained and to some degree treasured.  Perhaps it is time to consider that we need to put in more effort. Where as a a typical business card might hover around five to ten cents and basically declares ” I expect that you will discard this sometime soon.” What if you were to spend twenty or thirty cents per card but in return made the statement ” I want to give you something that reflects quality” and says, “I intend for you to keep this.” After all for many virtual companies today this is your front door. This is a statement of who you are and it is a memento of a personal interaction.

Investigate the possibilities at Designline Graphics, Inc.

Celebrity Business Card List

Steve Martin, Comedian Business Card

Here is a link to an interesting list of celebrity business cards. Check it out for some amusement and inspiration.

Natural Networking

The Importance Of Harnessing Connectional Intelligence

“Connectional intelligence is about harnessing the connections you already have, to create meaning,” says Dhawan. “Think emotional intelligence meets connection.”

Here is a link to a really good article about  networking that feels natural and leads to big ideas. See what kind of networker you are and how you can use your strengths to be better at connecting with other people.

A Networker’s Guide to the Holidays

Guest Post by Designline Graphics

The holiday season is upon us! Now is the time for holiday parties, seasonal networking events and catching up with old and new friends. The holidays present many different options for networking, and business cards are always a part of that. In addition to distributing business cards at events, they can also be sent through the mail. Take the time to send clients, staff members and business contacts that are near and dear to your heart a personalized note this holiday and remember to attach a business card to the note.

Personalized greetings are tangible and are a rarity in our current world, much like the business card. They show that you care and put in time and effort instead of sending a general holiday email blast or text message.

When sending a personalized card, there are two options to consider.

1.     A Greeting Card

This is the chance to write a special message to those you care about and drop it in the mail. Send this card to all associates, friends and family as a small hello and warm wish. When sending to your business contacts, make sure to drop a trusty business card in this note to remind them of your services and contact information. This just may be the subtle follow up that was needed to unlock a hidden opportunity.

2.     An Invitation Card

Having a holiday party to thank staff or clients? It’s time to send out an invitation with all of the event details. When sending out invitations make sure to attach a business card as a friendly reminder of your services. This way individuals know whom the invitation is from and are reminded of the value of your business.

When designing both invitations and business cards always keep quality in mind. It is your goal to impress the person on the receiving end, and by sending a valuable piece, you will do just that. With all of the social interaction taking place at this time of the year, make yourself stand out.

 Happy Holidays!


Designline Graphics is the premier resource for high-end business cards, custom silk cards, plastic cards and promotional marketing needs. To learn more visit 4colorprint.com.


The Plastic Business Card … A New Take on a Classic Networking Staple

Everyone knows that business cards are a networking staple that have been used to swap contact information for years. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are printed on beautiful paper. One of the business card varieties that is often overlooked is the plastic business card. A plastic card has many advantages in comparison to a regular card and these are just a few:


Plastic cards have more durability than paper cards because of the material used to make them. Business cards are often placed in wallets, pockets and other small holders. Plastic cards do not bend or tear, they stay resilient even in the smallest of spaces.


 When was the last time someone handed you a plastic business card? It probably took you a moment to think about this question, and this is why plastic cards are unique. The exchange of these cards is few and far between so when someone hands you one it stands out from the pack. This is what the exchange of business cards is all about, standing out.

Design Flexibility

Plastic cards have a variety of options for design. One of them is the ability to print on a clear background. This allows for the inclusion of logos, text and colors that are not possible on a regular business card.


 In addition to all of the points mentioned above, plastic business cards offer the ability to track through barcodes as well. This allows for those distributing the plastic card to keep a record of potential customers with information and special offers. Regular business cards often times do not offer this option.

If you haven’t already thought about investing in a set of plastic business cards now is the time. These trusty cards are durable and offer a unique way to engage your customers. Give them both an immediate and lasting impression of your brand and services.


Designline Graphics is the premier resource for high-end business cards, custom silk cards, plastic cards and promotional marketing needs. To learn more visit 4colorprint.com.

Not all business cards are made of paper

Roots Room Holiday Party Compilation

Awesome party at the Roots Room included members of the Business Card to Business Networking Group as well as members of the Authors Showcase Book Club,  and the Poetry and Storytelling groups together with friends of the Roots Room. Thanks to corganizers EdVette Wilson Thomas and Tommy Love; musicians who included our host, guitarist Stann Champion, pianist Steven Solomon, The Machine Tools, John Darnell and Chris Marshall & The Chris Marshall Dancers. Some of the business folks in attendance: Bernie Small, Debra Hope Miller, Gina Morri, Chris West, John & Robert.

December Meeting moved to First Friday 12/5



The December Business Card to Business Networking meeting in Chicago will be moved to the first Friday of the month and be part of a joint holiday event. 12/5   7PM t0 11 PM Please  join us.  BYOB and bring a friend.