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Don’t spend one cent on business cards til you see this...

When I started my online business, I often heard from friends and family, “When are you going to get a real job?”

I mean, my business is real? Right? What’s NOT real about it?

Then, I thought to myself, “hrm, maybe they’re right? What can I do to make my business real? I know. I need business cards!”

So I made them.

And then I realized the truth about business cards…

I show you in the new Social Triggers comic strip:

Business Cards

Looking back, what happened here makes sense: people questioned the realness of my online business, so I responded by creating something people could hold in their hand… something real… a business card…

But the truth is: a business card doesn’t make the business.

As a matter of fact, there’s no one thing that makes a business.

Meaning, you don’t need business cards, headshots, a fancy web design, and you most definitely don’t need to switch your software providers because “you need more functionality.”

Instead, the ONLY thing you need to start – and grow – your business is as simple as this:

  1. You need to find a problem real people have in the real world.
  2. You need to create a solution to that real problem.
  3. You need to get that solution in front of people have have the problem.

And that’s it.

1. Find the pain.

2. Eliminate that pain.

3. Show the right people that you can do it.

But figuring that out is hard.

I mean…

You know what a business card looks like.

You know what a nice design looks like.

And this other stuff?

“Find the pain, create a solution, get in touch with people and ask them to buy it” is like trying to read Egyptian hieroglyphics.

It’s foreign.

And that’s why you should pay close attention to what I plan to share with you over the next few weeks.

I’ll show you everything you need to do to start – and grow – your online business.

In the mean time…

To show you what makes Social Triggers material different than these other people who share business advice…

…let’s go a little bit further into this business card conundrum.

Yes, people do it because they want their business to feel real…

…but they also do it because they know they need to connect with people… and business cards help them connect.

Or at least that’s what they’ve been told.

But I can tell you this: I’ve never gotten any business from a business card. And anyone who says they did is probably lying.

So, let me share what I do instead…

How to Connect With Anyone

So you met someone who you want to connect with further.

You now know you don’t want to give them your business card.

What can you do instead?

STEP 1: When you meet someone, ask this ONE question

If you meet someone you’d like to stay in touch with, you should ask them one question at the end of your conversation. And that question is this:

“What’s the BEST way to reach out to you?” I capitalized BEST because I’d like you to emphasize that when you say it. And if the conversation went well, they’ll tell you…

Sometimes they’ll say email. Other time they’ll say text message. Whatever the case, write down what they say, and move on.

(Note: If they hand you their business card, just ask for clarification by saying, “So, just email the email on this card?” If they say yes, you’re golden).

STEP 2: The Following Day, Send This SHORT email

Now that you got the best way to reach out, it’s time to send this short little email. It should read something as simple as this:


What’s going on here?

A lot.

Notice this: I’m not asking for anything. That’s important. There are so many people who meet people at events, and then immediately followup trying to get something out of the person they just met.


I always say you should follow Derek Halpern’s 12 Month Rule of connecting with people, which is as follows: if you meet someone, don’t ask them for anything for at least one year (or 12 months).

Now, of course, in some cases it could be a shorter time frame, but I always say 12 months because that gives you an opportunity to actually get to know someone a little bit better before you start barraging them with things you need, heh.

And finally…

STEP 3: A MONTH later, Send THIS short email

Now that you met someone, and successfully followed up. The next step? To send them another email that gets you on their radar once more.

What should this email say? It should be something simple like this:


The key here?


Instead, provide value and keep yourself on the radar of the person you’d like to meet.

And then…

As time passes by, the goal is to continue fostering this mutual, win-win friendship and connection. And after you send the first few emails, you should feel comfortable inviting them to a group dinner (with other people they may want to meet), cocktails (again, with other people they may want to meet), or even another event.

I know this sounds formulaic. And it could be abused by sleazy networkers. But this is how real friendships are made in business. You meet someone, you remind them that you met, you deliver value, and eventually, you continually offer value to them with hopes of building a lasting connection.

That said…

This, of course, is only a small part of starting – and growing – a business.

But what I want to hear from you is this:

1. What did you think of the first ever Social Triggers comic strip?

2. Are you excited to learn more about starting – and growing – your online business?

3. Will you try this simple framework for meeting people?

Leave a comment now.

