The Importance of Business Cards

Why We Need Business Cards

One thing I find especially frustrating at networking meetings is when people have no business cards. 

For those of us who are older, not having a business card makes it harder for us to remember a person’s name or other details.

Business Cards NetworkingUnless you’ve run out because you’ve been deluged with contacts who want your card, not having a card at a networking meeting is a cardinal sin and a sign of not being very well-prepared.

Some people complain that it’s expensive to get them.  It’s not.  You can get business cards for under $30.  You can even design and print off your own cards at home for under $30.

Others complain they can’t afford a designer to do their cards.  Many printers have templates you can use that have 4-color professionally-created designs and offer these free in return for your business. Even Microsoft Office has free business card templates you can use.

Here’s why you should have business cards with you at any event you attend.

Clarity. Business cards carry your contact information in a small, easy-to carry format that anyone can use.

Relationship building. After shaking hands, the exchange of business cards is a signal of interest in continuing a relationship. In effect, you are sharing your personal contact information with someone else.  It also makes it easier for the other party to follow up with you at a later date because they have your contact information – and in an easy-to-read format.

Image. The design and materials used in making your business card convey messages about who you are and what you stand for. A cheap-looking business card on poor quality stock can make you or your company look untrustworthy. A heavier card stock feels more substantial, and can suggest you pay attention to the details.

Promotion. Business cards can tell someone what type of business you are or what kind of profession you belong to. One rule in networking is to let people know what you do and what you are looking for.  Without that information they will have a hard time helping you.

Memory Aid. When you hand someone your business card it can help them remember your name and/or business.  They can write notes on it for future follow up.  By giving them your card, you’ve made it easy for them to work with you.

TIP:  When you receive someone’s business card and you wish to make a note, write what you can do for that person.  It helps keep you in a “giving” frame of mind, always a factor for successful networking.

Business Cards for Job-Seekers

As soon as you find yourself in transition, no matter what your previous profession, you are in sales – selling yourself to prospective employers. A business card is one of the most important marketing tools you will ever create to support your job search.

The business card identifies who you are, what you do and how to contact you to help networking contacts understand how they can help you.

As a part of your personal brand image, your business card should make you memorable, distinctive and professional.

 

Our next post will describe the essential components of a good business card and provide some design suggestions.

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