In networking parlance, your business card is second only to a hand shake.
Some say that business cards are "old school.” But, until everyone has ID chips under their skin, business cards are still a very useful way to stay in a prospect's mind... or at least, in their wallet or on their desk. A business card is, without question, the printed marketing item that every business uses to connect, to share information, and to reinforce brand identity.
Here are three good reasons you should still be using business cards:
- Today’s industry allows for a number of shapes, papers, colors, and special treatments that can provide a card unique to your business without sacrificing the legibility of important information. Striking a balance between creativity and readability is a primary consideration when designing business cards. Improved printing and cutting technology allows for both.
- Listing your website on your card is one way to drive people to your site, but also a way to save valuable design space. Prior to the advent of business websites, many businesses tried to squeeze too much information onto their card… hours of operation, list of products sold or services offered, and more. Now, all essential information and more can be found on your site. A visit to your site will result in a more complete understanding of your business.
- Most successful business owners would agree that the most memorable way to create connections is not through direct mail, email, or social media… it is through networking. That does not necessarily mean attending networking events, where everyone is trying to sell something to everyone else, but in the places you encounter people in everyday life… at sporting events, in your neighborhood, at social events, etc.
Much small talk starts with “What do you do for a living?” and that is the perfect time to give your 30-second elevator speech and press a professionally designed business card into their hand. So it’s important to try always to have a stack of cards with you when you know you’ll be encountering strangers. Many small businesses in a community will also allow other small businesses to leave stacks of cards at their place of business or tacked onto a board. Do not underestimate what people will notice/read while waiting to pay the tab for their dinner.
In short, even if business cards are considered “old school” by some, the fact is they still have their place, and in that place, they are a crucial element to your marketing efforts and strengthening your brand identity.