Business cards, presentations and email lists

Three years ago (maybe four?) I went to a see a presentation about 3D printing. I was an outsider on the topic, so everything was interesting. However, when I approached the speaker, she did a huge mistake.
Well, she actually did two mistakes.
I remember I was taking a couple of pictures of some slides and she told me that she’d prefer if I don’t take them, and I could give her my email after the presentation ended and she would send me the whole thing. Obviously, selfishly she tried to hide the slides so she could sell more books (Mistake #1.)
Anyway, I waited until the presentation was over and I approached her to ask about where could I find more info, and see if she could send me the presentation.
She said: sure. So I offered her one of my business cards (back then when I used them) and she said: you know what? I think is better if you just email me directly. So she gave me her card. (Mistake #2.)
I didn’t send her an email after all.
What happened here?
Of course she thought she was so busy to deal with an outsider like I was, so to keep me out of her sight she just gave me her card. But, what if she decided to build a permission asset, a list of people that wanted to hear from her? Maybe she’d sell more books in hat way than hiding her slides.
What happens is that people still think that marketing today is about finding customers for their products. But that’s not likely to happen anymore. Marketing is about finding more products for your customers. And that’s why building an email list is critical.
I say email because it’s the best way I know to build a permission asset. If you find another one, it’s fine. Nevertheless, keep in mind that social media can go out of business suddenly, like MySpace did. Facebook or Twitter have been around just for 10 years,. Email has been around for 50 years and it’s not going away anytime soon.
Use every single chance you have to collect emails. From everybody that might be interested in your work. And keep in touch with them.
Are you giving a talk? Bring a sheet of paper and pass it through the audience to get emails.
Go through your contacts on LinkedIn and tell them what you’re doing and get emails.
Put some subscription forms in your website.
Get your hands dirty and collect emails manually.
And then, you’ll have a list of people that you personally know that want to hear from you.
In the long run, that’s game changing.
So next time someone gives you his or her card, be thankful.