The digital age has transformed the way you do business, which has left many people wondering whether business cards are still needed. Unfortunately, there isn’t one cut and dry answer. Like with anything, there are pros and cons to having and carrying business cards. But modern business cards have changed quite a bit. Learn what to include on your business cards, why you need them, and when to use them.
Why You Need Business Cards
If you’re like many business owners, you might be wondering why you need business cards when most of your professional information is easily accessible online. While it’s true that you can connect with people you meet via LinkedIn, Facebook, or email, it typically takes longer to exchange that type of information. It only takes seconds to hand a card to someone, so it’s a lot more convenient when you’re short on time.
How Many Business Cards Do You Need?
The amount of business cards you order is really what’s drastically changed for most people. There was a time when you needed to order business cards by the case, but widespread internet access has eliminated the need to carry and pass out dozens of business cards at once. Instead, consider designing your own business cards and printing them in limited quantities. You should probably carry a few with you in case you need to give one to someone in passing, but for the most part, you only need to carry business cards when attending networking events, business meetings, and other functions where the time you available to chat is limited.
What To Include on Your Business Cards
Business cards may have gotten a bit more creative over the years, but you still need to include the basics — your name and contact information. This doesn’t mean you need to include site addresses for every social media profile you have though. Instead, include your preferred contact info. For example, if you prefer to communicate via text message, add your cell phone number to your business card next to the word "text." This way people know it’s not a number you want them to call. Some other options include your email address, LinkedIn profile address, and Facebook profile address. Regardless of which contact method you prefer, you should include at least two options so people can choose which way they prefer to contact you.
Also, if you design creative business cards, it makes it easier for people to remember you. For example, if you’re a copywriter, you could design a simple business card that includes your name and contact information, but instead of saying "copywriter" underneath your name, you could say something that makes you stand out a bit such as "creative magician who turns words into cold-hard cash."
When You Shouldn’t Use Business Cards
If you’re having an in-depth conversation with someone, you should consider connecting with them on LinkedIn or Facebook instead of handing them your business card. See, business cards have limited space. So while your business card tells people what you do and how to contact you, there isn’t room to display examples of your work, the amount of experience you have, or your likes and dislikes. This is why some people believe that business cards are dead — they don’t have enough room to show new contacts your personality, and nourishing your relationship with potential clients is important.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you use business cards, but you might not want to count them out just yet. Instead, consider using them sparingly, kind of as a last resort when you don’t have enough time to connect with someone online or add their info to the contacts in your phone.