Do you often attend in-person events, such as workshops, networking breakfasts, and seminars where you network and collect a bunch of business cards from the other attendees, but then you don't know what to do with them?

Of course if someone's expressed an interest in your services, you want to follow up with them, but most people you talk with at these events may not need your services RIGHT NOW, yet they very well may in the future.

So how do you make sure you're at their fingertips when they do need you? Get them on your list! That way you'll have the opportunity to continue to get in front of them in a subtle way. Remember, though, never to put anyone on your list who hasn't given you permission to do so.

Here are three ways to encourage people to get on your list when you meet them in person, without being pushy:

1. Put your Free Taste (your freebie product that draws people into your marketing funnel) information on the back of your business card, or on whatever other materials you hand out.

Business cards are the standard pass-around marketing tool at these kind of events, but if the back of your card is blank, you're losing valuable real estate. There are several things you could add to the back of your card, and one of them is the information for your Free Taste.

Write a snappy sentence describing the benefit that the reader will get if they sign up, along with the website address of where they can subscribe.

2. Email each person whose business card you collected within a week.

Send a brief email to each person you met, reminding them that they can sign up for your freebie offering at your website. Make sure you include a live link to make it super-easy for them to click and sign up.

3. If you're a speaker at the event, or if it's your own event, have a sign-up sheet for the attendees.

At the beginning and end of your talk, make sure you tell your audience that they can receive FREE valuable information from you if they will simply sign-up on the form. Ask them for their first name and email address, and make note on the form what it is they will receive.

You can give each person a separate sign-up form or have one that you pass around for everyone to sign. You can also pass around a basket or bowl for people to drop their cards into to win a prize, AND to be put on your list to receive your Free Taste. (Most email list services require anyone signing up to double opt-in now, so you will be giving them another opportunity to confim that they do in fact want to be on your list after you've added them.)

You've probably heard "the fortune is in the follow-up" and that's exactly what this will do for you. If you collect their names and email addresses at the event, add them to your list with their permission, or send them a reminder email to do it themselves, your Free Taste (and your ezine) will do the follow up for you. It will keep you on your prospects' radar screens so you'll come to mind immediately when they do need your services. And that's exactly what you want!

(c) 2009 Alicia Forest

About the author:  Alicia M Forest, MBA, 6-Figure Business Breakthrough Mentor, teaches self-employed professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create wild abundance in your business, visit