‘May I Have Your Card?’
More for fashion now than function, business cards still matter
Walking out of church you learn of a situation that could use your help, or in the locker room at the gym, someone brings up something that’s within your expertise. Want to turn a casual encounter into a business contact?
You’ll need a business card.
Of course, when you attend a conference, a luncheon, or meet with a prospective client or customer, exchanging contact information is vital. Okay, so you could have your smartphones kiss, but this requires each of you producing your phones, which breaks eye contact, and bypasses the opportunity of making a positive impression of your brand.
Printed business cards are still the most fundamental, economical advertising in existence, even within the Digital Age. Incorporate a QR code and you’ve achieved the best of both strata, a keeper for the Rolodex and bytes for easy retrieval via phone, tablet or computer.
Another reason for a business card is that people expect you to have one – still. They’re portable. Presenting a card also entitles you to ask for a card, which shows interest and opens up possibilities.
‘….the photo reminds the holder of you . . . particularly useful at a trade show or conference where individuals collect cards by the dozens.’
A business card does more than provide name, email, and phone number. Its function is somewhat like the sign on a retail store. You could handwrite the store name using paint on plywood, if the name were the only thing that mattered. But signage is an image builder, and so is your business card.
Do you want your brand looking cheap?
Cards Can Travel
Another card-favoring factor: a creative business card may get passed along to other parties, something that will never happen with an electronic zap. It could also get tacked onto a bulletin board or, if magnetized, slapped onto a refrigerator for high visibility unmatched by anything electronic (unless someone makes your card their screen saver; good luck with that).
There is, however, one area in which the digital age has impacted business cards – in design. Digital media has expanded creative options in both the look, and even the feel of business cards.
Inkgility, one of the more creative design companies, offers hundreds of stock business card designs, along with custom-design options. And cards are printed – or should we say produced – not just on paper or plastic but also on wood, wool, cotton, cork, metal, pulp, bamboo, and linen.
What goes onto the card is another opportunity to differentiate your business from the competition.
There are brilliant finishes featuring foil, spot UV, or glossy UV, and premium finishes of hot-foil stamping, metallic foil, cold foil, embossing and raised print.
Besides QR code, magnetic stripes can be applied to cards, and die-cutting offers endless shapes, sizes, and configurations.
Of course, business card designs always showcase your logo and company tagline, branding basics. We can help with designing your card.
Putting A Face To A Name
Another design element that can make a significant difference is your professional headshot. Even if physical appearance is not your greatest asset, the photo reminds the holder of you; it distinguishes who you are. This is particularly useful at something like a trade show or conference, where individuals collect cards by the dozens. When they’re sorting them out, they’ll more easily remember your face than your name; the card will connect the two.
One more reason for business cards – they’re always accessible. Business cards require only a pocket or purse, not a cell tower, battery power and/or wifi router.
Software companies are investing millions to digitize business cards and, yet, the greatest app-sharing program in existence remains that useful appendage just south of your elbow — your hand.