Remember when we were all being promised a “paperless” offices? I’m still waiting for that to happen! But even if it does come to pass, I predict we will still be handing out little pieces of stiff paper to each other. Because business cards are surprisingly effective in building relationships, getting your name out there and establishing your reputation.
A recent article in The Economist echoed many of my thoughts. The business card is perhaps even more important these days, now that so much is tied up in technology. Fist-bumping phones may result in acquiring a log of someone’s details, but will that make the person as memorable as their business card that you later retrieve from your purse or pocket?
What does your card say about you? Some go for “novelty” cards (one food writer has a memorable one with scalloped teeth marks along the edge). But for the most part we all rely on the same little rectangle to act as our brand.
Since you’re in travel, why not make your card speak volumes about our business? Companies such as Moo sell business cards which you can customize with photos, as many as 20 different ones per set of cards. Why not get ones of you in several exotic destinations and ask new contacts to choose their favourite?
Your title is crucial too. It helps people place you professionally. (Which is why I recommend you never have just your name on the card with no title.) If you are a destinations wedding expert, say so on your card! Or if you have two specialties, why not have two sets of cards made up?
A couple of other suggestions: don’t go with a dark background as that will make it impossible for your new contact to jot notes on it. Ditto for high-gloss, laminated cards.
And of course, always, but always, have some cards with you, even if you are just going grocery shopping.
As The Economist put it, “The ritual swapping of paper rectangles may be old-fashioned but on it will go.”