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93 comments Leave a comment

While I applaud the main point of this post which seems to be how to make real connections, that is not a reason to dismiss a business card. Even when I haven’t been working I’ve had them made. They are a convenient way to share your contact info which is the point of them.

Looking at a business card is also a great way for some of us to learn and remember names. I’m horrible with remembering names and I find it helps when I see them.

Just the other day I met a woman whose name was Gael. It was great seeing her name in print because I wouldn’t have guessed the spelling. When I asked her about the origin it led to a good conversation about her Gaelic roots and our respective times in Europe.

Like any tool, it’s how you use it and not the tool itself!


It’s true. You did a fine job identifying how I felt as a newbie ‘professional’ receiving a big stack of company-paid-for business cards. Physical proof of my new status! I slowly figured out they were useless. Unless you count assuaging my need for validation as business priority.

Funny enough I actually do find use in business cards at present however. Everytime I enter a store and see a stack of business carda I pull out my phone and start going through them, photographing the ones without websites. Those are immediate leads for a prospective web-builder. 😉
Of course it doesn’t mean I have one.


Loved the comic. It matches your message. Alot of folks get that wrong.

As far as networking, I don’t follow up as often as I used to. But when I do, I love the conversations had and the connections made.

I agree it takes months before full trust and a genuine relationship (biz and personal) is made. That question on contacting is instinctive to me. But, I really like connecting genuinely with people. So everything to me is spot on


So true, but from a different angle.

We dutifully had business cards printed back in the 1990s when we started out. I threw out all but one box of them a year or two ago.

We kept one box only because people ask for my card once or twice a year, and it is a comfort knowing they are there, in the draw, just in case.

LinkedIn is a far superior way to stay in touch for my sector.


Thank you so much for sharing! That was such great advice! I can’t to utilize this in my career and business. God bless and best of luck to you! 😊

Uche Moses

Lovely! I will try using this method to get more web design clients in my next event.
Thanks… So how, my business card generate a little bit of rapport.


I wouldn’t say business cards are useless. They’re handy to have around when people ask for them. Depending on the type of business and client, they can be more important or less. On a more positive note, I love love love the 12 month approach. Thanks, Derek


I love the comic!! So true, and I’m totally guilty as well. Great post, will definitely try this framework!

Justin Lewis

Derek, I’ve been following you since the beginning. I’ve only commented on a few things, but I definitely share your work around with quite a few people I know.

I do however wish you’d respond to some of the above comments where people disagree with your statements. That would help better validate your meaning. You’ve got a great head on your shoulders and I believe you truly understand what it takes to dominate, but the only response I’d seen so far was a negative one towards someone, versus a rebuttle, explanation, insight into your mind, like I typically see.

Hope you’re having a good one bud and great job with the comic, I agree that 95% of people just toss the cards or let them stack up in their desk like mine.


Love the comic.

BC’s, well I’m moving from ‘live’ sales, ie tradeshow, selling full garden designs including pools and then construction thereof, to a knowledge based business, where I can disconnect my expertise in water and landscaping from the hours spent AND the huge cost of labour in our country. A BC is essential to hand out, but nowadays I only do that after a conversation and mostly only if people ask for it. The really tricky part is trying to get their contact. Belgian, and especially the Flemish part are a secretive bunch not easy to hand out their contacts.

Interesting points though. I agree.


Great advice as always!!!! Thank you Derek 🙂


I have been a serious networker for many years with a great deal of success. I do believe that business cards are valuable and necessary when used properly. Nothing is more annoying that a stranger sticking a business card in your face. I never offer a business card unless I am asked for one or I have first had a meaningful conversation with someone where I feel that I have made a connection. The worst part of attending networking events is all the people that know nothing about networking. If you are at the event to get something, you have the wrong mentality. As BNI (Business Network International) states….Givers Gain! I always enter a networking event or a 1:1 meeting with the intention of seeing how I can be of value or service to the other person. BAM!


I came here just to copy the format Derek uses is his blog and side-bar. I clicked on this article because it was the first one I saw.

F-ing brilliant. Cards are worse than useless because by passing them out you trick yourself into thinking you actually DID something.

This follow-up formula is great, but how do you keep track of everyone you need to follow up with?

Loved the comic.

Davis Arnaud

Thank you for the tips. I find that these are reflexes to have professional contacts if pus is to acquire and keep the interaction.


