Are business cards still relevant?
In an age where technology is forever developing and replacing old ways of doing things, business cards still seem to be one of the first things a business concentrates on arranging. But are business cards still relevant today?
Why business cards still matter
It was pointed out in a previous blog post that networking is a great way to help raise awareness of you and your brand. But imagine going to an event with nothing but you. You have nothing for people to take away and remember you by
A business card, albeit small with few details on it, can keep you at the forefront of someone's mind. Most people keep them in their wallet, on their desks, or in an address book of some sort. All you need is a design that stands out and keep yourself at the forefront of their mind.
Now imagine being at the same event without a business card. You've managed to talk to someone and they're really interested in your products and services, and want you details. Writing them down on a napkin doesn't give the same impression as you would want to give. It's also important to remember that this isn't just a first impression for a potential new client - it's a last impression too.
It's all about branding
Branding is a key to many businesses, and what better way to show off your brand than to put it on your business card? The chances are, unless you're a freelancer, whoever receives your business card is unlikely to remember who you are, but with a bit of branding you can fix the message of your brand in their mind.
Connect the digital dots
With the help of QR (Quick Response) codes, you can allow people to scan a barcode on your business card and save all your contact details directly into their address book, making it convenient for them too.
Networking events are good to meet new people and grow the network of people you know. Some people believe this is the way to grow your business successfully ("it's not what you know, it's who you know"), and it can be correct in some situations. Have you ever hired a builder because you know one? Or did you contact several builders and ask for some quotes before making a decision? It's a natural reaction for people to hire those that you know because of trust, and while business cards are good for this, the digital world is helping us to connect far easier - without business cards.
As a professional, you probably have a LinkedIn profile, which is great to connect to those you know, in a similar way you hand over a business card. But as Ilya Pozin, Founder of PlutoTV, mentions in his LinkedIn post:
It's become normal to see people at networking events in L.A. using their phones to collect contact information right there on the spot. Fast-forward a few years, and it won't be surprising to find Google Glass-wearing techies exchanging contact information by looking at each other.
With the increase of technology such as Google Glass and virtual reality headsets, will we even have the need to attend an event in person? Couldn't we just send our details virtually between each other in a digital networking event? As technology grows, paper based marketing of any sort has slowly declined, from the increase of digital billboards to the drop in numbers of newspaper sales. Could the business card be next to go, or has it already gone?
It's all down to you
However you hand over your information is down to you as an individual or a business. It sets the example of how you work. Whether or not the business card continues to be relevant, is to be seen. Time will certainly tell.
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