You might be asking yourself, “Why business cards?” In 2016, haven’t smartphones and LinkedIn replaced the necessity of carrying around a dozen paper calling cards? The short answer is – no. There is a reason people have been using business cards since the 17th century, and even in the wake of apps and social media platforms, nothing really beats a crisp, clean cardstock to show you’re serious about your business. Below we explain the power of the business card and offer links to inspire your creativity for your own business cards.
Person-to-person first impressions
When thinking about the importance of the business card, imagine who you want to give it to – potential clients, potential employers, etc. Now, think of how many emails, social media messages, and cold calls they get in a week. On the other hand, how many times does someone walk up to them, hand them a customized business card and shake their hand? Far fewer. And this is your opportunity. Person-to-person marketing is still the most effective, according to the Content Marketing Institute. So let your handshake and business card be your first impression, rather than a friend request or impersonal email.
Now, once you’ve handed a business card to someone, you want two things to happen – for them to offer you their information, and for them to remember you. Beyond your firm handshake and communication skills, your business card is an opportunity to say something about your personality, work ethic and skill set. Think of it as a mini-portfolio. If you’re in the visual arts, this is an opportunity to showcase one of your creations. Think of a business card as a book cover. In one image, what can you say about what’s inside in a way that gets people to want more? Some people make light of their business, others offer little freebies related to their work, and others are more traditional while still thinking outside of the box.
Creative cards get more response
Imagine handing someone a business card and that person saying, “Whoa, cool. Do you have another one I can show to my friend?” And boom, your extra effort in design just allowed your business card to do twice the marketing for you. It might seem impossible to get such a strong reaction to something as small as a business card, but it’s really not. Putting in some effort can go a long way. We aren’t saying you need all your business cards to be made out of chocolate, but consider what makes your business unique. The CEO of Kodak prints his business cards on Kodak film, for instance.
The two biggest trends for paper cards are die-cuts or perforations and alternative materials. To put it simply, if you are going to make a business card out of traditional cardstock, think of how to make it interactive. It’s only slightly more expensive to add a perforated edge for people to tear off, or lazer cut your card in a unique shape. In terms of alternative materials, the sky’s the limit… seriously – beef jerky, bike wrenches, bottle openers, plungers, you name it and people are turning them into their new business cards. Think of how you could turn a promotional item into a personal business card.
You’re prepared and serious
Simply having a business card already says something about you. As the quote famously goes, “80 percent of life is just showing up.” Similarly, showing up, shaking someone’s hand, and having a business card already go a long way to making a lasting impression; it shows that you’re serious about your career, that you think ahead, and you’re always prepared.
They are still expected
You might think we live in a world where you make a business connection in an airport bar, and both parties whip out their smartphones and add each other on LinkedIn. That’s not the case. When you make a contact, they are still going to ask if you have a card. Which is the better response? “Yes, here’s mine. Do you have one, too?” Or, “Who carries business cards anymore? Can’t we just find each other online?”
See some more creative business cards here, and get some inspiration for your cards. The more interactive, the better! Once you’ve decided on the most stunning, creative idea for you, contact us and we will make it a reality.