The times are changing, but have business cards become obsolete? We posed this question to our experts. Business Cards; Are they worth it? We hope their input will help you make your decision on this investment.
It’s definitely a good choice if one invests in personalized business cards for their business. And there are tons of reasons behind it.
Business Cards Act As A Trust Symbol-How many serious businesses you come across that don’t offer business cards? None, in my opinion. Business cards are very important to make an impression on your customer (current or potential) that you are serious about what you do. Short term or scam businesses don’t tend to offer such kind of things because they are often considered as petty.
A Business Card Is Your Go To Identity- Before a person actually buys something he does tons of research about it. That’s psychological. And there are good chances that he will also consider some substitutes as well.
So it’s really hard for the customer to remember the credentials of every business owner. These are the times when business cards always come in handy.
- I don’t carry business cards personally. It communicates 2 very important things. First, I am selective and secondly, I always say “I’m fresh out” as if I’ve given them to several people already.
- I did an experiment where I attended events and handed out cards for awhile – then I attended a few more events and collected cards. I got about a 70% response rate when I collected cards and reached out to people. Only about 10% of the people I gave my business cards to actually emailed me. I imagine this is because they receive a stack of several cards and some get lost in the fray.
- Overall I think being memorable (wearing very similar hair and clothing each event), and being relevant is most important. Most people won’t do business with you until they feel like they know you. So I’m not sure a business card is going to do the leg work for you. The more memorable your pitch, business card, and personal dress – the more brownie points you’ll earn with prospects.
“Every professional should have business cards, even those who work out of their homes. It is a courtesy to exchange cards and could be awkward and inconvenient if you do not carry them. In some foreign cultures it can even be considered rude. If you are self conscious about your home address then use the mail service at UPS or another business service if you prefer. I think it is a no brainer. I started working out of my home 16 years ago and had cards made before my web site went live. Just do it.”
“I own and run my whole business from home. You would think business cards are important being that I am the top custom rubber duck manufacturer in the world and even returned the whole industry back to the USA to be the only one making rubber ducks where the industry originated. Our clients are all these Fortune 500 companies from Harley-Davidson to The NY Yankees. But here’s the thing…..you don’t need business cards these days especially working from Home. The internet has changed everything. People can find you with the stroke of a key. And honestly, if you are working from home, how many meetings flying here and there are you really doing. Bottom line, you can save your money and better use those funds for Social media SEO!”
Worth the Investment? -Printing out business cards is not a thing of the past. Despite living in a digital age, the business card continues to be a powerful tool. They’re easy to make and easy to distribute, and best of all they give you a direct line of access to people that could potentially help you grow your business. A 2016 report showed that sales increase by 2.5 percent for every 2000 business cards distributed. It may take time, but it’s worth the investment. When working from home it’s easy to be complacent, but it makes it that much more important that when you leave your home and venture into conferences or meetings, people remember you.
Staying Engaged- When you’re talking to someone, stay engaged in the conversation. Afterwards, consider making a few quick notes on the back of the business card. At any conference or networking event you’ll be meeting a lot of people, so anything you can do to help you remember important or personal details will help.
Long Term Pay-Offs- Adobe recently reported that 88 percent of business cards get thrown away within a week, but there’s something to be said for holding on to any cards that could possibly bud into a relationship. Last summer at a business conference I collected over a dozen business cards. I followed up on a few, but most of them I set aside in a binder and didn’t look at again. A few months later, I pulled out that binder and found the business card for a member of the National Speakers Association. That connection ended up helping us out with an event we hosted later in the year.
WAH or not, in this digital age the business card remains an important marketing tool. Think about it… even with today’s technology, nothing has replaced the simple act of handing out your business card. Business cards are readily accepted in almost any situation, both formal and social. This small, portable, self-promotion tool can not only help you break the ice in new relationships, but serve as a tangible reminder of you and your business.
Avoid the mundane. In many cases your business card makes the all-important first impression to potential customers. A good designer will create a business card that is consistent with – even enhances – your brand. While the information on the business card is fundamental we prefer that the card itself is eye-catching and memorable. It should also convey trustworthiness through its appearance (design, quality stock and printing).
Business cards stand the test of time. Embrace them.
” I could give some insight into whether or not business cards are worth it for a WAH business. In short, they’re not anymore. A LinkedIn connection is so much more valuable. As a reporter, people hand me their business card all the time and then most of the time I proceed to lose it immediately. But a Linkedin connection can’t be lost! It’s better to focus on giving your LinkedIn profile to the person in the moment. They can add you right from their phone and then you can build up your contacts that way. ”
Sabrina Ali, Career Counselor
In a nutshell – yes, have a personalized business card. It’s worth it. But personalized doesn’t mean just having your name, contact details, and a logo. What it means to make your business card meaningful goes back to the roots of the practice – the calling card:
- When you give someone your business card, think of it as a way to keep in touch and not just as a way to get in touch. What helps in this regard is to have a professional photo on your card. People feel drawn to facial features and because of this who you give your card to will be more likely to hang onto it. People, after all, say that they never forget a face, but they do forget names.
- Have customized artwork done for your card. On the “back” of your business card there are so many possibilities, so don’t waste the space. If you’re a photographer, put work samples on the back and allow people to pick the card with the photo that they like best. If you wrote a book or a manual, put the cover illustration on the back of the card. If you have a quote that’s your philosophy about how you approach what you do, include it. This way you double and triple the reasons that someone would hang onto your card to use it. Humans hold onto little things that inspire them. We are willing to make a home within our home for them because we want to see these things again and again.
- Etiquette matters! Passing out your business card in a nonchalant way or leaving a pile somewhere for people to find when it’s a traditional looking business card doesn’t give a good impression. Make offering your business card feel like a gift and it will be received as a gift. Give it when you can with both hands. Also, make sure that the paper is card stock over paper stock (even if it is heavy paper), and that the edges are clean and not perforated. The quality of the finish says what words cannot. Your business card represents you in your absence to people that don’t know you.
Investing in the business card so that you love it means that the opportunities to give it will be meaningful. People will ooh and ahh and converse with you about your business card for sure. And when this little detail of giving your business card to someone is treated with care, when conversation isn’t coming easily, your card can be the beginning of an actually authentic conversation or the icing on the cake of one that was.
- The business card is often the first means of introduction in social settings, so it needs to take advantage of what LinkedIn and company websites cannot do. A business card can create a lasting personal impression through sophisticated and innovative design, paper stock, and concept. You will immediately gain respect if you share a well-crafted and impressive business card with prospective business partners and clients.
- Most successful business cards combine a creative concept, compelling design, quality material, and custom printing to achieve memorability.
Notes from Leslie:
I’m finding the responses above very interesting. For a long time, business cards were a must-have especially since they’re small making them portable, and low cost. The Internet has replaced some of the need for that, but I agree with our experts that suggest having a business card can still be helpful. I’ve been asked for my card when I’m at events, so they’re not completely obsolete. However, it’s true that many people discard or lose them. While I do have a few traditional business cards, I’ve started putting extra information on them that people will want to keep. For example, my Work-At-Home Success card lists common scams to avoid. I also have a “card” that is actually a magnetized bookmark (for my author events). My goal is to have something on the card that entices them not only to keep it, but to use it. And when they use it, they’re reminded of me and my business.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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