By Princess Jones
A lot of us wonder if business cards still matter. At this point, we’ve put multiple men (and women) on the moon. We walk around with computers in our pockets that can cough up any information we need. We had a hologram Michael Jackson perform. There has to be something better than a little piece of paper with our details on it.
The first time I opened a box of business cards with my name on them, they were paid for my then employer. I thought I had made it. But I quickly realized that my position only serviced other employees of the same company. They didn’t need my cards. If they wanted to find me, they could look me up on the company phone tree.
But as a business owner, I’m often reaching out to people who don’t know who I am, don’t know what I do, and don’t why they should get in touch with me again. It’s important that I make it easier for them to reach out to me. That’s when I realized that business cards still matter. Here’s why.
They lend credibility.
We all know that a business card does not necessarily equate a legitimate business. But there is an air of credibility when someone pulls out a well made business card. And it’s certainly better than trying to get new clients by writing your name on cocktail napkins or the back of an receipt. Or as one person said to me: “Oh, just find my Instagram profile and private message me. My username is Ydjallladyeejek. It’s spelled just like it sounds.” Hint: I did not find this person’s Instagram, and I did not end up working with them.
Business cards give you a quick way to give your information to someone without them having to do a lot of work to find you. Maybe they don’t want to DM you on Twitter and would rather send you an email or give you a call at your office. Maybe they don’t have LinkedIn. Maybe they don’t ask prospects to chase you around social media because the odds are that they just won’t.
People want something tangible.
A couple of years ago, I went to a trade show to represent one of my clients. The client was in the tech industry so they really wanted a next-level representation. Our booth had QR codes, video, and all kinds of tech-y things to offer the attendees. And time after time, people approached our booth and asked for business cards. Even though we were at a tech conference, half of them didn’t know how to use the QR codes. Once we showed them (or if they already knew how to use it in the first place), it was a battle showing them how to save the information. And they still wanted business cards.
I realized that they wanted something to hold — a tangible representation of the business. All the bells and whistles in the world wouldn’t change that.
Not everyone has that app.
There are number of contact sharing apps out there that will bump, beam, or send your contact information to another person. Almost all of them work pretty well, many of them are user friendly, and a good number of them are free.
But what happens when you come across someone who doesn’t have a fancy smartphone or doesn’t have one in their hand at the moment? Or what if they have all the necessary technology at their fingertips but they don’t have a contact sharing app? Or maybe they have one but they don’t the same you do?
Well, that’s when you hand them your business card.