This is perfect for me!! I am tired of networking events with a glass in one hand, a stack of business cards from individuals in the other. Then you are to shake hands? Seriously? I hate it!
I have received more success when the number/email is exchanged and together we place them in our cell phones. Those are the individuals that call. The rest are business card collectors.
Derek thanks! I will place my efforts in other areas than ordering new business cards.

Heidi Thorne

A little late to this party, but did want to weigh in…

Derek, you know I adore your work and all your insight, right? And for 100% online businesses, business cards can be a waste. But not having business cards can be a sales and connection killer in the IRL networking world. It can be perceived as being a bit arrogant for me to make a potential client write down my information and I waste their time by taking time to write down their info. Prospects often want to say a quick hello and then off to the next connection within seconds. My conversations are also often interrupted by other networkers, noise and event activities, making it less likely that we’ll even get to the “what’s the best way to reach you” part of the conversation. Business cards are, quite simply, a connection convenience.



    I agree you need cards. You DO look unprofessional if you don’t have them but I have heard from a lot of different sources that the best way to use them is to confirm or tie-down a meaningful conversation that you’ve had.

    I think the mistake people make is believing handing someone a card is meaningful or productive all by itself.

      Heidi Thorne

      Thanks, Travis, for chiming in! Totally agree that business cards are dead unless there’s some live conversation accompanying their exchange. Cheers!


That Comic Strip is pretty spot on! I think your approach to business is practical. Practical trumps hype. So often people look for that magic pill when they real magic is practicality. Digging what you put down Derek.


Yes, cute comic strip! And I love the advise that follows and definately look forward to more advice! Thank you!


I love the comic. I would look for more. Each artist needs a style of their own. Yours fits you and the messages that you give. Great job.


What a delightful post. I love the comic and the information how to stay in touch is just what I have been looking for.
Thanks so much Derek.


I like the message of your comic, the drawing style not as much. Thank your for sharing your knowlegde. I read it and try to implement as much as possible. I’m excited to experience the results of your advice from this e-mail.
Groeten, Jac


Yes. Loved the comic strip and hell yes- I can’t wait to hear more about growing my online business…. You rock!


Good work mate! i like reading the stuff you write.

Bernard mwangi

I have been enjoying been here.I love the online thing


Great article Derek. So true! I think businesses cards can still be used but you are right it is more about the process!


It also depends on your audience – what they prefer and expect.

If you’re connecting directly to millennials (my age bracket) and around, you might not need a card.

When I’m doing writing/editing/web design/career editing for clients or B2B, they expect a card, and one that is effective.

When I’m doing my life writing projects for parents, elderly grandparents, and the neglected behemoth in the world – at no point in history have there been more able bodied, healthy, affluent, and capable people over the age of 50 (and 60, 70, 80, and 90) – a business card is the difference between real business and not.

As an aside, as a young man with an old soul, I have always connected, learned from the experiences of those who have come before me, and appreciated listening and sharing stories with them. Understanding that people with senior experience are a vibrant force that is still moving and shaking this world, especially given assumptions that “old folks don’t get the internet” when this generation’s senior generations BUILT the internet, it’s a false belief that can hurt your business if you ignore reality. My grandfather-in-law’s brother repairs LCD TV’s (50″ plus) and donates them to his church community. He is as active if not more in technology, DVD mixing, recording, etc. There are many like him.

A favorite quote is, “Consultation is chief way of guidance. He who is content with his own opinion faces danger.” That’s why I love connecting with you, Derek, to hear ideas from others and consult.

I would suggest an approach of both/and instead of either/or. If you have the card for the segments of your business clients who prefer them, give it. And the way you suggested to give it and use it can be seamlessly woven into your approach.

You very well wrote:

“If you meet someone you’d like to stay in touch with, you should ask them one question at the end of your conversation. And that question is this:

“What’s the BEST way to reach out to you?” I capitalized BEST because I’d like you to emphasize that when you say it. And if the conversation went well, they’ll tell you…

Sometimes they’ll say email. Other time they’ll say text message. Whatever the case, write down what they say, and move on.

(Note: If they hand you their business card, just ask for clarification by saying, “So, just email the email on this card?” If they say yes, you’re golden).”

