February 9, 2017
With the takeover of digital technology, dozens of items have declined in popularity: landline telephones, printed newspapers, cars that can’t sync with your phone. It isn’t hard to believe that business cards, like many other printed products, could be added to the list of Things Digital Technology Killed.
But if you’re prepared to pay your last respects, you may want to hold off. The reality is that business cards aren’t an isolated entity; their sole purpose is to help you navigate networking situations. And, as you know, networking is still very much a part of making connections in the corporate world—whether that’s with clients, vendors, investors, or employees. Business cards are crucial to making those connections because they:
1. Make you more memorable
Today’s business cards are more creative than ever. They can be printed on innovative materials—such as leather, wood, or fabric—and cut into custom shapes instead of plain rectangles. Some professionals even print their contact information on 3D replicas of their products or on snacks that recipients can enjoy after a meeting.
Since people’s brains build stronger memories with the help of tangible reminders, the goal of these cool cards is to provide a unique experience that cements those memories in recipients’ minds. Custom cards are likely beyond your DIY abilities—especially if you don’t have an industrial printer in your backyard—so you’ll need to find business card design services to turn your idea into a functional business card.
2. Are quicker than a mobile device
Today’s cellphones are super powerful and equipped with amazing apps that can help you fix life’s little problems, like working on a car or fixing leaky windows. You can even use these apps for networking and beam contact info from one phone to another—if you have a compatible device, that is. But for connections who don’t have compatible phones, you still have to manually enter contact information the old-fashioned way.
This wastes valuable time you could spend networking with other people. There’s also an “out of sight, out of mind” conundrum: if you put your information into someone’s phone, it’s mixed in with all their other contacts. They could easily forget you’re in there. A business card, on the other hand, provides a tangible reminder apart from everyone else they’ve met that day.
3. Can be customized for different roles
Most people have one primary employer, but that doesn’t mean they’re limited to that one role. Perhaps they do freelance work, plan to start their own business, or specialize in multiple skills that are beneficial to different types of clients.
Trying to cram all your various titles onto one business card can be a hassle, so many professionals are adopting a multi-card strategy. They have a custom business card for each role, letting them network most effectively with each audience. This tactic works because the more relevant your business card is to a client’s needs, the more likely they are to respond positively.
4. Appeal to social customs
You know that business cards aren’t a new tradition—but you may not realize just how old they are. In Asia, they date back to the 1400s. Europeans took a little longer to catch on, but by the 1600s they were creating tiny advertisements on “trade cards.”
The digital age is powerful, but not powerful enough to wipe out 500 years of social traditions. The fact is, business cards work because they appeal to our societal constructs. They help us establish hierarchy by showing our position in an organization. Most important—in a digital era that’s making people feel lonelier than ever—business cards let you genuinely connect with other people.
Business cards are more than just a nice-to-have novelty to keep in your pocket. They’re a must-have tool for creating memorable, powerful networking connections with the people around you. As you continue building your professional network, be sure that you have a bold business card ready to showcase your identity.