New Here? Why not download a free book. Social Media for First Graders.
Yes, I did it. I was at a lunch meeting and, at the tail end, I gave the other party a business card. A card that looked something like this one:
Now, with the advancement of technology, with mobile phones and iPads and apps and the like, you’d think that the business card would be dead. But it’s not.
In fact, the business card exchange takes very little time – and there isn’t that dance macabre of whether or not you know the person (LinkedIn request?), whether or not you have met the person ever (Facebook request?), or whether or not you’re about to get spammed (the opt-in email address confirmation thing – more on that in a few).
So, since you asked, here are official tips that you can put to use with those most trusty of networking tools: business cards.
1. Don’t Scrimp on Paper
I’m going to assume for a half-second that your business cards are under your control – if you work for a mid-sized company or a big brand, standards are decided on by an Ivory Tower somewhere. Let’s hope those folks aren’t stingy with the paper stock.
Your business card’s paper stock is one of the most important decisions you can make.
Go thick. Go glossy. 14 point is the minimum. Mine are 16. The extra couple points (or millimeters of thickness) plus the glossy finish make a serious impact.
2. Design is Important as Heck
Hire a professional. Heck, go to fiverr.com and get someone to design one. I don’t care how you get it done; but, unless you are someone with a knack for graphic design, outsource this key function.
The back of the card is important to use, too. Go with one of a couple approaches:
- Logo with links on a color background
- Your logo – but again with color
- OR space to write on.
3. While You’re at it: No Dumb Titles
Thankfully, the bulk of the business cards sitting on my desk do not use dumb titles.
But there are a couple. “Chief Awesomeness Officer,” “Marketing Guru,” and “Master of Innovation and Vision” are some examples of what you want to avoid.
My card does not have a title on it – which is a great way to avoid having to reprint when you (a) promote yourself, (b) demote yourself or (c) get direct feedback from someone telling you that your title is dumb. (Consider this a warning: I have witnessed people delivering this news to someone. I have more tact than that: I use a blog.)
4. Handing You My Card Does Not Give You Permission to Spam Me
Start with a direct email, please. “Hey, Dave, great meeting you last night. We do a newsletter from time to time, and I’d love to put you on the list. Is that okay?”
You can even ask while you’re getting my card from me; if I give you permission, write that on the back of the card, along with the date.
Hey, it’s a Marketing and Networking Jungle out there. Try these tips with your business card. Trust me, you’ll make a positive impact. OR avoid a negative impact.