I would add this: After they give you their answer say, “Thank you, if you ever want to get in touch with me, here’s my card.” Hand it over and be done. They may keep it, they may not, but if you are a person who makes deep connections with people (and designed a memorable card), chances are, they’ll keep it.

Also, the most disheartening thing in the world is when someone asks, “Do you have a card?” and you say “No.” They want to know you, and every “No.” you put between your client and yourself is a barrier. “Ditch the Pitch” philosophy covers that.

It’s all about giving before receiving, as your entire article described. The same goes in the giving of the business card.

And in the craft of designing cards properly, you gain insight into how to reach people. All marketing is connecting with human beings – beyond the internet sign in, plugins, flash design, popups, overlays, lightboxes, or whatever you want to call them. If you can’t connect with people, you can’t have a healthy, long-term business.

I teach classes at Rutgers University (40,000 students on one campus out of three), strictly online. My key to success – as a millennial, tech junkie, has been to connect with my students THROUGH the digital interface, using it as a tool, not a replacement for actually listening and connecting with students.

If it matters to your audience, it matters to you.


    Omar, you nailed it. Derek, I love your stuff, but I have to agree with Omar – the AND approach is best. I’m one of the Geezer Gang, and an expat. Lots of my compatriots here pass out biz cards with their connection info, whether or not they have a business, which many do. My faves are those with a picture of their home on it, because there are no street addresses where we live. Neither is there a phone book where you can find those (usually cell) phone numbers. The rest of the time, we pass scraps of paper around. I find it a very helpful shortcut when people ask for my info to just give them a card, which includes all the stuff I do down here, including the blog. Sometimes the card is even useful in that I can use one to write down and keep THEIR contact info. I confess the cards do wind up in the trash, but only after I transfer the information to my computer and android when I get home. These old fingers don’t type as fast as they used to, and being of the Geezer Mindset, I find it both rude and time consuming to type (that slowly) in front of someone.

    The comic strip was charming. I’d love to see more, but with better advice. 🙂

Elly Klein

1. What did you think of the first ever Social Triggers comic strip?

Loved it!

2. Are you excited to learn more about starting – and growing – your online business?

From you, Derek? Always.

3. Will you try this simple framework for meeting people?

Definitely. This was really practical info.

You’re kicking ass as usual, Derek.



Hi Derek,
yes that was good. I totally agree with your assessment of Business cards, when I started my business back in 1989 I had 200 cards printed, but most contacts are made via email, phone or on the job usually representing my client an so my business card hardly seems relevant. Of the cards I have given out I don’t think I have ever gained anything from them, I find they are just don’t fit into modern business.


I love this article, Derek! I don’t view it as saying “don’t ever use a business card”, but rather, build strong connections out of the gate. You’re competing with a LOT of people who just give out their card and hope for the best. How can you stand out in the sea of cards? CONNECT!

The email templates are great. I’m a personal trainer, and I rarely have to give out cards because my current clients talk, and get me referrals all the time. After I meet the newcomer in person and connect, I MIGHT give them a card. Why not message them on Facebook instead, ask them questions that show them I’m interested and committed to helping them solve their health and fitness issues? That’s worked best for me!

Of course, it’s all going to depend what business you’re in. Great stuff as always, Derek; thank you!

Martin Koban

Great work Derek!

I also appreciate the longer videos you’ve been sending out over the last 6 months and I’ve been wondering whether you’ve decided not to do short-form content anymore, like your older YouTube videos.

It’s awesome to see you still do byte-sized articles like this one and I’m looking forward to the other comics.

Comic ideas:

– Online haters (YouTube Comments and co)

– What having an online business really means (it’s not money, but often freedom)

– Other mistakes people make when starting an online business (in essence, focusing on “making money online” vs. helping people solve an actual problem and every mistake that derives from that … like building a product nobody buys, having nobody opt-in because copy doesn’t resonate, etc.)

