‘Business cards are dead!’ That’s the cry of digitally minded individuals as they update their LinkedIn profile for the third time that month and send out tweets to their customers every 15 minutes. ‘Long live business cards!’
But are they really dead? Think back to the last time you handed over your business card at a networking event, conference or new client meeting. It probably wasn’t that long ago, especially if you’re a customer-facing member of the company.
LinkedIn and Twitter can only take your brand so far. Business cards serve as a physical representation of your company when meeting with other people in your industry and unless you’re Iron Man, most of us like being handed things.
Business cards should also work as a direct representation of your brand, reflect your website and even office stationery. They act as an extension of your company’s personality and should not be considered obsolete; their purpose has simply shifted.
You might believe that business cards are simply created to share information – i.e. your phone number, name, website etc. – when in fact they are there to really set your brand apart from other industry competitors and lead clients to your website.
To solidify this, some businesses have gone further with their card design, creating cards that can be planted to grow seeds, are made from dried meat and Lego employees actually have their own unique Lego person, featuring their names and contact details on the front and back to hand out.
Business cards are keeping specialist printing companies, such as Helloprint, in business and working with customers to create professional looking cards to be handed out. People can create their own designs online and have hundreds of cards printed and delivered within the week.
Business cards are also still relevant even in this digital age because they remove any awkwardness during an interaction. Many of us have been talking to someone important or a potential client at an industry event and completely forgotten their name. Sure, you can go on LinkedIn later and find them by searching for their company, but in that moment you’ll appreciate a business card as it removes any red faces, due to your poor memory.
Business cards also make you look professional. No one wants to wait around while the other person is searching for a pen in their bag or desperately looking for a scrap of paper to write their email address on; instead a simple business card does the work for them. They also assist those who aren’t quite up to scratch with technology and don’t enjoy an audience when inputting contact details.
Your business card doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection or battery power, it’s always there representing your brand and ready to provide information for the holder. They also give a more reputable impression of your company, convincing potential clients that you are someone who obviously cares about what they do because you took the time to create business cards that reflect your brand.
Business cards are an expected part of the networking experience, if you don’t come away with four or five you probably didn’t speak to enough people, even if they are just tucked away in a drawer at your desk when you get back to the office. These cards will continue to prove their usefulness and stand the test of time.
[Image Credit – ShutterStock.com]