As everything becomes more digitally connected, it’s easy to feel like business cards are on the road to extinction. We’ve even written about our love/hate relationship with business cards when we first released our FullContact Card Reader app. But in spite of that, sometimes it's the simplest methods of sharing contact information that work the best – which is why we're using this post to show our appreciation for the simple tradition of exchanging business cards.
We think business cards can help you to be more awesome with people and customers because business cards can make a lasting positive impression for your company and your personal brand. Here are seven reasons we still love business cards (and why you should, too).
1. They showcase your creativity
To win customers, your business needs to seem distinctive rather than common. If you’re a professional, your business card design can actually showcase your uniqueness and creativity. It’s hard to show your diversity by texting your contact information or sending an invite through LinkedIn. When designing your business card, highlight what's different about you or your business. Don’t be afraid to add unique features or cool color combinations to separate yourself from the pack.
Business cards today can be made out of virtually any material, from metal, to plastic, to unique paper designs. Take a chance with your business card to make sure it makes a positive impression on anyone who’s looking at it.
2. Business cards are still expected
In some business contexts, business cards are expected. For example, at a group meeting, passing business cards around the table helps people remember names and roles, and shows the meeting participants that you're prepared and organized. People are so inundated with email and social media requests it can be nice to take things offline every once in awhile. Business cards can be a great way to solidify any initial connection, and give you a reason to follow-up and deepen your customer relationship after you've had a chance to scan the cards into your address book.
3. They suggest a more personal connection
When you’re networking face to face to grow your business it’s all about fully connecting with the people you meet. Making connections digitally is never as personal as meeting in person. When you hand someone your business card you make a physical connection that feels more authentic.
4. They help you make a more memorable first impression
First impressions tend to carry a lot of weight in the business world. Not having a business card is kind of like having a weak handshake. It can suggest weakness and an inability to have all the details covered.
Choose a high-quality business card and your prospects and customers will assume you also have a high-quality company. Brand association through a business card can also speak volumes about your personal brand and how highly your company thinks of you.
5. Contact information on a business card is accurate
Unfortunately, people don't always update or populate the contact information on sites like LinkedIn. If you don't ask people for a business card, you may not be able to fully connect with them after you first meet them.
Business cards have the information you need to follow up appropriately and they can be scanned into your address book and synced with shared social profile information to expand the information you have and keep it up to date.
6. They can contain something special
Sharing your contact information through a social media site or personal web page might seem like a good way to reach the masses, but sometimes it's important to share special contact information or offers only in person. For example, when meeting with a special new client you may want to say that you only share your mobile phone number in person with important clients and thus highlight the fact that the client is special enough to text you any time for an immediate response.
7. They make you seem more professional
Scribbling down last minute contact information on the back of a napkin isn’t going to make you look bad, but it isn't going to attract any high marks for your business either. Having a quality business card shows that you’re a cut above the competition. Even if you’re expecting to exchange contact information digitally later, your business card can tell people your follow up is worth paying attention to.
Make sure you keep your business cards with you to indicate to any potential prospect that you’re a qualified professional.
Business cards shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your sales or professional networking efforts, but they're a great addition to any people-focused strategy. Go beyond digital networking and create a physical connection with the power of an awesome, traditional, simple, and still beloved business card.