– Little things online people that run an online business can relate to (oh, that link you sent out with the sales email to 10000 people doesn’t work? Oh, you spent a week creating something and then people hate on it? … along the lines of inside “jokes” online insiders understand)




Look, you have expressed an aspect of the business jewel – like most things in life you cannot apply one single template of action to all situations, it is going to depend on the circumstances. Like what business area are you in, some niches you don’t need a biz card because people do not search for your services or product, it is unique-like the lady up on the list who says you absolutely DO need a decent card, website-in her case these items do count for something and lend legitimacy to your business. For others the social contact is going to mean a lot more. This is why some people are saying, no you are wrong, and some are saying Hurray! You have hit the nail on the head. And this is what good marketing is all about, recognizing what is effective, which protocols apply, Gary Halburt would agree with this, making a genuine connection is the very best thing, being in the right place at the right time when someone is looking for what you have – this is the serendipity of business, and you can increase the odds of this with knowing your area. Cards are mostly disposed of discretely because the connection was not genuine, and it failed-not because cards are bad in themselves.


Used your suggestion for connecting with an Angel investor and Executive film producer tonight and he ended up asking me what I do and suggesting that we get together. While the people out in front of me were pitching him left and right. Perfectly timed email, as usual. Thank you!

Mark "Elmo" Ellis

I recently wrote a blog post about how to write subheads for blog posts, and I created my own Troll comic. If you haven’t seen these, they’re pretty funny because people cut and paste the figures to make their own.

So, one day I decided to make one of my own for the subhead post, and it came out pretty good.

Anyway, getting back to the premise of your post, which is approaching people, there’s a lot of truth in what you’re saying. Being a copywriter, I have an extensive Gary “Prince of Print” Halbert collection of books and files on my shelf. One thing he sometimes pointed out was that the best way to get people to buy in to you was to meet and talk to them in person.

The second best was calling them, followed by writing them, advertising, and so on. The worst way to market to people in his estimation was the Internet, because it was impersonal, and there are too many distractions.

Plus, one click and your’e gone, is always a reality.

So I was real excited to read your post and I plan on using it.

The other thing that you wrote which I found to be a real benefit is that you need to get active, fast. If you wait until your biz cards are finished or your blog has to be redesigned, etc. you’ll probably never get started. You’ll never feel like you’re ready, in my humble opinion.

With the plan you laid out, anyone can get started right now, and that’s super important.

I firmly believe that the reason Internet businesses are so attractive to people is because you don’t have to do any business face to face. However, at some point, you’re going to have to work some of your business offline if you’re planing on actually growing it.

So, your lesson is a good one and I’m going to swipe and deploy immediately!

God Bless, my friend!



Great comkc strip Derek! I have had the same lack of business cards for about five years. I never hand then out because I always threw away the ones I got! Love the points you made in this post and I am looking forward to hearing more!

Kristina Hughes

I guess when you let people be LAZY they will love you.
You need a professional business card, you need a professional website, you need a professional voicemail.
I would not introduce my clients to an advertiser without that. EVER.
When people don’t have business cards, I take out one of these for them:
I have gotten a ton of business off a business card.
I’m also a performer so when I follow-up I have no problem asking for a referral. Life is too short. Wait a year, that project has already been cast, produced and I missed out. NO WAY.
Interesting POV but thumbs down on this one.

    Shannon Seek

    A girl with my own heart! Thank you, Kristina. I agree. In fact, I really appreciate your candor.

    I confess I went years without a card when I was semi-retired basically (doing research, not taking new business).

    And, otherwise, I am “on it.” I’ve had clients start with me at weekend events. And, I trust I am in front of the right people at the right time and don’t have any rules about waiting. I’ve been told my card itself adds value. I love that. In fact, I really need to order more right now!

    Keep up the great work!


    Kristina, what a brilliant idea! I often attend broadcast engineering trade shows and I do take and use people’s cards all the time. When they don’t have a card I end up scribbling on the back of one of my own cards because I’m just too clumsy to type their info into my phone. Plus, a physical reminder of people is so much stronger.


Thank you, Derek. I’ve always said business cards are a waste of money. I’ve been asking to connect with people on social media. But, I do like you’re method a lot better!


Hey Derek, TOTALLY agree!! Years ago the first thing I did was biz cards- but little by little I realized they didn’t actually produce any tangible results for me. As in, they never made me any MONEY! So for the past 10 years I haven’t bothered even having business cards.
I find that helping someone out- with a connection they want, for instance- is infinitely more effective than a business card could ever be.
Rock on,


I like the comic strip, Derek. Humour is an important part of your arsenal 😉


The comic strip was cool for a beginning. Thank you so much for sharing insight on this. Some people feel as if they are not in business without business cards or won’t speak to a person because they will be judged. I am here to say that if a person really likes you and wants to stay connected they are not judging you because you don’t have a card. I have decided that my next cards will have a picture of me on it and my social media info. I’m not just going to give them out just because, I’m going to give them out to who really wants to connect instead of just trying to brush me off and seem interested. I will definitely take your advice by asking the best way to connect. Thanks for sharing Peace and Blessings.


