In today’s digital age a business card may seen prehistoric. Not too far from the truth – the formal calling card has been around since the 15th century, and in the earlier years they were regarded so highly that receiving one was coupled with strict rules of etiquette.
As time has progressed every day traditional approaches are being swapped out for digital advancements, it is slightly surprising (and comforting) to learn that the business card still holds value.
Faster Than a Speeding Train
Chances are that with a flick of your wrist, offering a business card is faster than saying “find me on Facebook” or “my website is www. …” Despite technology a business card is still an extremely fast and effective way to make an in-person connection.
New apps like Bump (where people with the same app can “bump” phones and instantly share contact info) do pose an even faster approach, however not everyone has a Smartphone, and when those who do accidentally drop it in a sink, contacts also go down the drain. While digital contact sharing services are great, you’d never want to discriminate someone who is not up on the trend; be respectful of tradition and always keep a tangible business card on hand.
Don’t Leave Home Without It
The sheer fact that people still expect them is enough reason to keep your cards stocked. When asked for your card to respond with “Eh, I actually don’t have one on me at the moment” is like showing up for an interview without a resume. Being prepared is an attractive and expected quality of successful people in the business world, don’t sell yourself short.
Also keep in mind that not all networking is going to take place at a formal conference, the grocery store, your kid’s ballet recital and happy hour are filled with opportunities to make a connection. Slipping someone your business card is a non-threatening way to introduce yourself/your services without interrupting the surrounding happenings.
Stay Relevant, Useful and Linked
Yes, the still-relevant business card started in the 15th century, but that does not mean you should be drafting yours by candlelight with a quill pen. In fact, the lasting relevance of business cards should motivate you even more to create a card that is fresh and unique. Check out these amazingly creative and different approaches and watch others respond with “Wow”.
In addition to your contact information, try adding a coupon code or discount for cardholders; this will increase the chances of people keeping your card while fostering a sense of loyalty among new customers.
Including your website is essential to any business card. Up the linked factor by including a QR (quick response) graphic on your card which when scanned on a Smartphone can automatically connect people to your website, Facebook or Twitter. Use sites like Go QR and Kaywa for easy and free QR creations.
What other networking tools do you consider to be timeless?