It may not seem like that much of a big deal but today my business cards arrived in the post! For the majority of my adult life I’ve been an employee for other people so to now have a piece of card with my own name on it (and not just on a tag around my neck) feels pretty liberating. However, in this online and connected world, do I really need them? If I need to keep in contact with someone I meet when I’m out and about then surely we can just exchange mobile numbers or connect on a preferred social network of our choosing?
Well yeah I guess so. When you think about it, a lot of networking and socialising these days takes place solely online or through our smartphones. If you’re on Twitter then it might be worth taking a few minutes out of your day to have a look through your list of followers. Count up how many of them you’ve met in real life and it might just surprise you. I just had a look through mine and roughly half of my followers I’ve never seen in person before. I’m now sat here wondering how these people found me and at what point they thought it would be a good idea to follow me on Twitter (considering how rarely I tweet that is). Anyway, the numbers will definitely vary from person to person and from business type to business type but I’d be interested to see what kind of percentages you get too.
Either way, handing out business cards may seem a little old fashioned and out-dated but it’s probably one of the best ways to make a great first impression. As opposed to the online world, when you do actually meet someone in person for the first time you can’t immediately get your phone out and show them your website, ask them to call you and write down your email address on a beer mat. Well, you probably could but I imagine you might get quite a few strange looks. With a business card, however, you can give someone the opportunity to connect with you and check you out on their own terms and in their own time which suits them best because, just maybe, standing at the bar while the band is on stage probably isn’t the best time to going over the finer details.
There’s also the tactile experience. If you gave someone the choice of a free digital download or a free CD/Vinyl then I’m pretty sure that 9 times out of 10 they would choose the free CD/Vinyl. But why? They both sound exactly the same! It may seem a little bit weird but people generally like to be able to hold something and look at it. Your logo and your design say an awful lot about you too whether you like it or not and whether you’re aware of it or not. Having something that ties up with your website and looks consistent is massively important but that’s an entirely different subject and one that I’m nowhere near informed or educated enough to delve into right now.
Designing And Manufacturing Business Cards
Speaking of which, big shout out to Ian Blundell of Papertwin for the designing my cards and also recommending Moo to me. I was one of the many sheep that would go straight to Vistaprint with no questions asked but, to be honest, Moo isn’t that much more expensive and the quality is so much better! It’s a bit of a shameless plug but who cares, check both Papertwin and Moo out if you need any of your own designed and manufactured!
So yeah, business cards! I guess I’m now ready to head out into the real world and do some real networking, whatever that means…