I would take your advice, for sure! i never use business cards that have been given to me but I would appreciate an email 🙂

Paul Parry

I wrote a book and my business card is the back cover. Works a treat. Something different, always gets a positive reaction and has brought me work. Content marketing doesn’t have to stay online 😉


I’d be out tens of thousands of dollars in advertising from my websites if I’d gone this route. Going to a trade show where your potential partners are attending without business cards shouts “I’m cheap AND an amateur.”


This rings true for me. I believe you are right. Connecting goes much further than just collecting a business card!!!


Loved the drawing!! Are you the artist? The best part is the hairy arm with the watch and puppet. Maybe the naysayers didn’t catch that. The juxtaposition of either trashing a business card or actually following through and making a connection in a professional manner is effective and powerful.

Additionally, I think that your idea of how and when to connect is excellent, and you included the added bonus of exactly what to say. Now, all we have to do is put reminders on our calendars to follow through.

I look forward to more of your series.


The idea of combining humour and information is great, but the strip isn’t working very well because it has no humour.


    Completely agree. Not a hint of humor there.


    I was thinking the same. Alas, it’s not easy to set up a joke in 3 or 4 panels. Even Dilbert falls flat with most of Scott Adams’s comics (IMO).

    However, I would be interested in seeing some Derek Halpern stand up comedy. That would be fire.

    Kim Snyder

    I was just thinking the same thing in fact. It is good but it should of added something besides just dropping the cards in the trash.


Your BTC plan works well! Look at all this controversy.
Choose a side, don’t straddle the fence.


Hi Derek. I really like your comic! However, I think you over-explained it in that first line, “Why you shouldn’t waste one second worrying about your business card.” It takes away our chance to see it for ourselves in the rest of the comic. Take that first cell out and it stands perfectly on its own! It’s funny and it’s true. I have mountains of business cards – many have nothing to do with anything I do. I ultimately throw most out, keeping just a select few.

Is the name of the comic strip “Things I wish I said”? It doesn’t seem to fit with how the comic unfolded. Off the top of my head, how about these as brain triggers: “Derek’s Got a Point,” “The Bottom Line,” “Businessisms,” “Debunk the Junk,” ‘Business Check.” Ha, you may not like any of those but it was fun coming up with them.

You are definitely on to something! Keep ’em coming!


Loved the comic 🙂

And yet I have to disagree a little.

I did meet people who’d be interested in chatting more about me providing some web design services to them and of course they asked for a business card. Which I didn’t have.

So I created a simple design and paid few bucks to get 50 business cards printed.

And now, if someone asks for a business card, I give it to them. It’s less embarrassing than having to doodle on napkins or gas receipts 😀


    I think the point Derek was making was that it’s better to collect their info instead of relying on them to keep track of yours.

    Business cards aren’t bad. They’re just unnecessary at the beginning and it’s something that keeps people from moving forward with their business endeavors.


I was somewhat interested. Derek, you did ask for feedback and if that feedback was unsatisfactory or if the feedback was incorrect I can see trying to correct it and trying to keep it on point, you just told the person to unsubscribe 😂😂.
Business cards may not work for certain people, other people business cards work amazing, as do many other tools such as online punch cards.
I am in Ejuice sales and affiliate marketing online. Business cards are extremely important. If everyone were to follow this advice, there wouldn’t be a business card and conventions are short in my industry and it is a fast paced industry. Instead of being a terrible sales person and possibly interrupting a business during potential sales giving them my sales talk, I may just grab a card from them and talk to an employee and pass his my card and a bottle of Eliquid and then follow up.
No business cards means a loss of 100’s of connections. In some places it works not having cards, others, sometimes a business may want several cards to hand out to their customers to order products direct from me during a businesses very busy time. Business cards to end up in the trash often, so I have made it a point during conventions to have items that will have my brand name on it and my contact information, pens, note pads, mouse pads, etc.
Online sales a website must be crisp. It needs to look clean, move fast, and be optimized for both mobile and standard computers.
For some, business cards may be a waste of time and I will not dismiss that fact. For other business cards are very important. Email’s often end up in the spam bin or get deleted. Text messaging is the #1 best way to contact someone. It does not interrupt their daily life and they may be able to respond back right away, a text message will usually get you a message back the same day.


