Don’t Make This Mistake at CFBC & HDL

Tom T bugLast month Toni and I slipped away for a short getaway during her school’s spring break. While we were enjoying some R&R, there was one day—and only one—that I broke my own rule and didn’t carry business cards with me.


Twenty minutes after making this boneheaded decision, I found myself on a shuttle bus seated next to the enthusiastic owner of a publishing company. We hit it off right away, but he didn’t have his cards either. Thinking fast, I pulled up his website on my phone and copied the link to his contact page. We reconnected with no trouble when we both got home and we plan to stay in touch, but it could have been a lost opportunity.

Now I can probably excuse myself for one slip-up like this since I was on vacation. Maybe. But I won’t be caught doing anything like that next week when I’m in Boston rubbing shoulders with my most accomplished industry peers and hundreds of high-quality contacts.

And neither should you.

You’re going to meet a lot of amazing people at the Creative Freelancer Business Conference next week, and you’ll want to stay in touch. Speakers, colleagues, potential clients—they’ll all be there. Yet amazingly, there are people who show up unprepared every year.

So if you don’t have business cards yet, get them now. They’re cheap, and any decent printer will be happy to crank them out quickly.

If you already have them, bring more than you think you’ll need. Carry them everywhere—and I do mean everywhere. I had one prospect ask for my card in a washroom last year. No, I’m not kidding (don’t worry, we had both just washed our hands).

And just a reminder to those who are shy about introducing themselves to strangers—feel free to practice on me! I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Boston.

You can even ask for my card.

See you next week!

(Signing up at the last minute? Use the code “HDLSPEAKER” to save $50!)

Tom N. Tumbusch writes copy that creates action for designers, creative agencies and green businesses. He publishes a free writing tips newsletter each month and periodically shares more casual wisdom on the WordStream of Consciousness Blog. His tiny solar-powered corner of the Internet can be found at