Business Cards still Effective for Growing and Promoting
Digital communication is eliminating former physical necessities. Fountain pens seem pre-WWII. Typewriters are great conversation starters but no one is using them for business anymore. Ledger notebooks are hopelessly outdated when you can choose between Quicken, QuickBooks and a host of other software tools. Alternatively, business cards are still important and relevant tools to promote yourself and your business.
So much of our world is online and has changed how we view things and how we organize them. We tend to see only the most recent items at the top of our email inbox. Very little remains in our digital work that isn’t urgent or timely. Take a look at your email inbox and then look at your physical inbox, if you have one. Better yet, look at your refrigerator or bulletin board. You’ll likely notice you’ve kept things far longer than is strictly necessary. You might have a magnet calendar from last year you haven’t thrown away but you’ve deleted plenty of emails that are no longer relevant to your life.
We have a tendency to hold on to physical reminders of things we like or need to do. We also keep things because it’s easier than throwing them out or because we find them interesting or aesthetically pleasing. That’s why business cards can be so powerful. So before you head out to your next conference or networking event, load up your pocket with a stack of business cards.
One massive advantage you have over your forebearers is modern printing technology. Way back in the (relatively) dark ages, printing custom stationary items was expensive and took a long time. You also probably had to order a huge quantity or pay a premium for a small print run. Now, printers are using digital technology to their advantage and yours. Scrambling to get your new title on a card before a big meeting? Don’t sweat it, because printing business cards from Overnight Prints is one of many solutions that will have you looking like a polished professional in the board room.
If your company or your clientele are tech savvy, add a QR code to your card. Thusly, you can provide a tactile and electronic business card at the same time.
Though you may not be passionate about the merits of ecru versus bone; embossing over engraving or adding a watermark, significant thought should be put into the design and layout of your business cards. No matter how “cool” a certain style might look, your card must reflect the nature and character of your business. A card for a graphic designer from a hip, fun agency should look entirely different from the card of a C.P.A. at a serious investment firm. While non-traditional shapes, die cuts (cut outs) and glossy finishes are attention grabbing, use them thoughtfully and selectively. Designing business cards isn’t like choosing upgrades for a car: more isn’t always better! If you’re having trouble making a choice, consult a trusted colleague or ask your printer for advice.
Next time you leave the office, take a few of your new, memorable business cards with you. You never know when you’ll really need one.