Hi Derek,
It’s brilliant to express the idea through the picture and what a great creative tool!
“The picture worth a thousand words” as they say. Some can only learn this way – its quick, entertaining, and gets right to the point.
I believe that this is a great teaching tool which could take things to the next level.
Looking forward for more!

Karlyn (TheBizPro)

Thank you for the time you put into the article to share. It seems no matter what is taught, there are those who try to short cut somethings. There are no shortcuts to success.

I’ve found that it doesn’t matter what I give out it is more important that I do get their infomation to control the success in my business. The most important part of using a business card is that you give them something, for giving you something. It is called a pearl for pearl exchange.
What they do with your business card after you’ve given it to them is none of your business! Yet, what you do with their information is what matters. Most importantly… be memorable!

I did not understand the comic strip usiness card. I personally found that to be confusing. I personally would’ve enjoyed getting to the messes a little bit sooner as I found it to be a little bit repented tiff before getting to it.

Liked: Find the pain, eliminate the pain, have the solution. I teach; be sure to making sure they, want what you have, need what you have or sell, and will use what you provide. If Not me… Who can I referr them to that can best help them. It is about finding the balance.

Thank you again and I will look forward to your next tip.


Love the comic strip idea! I was always a fan of Dilbert. I used to post them on my cubicle before I became self-employed. Not that I was a rebellious employee or anything… 😉


Love the approach — but it’s based on the other guy giving you a business card. Advice on what to say, do when the other person doesn’t proffer a business card? E.g, what if 2 people who’ve read this blog meet? Asking for someone’s contact info without a stated reason might make someone uncomfortable if they haven’t offered it themselves….?

Nicholas Newman

I must disagree with you about the usefulness of business cards; they are a tool, just like your comic strip and email. I learnt long ago, one must be selective in who one gives business cards to for maximum effect. For instance, when I attend a conference, there might be 40 plus people who I talk to, but only three or four that are likely to be useful to me in my business. These three or four I will exchange cards with, the cards are to ensure no mistakes are made in writing down contact details. In addition, I take photos of the people I have met, as this helps me in future communications. As I have gained experience in networking, I have become more selective in spotting my targets. I have also learnt that one of the best ways to be noticed at such events is to lead a seminar or a workshop or give a speech.


    I concur with Nicholas about the need for business cards. Which means I’m also disagreeing with you, Derek. My clients are businesses and organizations, and business cards are essential for connecting, promotion and remembering. It’s quicker to exchange business cards than to input someone’s email and phone number into my contact list. I do that function later, when I review who I’ve talked with and decide who I want to stay in touch with. Business cards are an ordinary and necessary part of doing business in my sphere, and I do hang onto them, as many of my colleagues do. I’m regularly asked to design business cards as part of an overall visual branding program (I am a designer). These little pieces of cardstock are not going away any time soon.

Anthony Ryan Garces

Nice post, I was on the verge of making a budget for a business card! Now I will make use of something else with that money. Thanks! 🙂


I really like the substitution for the business card exchange cliche! Have an event tonight premiering our business that I will be using this tactic for. Thanks Derek!


First comic strip was cool. Glad I was able to witness it in real time. I will use this networking advice. I’ll follow up on how successful it has been


First comic strip was cool. Glad I was able to witness it in real time. I will use this networking advice


I loved this comic strip. It went well with something I have been trying to integrate into my business. I am the kind of person who enjoys helping others. This strip goes along really well with this.


Hi Derek, article’s great. Comic’s a bit bland/cliched though.


Gosh! Brilliant article Derek. Exactly the thing I was sensing with the whole “busy business Card” thing- No need for big proof cards, as everyone should embody their unique Business Presence. Xxx


This cartoon would be great on a business card 🙂


Hi Derek,
We’ve only recently met and you’re asking me for answers? Try me again after the 1st or 2nd dinner party 🙂

(Okay…. don’t pout. Yes, it’s good stuff.)


