We’re living in the digital age. Information is literally in the palms of our hands, accessible 24/7/365. For many people, their most important possession is a cellphone – the device contains everything from contacts to media to family photos to valuable data. Smarthphones are designed to quickly share information. You can literally call, text or email someone in span of seconds. It’s difficult, and even unnerving, to imagine life without our phones. With everyone, companies included, being so reliant on technology, can business cards be classified as immaterial? Is the entire concept of a business card antiquated? The answer to those questions, my friends, is a resounding no. Business cards are an absolute necessity and should be designed in a way that maximizes their value.
Networking and Professionalism
Even with technology, a business card still serves as the most effective mode of sharing information at networking events. Many of us have been in situations where someone asks for a business card and we don’t have one – it makes us feel (and look) inexperienced, embarrassed and unprofessional. Possessing a business card signifies professionalism and creates a good first impression. It gives off an air of experience and success. When networking, there is still something to be said for a personal touch. In other words, eye contact, conversation and a handshake still matter. Staring at your phone or relying on the device to share information can detract from your objectives during potential opportunities. A business card is an established, timeless and tried and true method of networking.
Your business card is your brand, serving as a showcase for you and your organization. No matter your work – it could be anything from industrial resin flooring to librarianship to information technology – it is essential to promote yourself and your service(s). While having an online presence – website, social media page(s), LinkedIn – is important, a business card serves as a physical product that can meet real-word, face-to-face needs. It provides customers and contacts with something tangible that can be referenced later when they are thinking about products or services pertinent to your industry.
Technology and business cards are not mutually exclusive. Creating business cards online should be embraced, as technology can enhance the entire process. Many sites allow users to select size, shape, theme, images and text style for their product. The chance to create something customizable is a major advantage of incorporating technology.
Personal business cards should be identifiable, creative and professional so you have something unique and eye-catching to give prospective clients and existing customers. The key is to create a piece that is visually appealing but not cluttered. In other words, important information should stand out and be easily accessible. What information is considered important? Name, job title, company/organization, work phone number, work address, work email address and company/organization website are crucial. People’s attention spans are shorter than ever – if they can’t find what they are looking for, they will move on quickly.
Professionals still need business cards, as they are a staple in the working world … it is professional etiquette to possess them. Business cards are essential for networking, as they put a face to an individual/company, establish professionalism and build a brand.