Wondering if You Should Keep Your Business Cards?
Modern technology is currently driving the trends of the world. Phones, cars, household items, even clothes are slowly becoming part of a digital world. Traditional ways of living, not to mention marketing, are falling by the wayside. People go less by in person interaction and more by a person’s social media profile to judge them, or learn about them before they even meet in person. In such an impersonal society, and world, what are we to do?
Printers have caught many issues from the digital trends of today’s world, one such issue being with business cards. Business cards were once a valued commodity, the calling card of the modern businessman. Are they as relevant nowadays as they were ten years ago? Is it more common to see someone hand out a business card, or to say “look me up”, on Facebook and LinkedIn? Certainly many people are leaning towards using the Internet as their social calling card, but at a first meeting, that doesn’t always gain one recognition.
Why a Business Card?
A business card is the physical representation of your personal brand. Sure, your brand is probably represented online by a hundred different platforms and social sites. But how does that translate into real life? Having something tangible with your information on it makes it much more likely for a prospective client to call you back, because it makes you stand out from the many people who opt to only have their information listed online or in a digital business card format. Business cards also showcase your brand personality, if they’re designed specifically for you and the message you are trying to sell to others.
I once worked at a company where instead of business cards, the sales team told people to text their name to a shortcode. It was a neat concept, and it made the company appear to seem green. But if you delete the text message or forget the number or name you are supposed to text, then how great does it really work? It’s certainly cheaper than having cards printed traditionally, but is it a lasting method? I saw this happening four years ago and if the trend hasn’t caught up to major companies, it probably won’t. Small communicative trends come and go, but the tried and true favorites such as the printed business cards are here to stay.
Can’t You Mix Digital and Print?
In order to keep from bashing technology, however, I have to say that business cards are a great way to cross market traditional print values and modern day digital methods. Having a QR code, or your social media links listed on your business card is a great way to bridge the gap between two schools of branding and create one all around solution. You have both sides of your cards as space to advertise yourself, make sure you use all that real estate in a useful and impactful way.
How to Make a Business Card that is Unique
So now that you are ready to get some business cards made, how do you make it unusual or attractive enough that people remember you and hold onto it? One extremely creative graphic designer recently made his business card and resume into a four-pack of home brewed beer with incredible results. Clearly, that may not be the route for everyone, but it’s an amazingly creative concept and calling card. Perhaps you want your business cards to have an extremely simple design, but still feel the volume needs to be turned up, what do you do now? The answer can be strikingly simple: don’t print your cards on what everyone else does! Instead of traditional card stocks, why not print a business card for a recycling non-profit organization on wood? Print your business cards on a static cling or wall graphic material and stick your business cards on the floor, windows, and walls! Metallic foil boards are another great media, or try a lenticular 3D material to make your information mesmerizing!
Getting To It
Working with your local printer instead of just ordering generic cards online gives you much greater options for unique printed cards that bring your online and print branding together. Making sure your cross-media marketing of yourself and your company is truly cohesive will help you stand out from the crowd in all the best ways.
Innovative Ways to Hand Out Business Cards
1) Keep them in your pocket, purse, briefcase, and wallet, on your desk, and at the reception area of your office
2) Store your cards in a nice holder so they don’t get bent
3) Place business cards on bulletin boards at local restaurants, supermarkets, libraries, and your children’s schools
4) Include business cards with all of your correspondence, including bills you pay
5) Use them as scrap paper when you need to jot down a note
6) Give people a reason to hold on to your card
7) As a business owner or manager, have business cards printed for all staff members, right down to the lowest ranking person
8) Use your business cards to introduce yourself to prospects you meet at networking functions, in the park or at your children’s soccer games