Are Business Cards Obsolete?

Once upon a time, everyone with a good job had a business card. We went to conferences and trade shows and training seminars, and we exchanged business cards. When we met with a potential client, a business card was an essential. But do we still need them today? It’s so easy to connect online with social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We can find someone’s website in a flash. And with email, we don’t really need someone’s phone, fax or street address. Yet we still get business cards. Are they an expense your company could cut or a staple you can’t do without?

Yes, it is easy to connect online, but we still need to exchange those details. People need to know the precise name of your brand and the correct spelling of your name. A business card remains the most convenient and effective way to pass that information along to someone in person. But as business norms evolve, business cards must evolve too. So the question is not do we still need business cards, it is how do we use business cards effectively in the social media era.

Are You Using Your Business Cards Right?

How should you be using your business cards? Here are a few quick dos and don’ts to help you avoid pitfalls and get the most out of those little cards.

  • Do invest in quality business cards on good card stock with colour and design that furthers your branding. Use both sides of the card to include details about what you do.
  • Don’t skimp and go for cheap cards. Don’t use clip art or difficult to read fonts. Avoid odd sizes.
  • Do hand cards to people at the end of a meeting or when you are parting. If you chat with someone at a conference or sales meeting, hand them your card when you are finishing your conversation and mention that you’ve enjoyed chatting and would be happy to talk with them again.
  • Don’t spam people you have not met with your business cards. Don’t give them to people before you’ve spoken with them.
  • Do include all of your contact details on your business cards and make sure they are up to date.
  • Don’t cross out old information and handwrite the current details. Avoid the temptation to use up out of date cards this way. It just makes you look disorganized.

Business cards are not obsolete, but some of the ways they have been used in the past are definitely out of date. Use them wisely, and business cards can be part of your marketing and branding strategy. People can’t remember details reliably, and it is a nuisance to pull out your device to exchange details. A quality business card gives them your contact information and deepens your branding.