Are Business Cards Still Necessary?
Every time I slip someone my email or LinkedIn, some part of me questions the need for business cards. Especially here, in Southeast Asia, where so much of business goes on over social media. Instead of over Slack chat or Skype, many internal teams here use Facebook for group communication. Often at networking functions I find myself giving out my own Facebook page url or Instagram much before I even have a chance to reach for my wallet. Though even as so much of our correspondence goes on digitally, business cards and stationery still hold 3 unique advantages.
Business cards are a potential clients first look at your brand
When you refer a potential client to your Facebook profile/page, Instagram or LinkedIn, you aren’t really introducing them to your brand. You may be wondering Why not?”. You’ve spent hours carefully crafting your hero image, made an engaging avatar picture and are completely on-brand with all your post’s copy. But no matter what you do, your client will still initially see Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Your image is confined within the branding of other companies. While this is great for getting your message out, it doesn’t make for a compelling first impression for your company. Business cards, on the other hand are (or should be) all about your style. They are a culmination of the visual and textual ways you want people to see your brand. The font selection, image placement and paper choices tell the receiver a lot about who your company is and how it operates.
Business cards are a tactile reminder
Digital is transient, that’s part of its charm. My various feeds are ephemeral, scrolling endlessly showing me only the most current posts. More and more, social media sites’ complex algorithms only show me what they assume I wish to see based upon past engagement. If a recommendation engine’s code assumes I’m not interested in at thing, I may not see it. So once you’re added to a new contact’s stream, you may become lost in that information flow. Through no fault of my own, I’ve lost track of new contacts simply because they’ve become buried under other posts. Another value of the business card is that it’s tactile, a receiver can come across it again after they clean out their purse or wallet. It can also knock around on someone’s desk for a while, a constant and real reminder of who you are.
Business cards are Personal
SEO, online marketing, and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t as effective as an in-person meeting with an exchange of business cards. Making an impression on people is invaluable when the time comes to think of who to work with. It’s a well-known fact that people do business with people they like.
Besides the connection you create with an in-person meeting, giving a new connection a business card shows you’re prepared. You can encounter a potential lead or contact at any time. Having business cards always at hand means that you never miss a chance to make business connections.
What do you think? Are there other ways business cards are invaluable for you or are they a thing of the past? Let me know in the comments below.
Or if you’re looking to refresh or create your brand, contact me for a quote