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5 Reasons You Still Need Business Cards


| By Stuart Ridley | November 19, 2020

A well-designed business card will help you make better connections when networking – and continue to advertise your business long after you meet.

5 reasons you still need business cards for networking, marketing and more

Yes, in our digital age it’s ridiculously easy to go on social media and click on someone’s name when you want to build your business network. But the act of adding someone on LinkedIn can feel impersonal, even if you include a message explaining yourself. It works well when you already have a real-life connection, but not so much if there hasn’t been any networking beforehand. Here are five reasons you still need business cards and how they can help you make more significant connections with the right people.

1. Business Cards Establish a Personal Connection

The simple ritual of handing out a business card clearly communicates to someone that you want to develop an ongoing relationship with them. You might scan the card later and connect through digital means but, in person, it’s still the fastest way to share your details with new contacts. Always pack business cards and keep them handy and clean in a pocket-sized card holder – don’t store them loose in your wallet as they’re likely to get damaged or dirty.

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2. They’re a Great Marketing Tool

Why business cards are still important as a marketing tool and for brand awareness

Your business card is the most straightforward marketing tool you’ll use: it puts your brand, name, title, email address and other contact information into someone’s hands in a tidy and convenient package. It’s therefore helpful if the design itself says something about your business.

Your logo, brand colours, font and other design elements such as slogans and illustrations can communicate some of the personality of your business with a professional look. Getting your business card printed on premium card stock adds gravitas.

Remember, ‘professional’ doesn’t have to mean conservative – the purpose of business cards is mainly about showing your expertise and experience. If credentials such as qualifications, accreditations or registrations are important in your line of business and to your target audience, include them on the card.

Or you can design the card to also have a secondary purpose, such as a place for jotting appointment reminders; or so it can be used as a loyalty card (with space for stamps); or even a convenient item on which to list product names and details for customers to take away so they can keep a record of what they are considering purchasing or might want to repeat buy again in the future.

3. Business Cards Can Announce Your Arrival

The tradition of presenting your card before you physically meet someone began 500 years ago, when aristocrats and merchants gave the door person a ‘visiting’ or ‘calling’ card to announce their arrival. The practice is still used today in some situations and business cards are a smart marketing tool when you’re announcing your business in a new area. When visiting a potential client for the first time, it helps receptionists and security staff confirm your credentials before a meeting.

4. They Share Your Preferred Contact Information

What information you should include on your business card and why it’s still important

Some businesses have generic cards they share with potential customers at events or at their front desk with their ‘main’ contact information and website. These cards are like mini billboards and are useful if your business has multiple locations and a switchboard phone number or call centre to handle customer inquiries.

On your own business card, which you use to build direct relationships, you can make it easy for people to remember you specifically and contact you directly via your email address and mobile rather than having to go through a gatekeeper. Here, the benefits of business cards are to help add a personal touch and cement ongoing, one-on-one relationships.

5. You Keep the Cards of People You Want to Do Business With

After you’ve scanned them, a neat collection of business cards stored in a folder or rotary file gives you an excellent visual record of your network. Characteristics of an effective business card can include logos and designs that help trigger reminders to follow up prospects or check in with customers you haven’t spoken with for a while. Having a hard-copy record, in addition to a digital business card, is also an excellent back-up in case any technology fails.

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