We hear it all the time: “The business card is dead,” “Who needs a business card, just connect with them on LinkedIn!” But I am here to tell you about the power of that little piece of paper and how far it can take you in growing your business!

At TitleSmart, I am always telling our closers: never leave home or the office without a big stack of business cards! And while some people may look at me like I’m old school, I know that a business card can take you miles when building your business. There may be times it seems obvious to travel with those small cards in your purse or pocket, such as a networking event, but you never know who you might meet when you are out and about in your day to day life! Take my story for example:

When I first opened TitleSmart, we needed business, and needed it fast! I was talking to my husband before we went out to dinner and told him, “Tonight I am going to meet someone to help grow our business.” As sure enough, I run into one of my old realtor friends at dinner, who I had worked with years ago. I got up the courage to go say hi, and man, was I glad that I had a big old stack of business cards in my purse! Not only did it legitimize my new business, but it also helped remind him to connect with me when he was back at his desk. And to this day, that realtor is one of my best clients!

Not only are business cards important when growing your business, but they can also be powerful referral tools. If someone asks me if I have a great recommendation for a new insurance rep or supply company, I can easily go into my business card book and offer them one of the business cards I have stashed away from my network. This is also why I often give connections more than just one of my cards; you never know who they might give it to!

Offering up a business card, however, doesn’t mean the buck stops there. Follow up is just as important, if not more, than handing over that card. Connect with that person on social media, or send them a quick note letting them know it was nice to meet them. Real conversations and connections will take you far!

One final piece of advice: be sure your cards are up to date! There is nothing more embarrassing than having to cross off your old email for your new one or scribbling your new cell phone number down on the back– #fail!

So, before you write off the business card, remember the power a simple piece of paper can have when growing your business and building long-lasting connections. Start handing out those cards like candy and see how far they can take you!