When’s the last time you passed out a business card? Or a better question, do you have a business card to pass out and share?
I still remember when I got my first box of business cards placed on my desk at my first job. I opened the box and was elated to see my name and my title on those cards. I even went ahead and purchased a business card holder for them that I could carry around. I was so official!
But if I’m being honest, I didn’t really take advantage of actually using my business cards. The box of cards sat on my desk at work and my card holder was buried in a drawer at home. I seemed to always forget to carry them with me when I was out and about. This habit continued in my next two jobs and I kicked myself every time someone asked me, “do you have a business card?” I told myself each time that happened that I’d remember next time to put my card holder in my purse, but I either forgot or then convinced myself I didn’t need to add one more thing to my purse.
It wasn’t until I started Lipstick & Ink and created my own business cards and began passing them out that I began to take notice of their advantages. I get that in this ever growing technological world, it can be easy to say “let’s connect on LinkedIn” or “hey, what’s your Instagram handle?” And while that can work and can give you that instantaneous virtual connection, handing over a business card is infinitely more impactful. Why do I say that? Find out below!
You Never Know Who You’ll Meet
You never know when you may meet someone new. That person could be the one to help you get a new job or opportunity. That person could connect you with someone they know who can help grow your network. That person could even be someone you yourself can help in some way. You could meet that person at the next event you attend or you may even meet them at the grocery store tomorrow! You just never know when that moment could present itself.
It Gives a Powerful First Impression
And when that moment does come, handing over a business card rather than pulling out your phone to add their name and number to your Contacts is going to set you apart. Passing someone a business card automatically provides more of that personal touch and makes you appear more official and legitimate. It shows that you mean business and gives the impression that you are professional, intelligent and confident. It also proves that you know the importance of networking and making connections.
Think about it this way, say you meet someone tomorrow while you are out. The conversation then turns to how the two of you will connect to chat further. Would you be more impressed if he or she asked for your name and number to add to their phone or if they passed you their business card?
It Establishes Your Brand
When you pass your business card to someone, it helps to establish your brand. It immediately gives an impression of not only who you are, but what your company or business encompasses. It’s the beginning of the person on the other end putting the pieces together to form their opinion and thoughts about who you are. That’s why it’s so important to be proud of the business card you pass over so you can feel confident when that time comes. You want to ensure your card speaks to your branding in terms of the font, the colors, the logo, and the graphics. It’s also important to take into account not just what the business card looks like, but also how it feels. Having a flimsy business card that could easily be crumpled is not going to leave a lasting impression.
Here are some tips for success:
- On your business card, you could include things like:
- Your company/brand name/affiliation logo
- Note: if your card is just for personal branding purposes, look into creating your own logo with your name to add that personal touch
- Who You Are
- Your name
- Your title
- Your company/brand name/affiliation name (if applicable)
- Social channel handles
- Contact Information
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your address (if applicable)
- Your Work
- Your Offer
- I.E. a discount code, link to a download, etc.
- Your company/brand name/affiliation logo
- Get creative with the space constraints – if you can’t fit everything, decide what’s most important and remove the rest
- Use colors and graphics that match and identify with your company/brand/affiliation
- Make sure all fonts are legible and easy to read
- Use special finishes where it makes sense like a thicker card stock and glossy finish
It Helps Keep You Top of Mind
While connecting on LinkedIn is still valuable, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will stay top of mind. The connection you made at the grocery store could have hundreds of connections that they follow on social media and as we all know, we don’t always see everyone’s updates, thanks to the algorithms. However, when you give someone your business card, they’re likely putting it in their purse, their wallet, or their pocket. And guess what? At some point, they’re going to empty those and they will find your business card. It’s like a reminder for them to follow up or to check out your website or to find you on social media.
I’ve personally found a lot of success in having business cards on me at all times nowadays. If you already have your own, I encourage you to use them – carry them with you and pass them out when an opportunity comes up. If you don’t have any yet, get on it! It doesn’t matter if you’re in college, in the workforce, or own your business, business cards are still as relevant and impactful as ever.
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.