I was recently privvy to a conversation between several entrepreneurs and copywriters about the importance of business cards. (I’ll admit, I was nosing in on Twitter).
On one side (Party A) it was argued that business cards were essential and that they should be carried around at all times. On the other side (Party B) it was argued that they were an antiquated business tool that was not necessary anymore with the emergence of social media.
Both parties had valid points, however, I find myself agreeing with Party A. Why? Because if I meet someone who I could potentially do business with, I find myself asking if they have a business card a long time before I ask if they have a Twitter account. I also find that carrying someone’s information round on a very portable piece of card to be quite handy when at networking events. I’d rather not ask for a pen and paper to write down someone’s Twitter username.
It was further argued by Party B that if he/she met someone that he/she genuinely wanted to work with, he/she would be chatting with them via social media. There was also some reference made to shredding a load of business cards that had been collected over the years from people he/she never intended to work with. My question at this point would be: Why did you take business cards from people you didn’t want to work with? It doesn’t make sense to me. In the same way that this person would be chatting to a person on twitter if he/she wanted to work with them, I would only collect a business card from someone who I wanted to work with.
To further my point that business cards are essential, we should think outside the box for a moment. Yes business cards hold the information other people need to know about us in order to do business with us. Website addresses, names, numbers, addresses and social media usernames etc. However, they can be so much more. A well designed business card can be an attractive thing, it can be the reason why your card is picked up and not someone elses. It’s basically a tiny advertisment that should reflect the professionalism and quality of your service. We’ve all seen cheap, badly made business cards and I have to admit, those kind of cards have immediately given me a bad impression of the business of the person that gave it to me.
In addition, think about business cards from the point of view of graphic designers, artists and photographers. A business card is a chance to show off their work. On one side you have the vital information. On the other you have a sample of their work perhaps. This is a fantastic way for those in the aforementioned careers to give any prospective clients an idea of how good they are at what they do. It’s also a fantastic conversation starter.
For me the business card is more than just a carrier of information – it’s a chance for you to show people a little bit about who you are.
What about you? Do you believe in the power of the business card or is it just a waste of money and time?
Let’s hear your thoughts!