Totally liked the comic – I use cartoons to lighten up a difficult issues – living with chronic health challenges. Just as yours, it affords a fun way to teach something quickly. Do more!


There is GREAT reason for business cards: You can put them in the raffle bowl at a restaurant and try to win a free lunch! 😛

PS- I like the comic strip. Looking forward to future installments.



Good is an understatement for this piece of content. I’ve never seen anyone in the B2B community ever create something like this, I appreciate it because I know how hard it is to be unique in this space. Props!

Angus, don’t hate on it just because you are comedian (I’m guessing) and want to show everyone else you have expert comedian status by judging it.


I LOVE your comic strip!! What a great idea! I used to love reading the comics. You’re right! There is no comic strip for entrepreneurs. It is unique and I look forward to seeing more… I know you will be teaching the reality of business situations by visually making your point in cute and simple comics. Thank you, Derek!


Hey Derek,

You hit it out of the park with this post! Business cards are a nice “hello”, but they have no long term value. They only serve as a mental placeholder with a half life of next to zero. I will start to implement your brilliant strategy immediately and hope to start connecting on a more personal level to grow my new brand.

Best advice article of the year…

Cheers and regards…


Thought your comic strip was cool and I’m always excited about learning how to grow my business. This simple win-win formula is something I feel like I would be comfortable executing.

Greg Sudderth

If you look at Tim Ferriss’ give-to-take ratio, its like 20-to-1 or 40-to-1….its so long, it appears that he never, ever, asks for anything.

Dustin Rusbarsky

Hey good article and I love the 12-month rule. Great strategy.

The comic was cute and pretty silly. The title was a bit confusing to me. But I enjoyed it. It was fun and I would love to see more of these.

One question: how do I utilize the 12-month rule when I’m reaching out to people to tell them about a (free) product I just launched. Do I really have to wait a year before I ask them to take a look at it? Honestly it would feel disingenuous to do that because I’m not trying to develop a relationship…I just want them to share my product with their community. Beating around the bush seems sneaky and dishonest.



Derek, I certainly agree with the 3 Things you need to start and grow a business…Find, Eliminate & Show! And I love the tips on staying in touch but never asking for anything! Those 2 emails will build trust! Good Stuff. Thanks.

Michelle To

Great article, I love the framework for connecting. As an introvert, having a blueprint on connecting with someone makes it feel like less pressure. I will never just pick up the phone and call a near stranger to connect, it irritates me when people assume which way I like to connect!


Great Stuff Derek, I’ve always hated the idea of business cards cos I’ve found them to be pointless for a VERY long time, which is why I’m glad you wrote this. I LOVE the comic strip , please keep it coming!!!


I liked the comic strip, the article was killer.


Sorry man, I like your stuff but your comic is rubbish.

The key to humour is satire. But you can’t do burn-your-bridges-I-hate-life-satire and get across your commercial-life-affirming-lets-get-out-the-cheque-book-sales-point.

Great click bait though.


    Greg Sudderth

    I think the comic is in the “ironic style” like maybe “Work Is Hell” or “Life Is Hell” by some guy that created The Simpsons 🙂 Its all good and I appreciate it because I DIDN’T PAY FOR IT FOR STARTERS 🙂

    Derek Halpern

    You should unsubscribe.

    This isn’t selling anything.

    This is pointing out the much larger fact that you need to stop worrying about minutia.

    One day you’ll learn.

    That day isn’t today clearly 😉


      I’m new to your stuff. This comment just affirms that I will continue to soak up your free content, but will never pay for anything. Great posts, comment reflects the kind of person I don’t want to actively support.


      What on earth is the point of asking for feedback in your email then rudely telling somebody who gives you a very thoughtful criticism to just unsubscribe.

      Dustin Rusbarsky

      Derek don’t you know by now not to respond to internet weiners like that guy? All it does is validate their tiny weeners.


LOVED this! This reminds me of an encounter I had with an independent musician…. He randomly messaged me asking me to listen to his music and offered his cd for sale. I had never met him, this was our first interaction. I actually responded and told him that I thought he needed to take a different approach – much like one you have outlined! We’ve been friends since…. 🙂

connie curtis

Its good.

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