Here’s a post from Ilya Pozin, whom I follow on Twitter and have certainly learned a few things from over time. It’s a brief read, but the crux of his view is that business cards are old and pretty useless, given today’s tech developments. I’m gonna argue that, or at least put a different spin on it. Four supporting points:
- He states, “If people need to reach [my mentor] and it’s that important, they will find a way. As for me, I haven’t had business cards for many years either. Instead, I make a point to ask my new connection to email me. (When I respond, I include my full contact information.)” This sounds like you’re doling out tasks to a new connection. “Find me on the Internet”. “Email me”. Personally, I’m from the school of making things as easy as possible on customers, partners, vendors, anyone who may fill a need for me.
- As everyday communication trends more and more towards digital footprints, physical experiences will have bigger impacts. Direct mail, for example, is making a bit of a comeback as of late.
- I’m no designer, but branding and messaging are a huge part of my client services, so I’ll take every opportunity to show my visual communications capabilities. Never pass up the chance to make an impression.
- As Andy Sernovitz points out, “we don’t need business cards to share our street address, we need them to make people want to talk with us a second time.”
I’d amend Ilya’s post by adding the word “Traditional” in front of “Business Card” in the title. Traditional, boring anything will have little to no impact, whether it’s a business card, a website, or a pitch deck. But make it fun and interesting, and you have yourself a conversation topic. At the end of a business meeting last week, three out of the four of us pulled out business cards and did the typical exchange. When the guy across the table from me saw mine (which included the word “F*CK” on it), he smiled and called it out as one of the more interesting cards he’s ever seen. We then talked, as a group, for five minutes about what I do and the branding/marketing industry as a whole. I doubt we would have had that important interaction if I just directed him to Google to find my contact info.
Because I get bored easily, I change biz cards often. Here are some of my most recent: