“A stranger will judge you based on your business card and I was told that ‘you don’t need business cards anymore’. YES, you do!” said Elizabeth Casas, owner of Minuteman Press in Carson, California.
Elizabeth’s encounter illustrates a naïve belief that makes the rounds in blog posts and water-cooler chatter. The idea that you don’t need business cards anymore is like saying you don’t need to smile or make eye contact because texting and digital contacts can effectively fill traditional networking norms. This is a mistake and it’s costly. Far better it is to have your name, your logo and your number imprinted with a designer’s touch onto something literally “handy” and the business card is a marketing staple that tops the list.
Elizabeth continues, “I explain to people that it is very important not only to have those cards, but to have especially nice ones. I had a discussion with someone who argued that with all the data we have access to today we do not need business cards. He told me all we should do is scan each other’s information onto smartphones and that is enough. WRONG! Most people are not going to remember you, go to their phones and look for you when they need whatever it is you provide at exactly the time they need it. One guy, a lawyer, said that a major client of his is only his because they were handed his business card and it made the right impression. When they needed a lawyer, there was his card, in their pockets.”
“Putting a business card into a prospect’s hands is still the easiest and fastest way to convey your brand. Plus, a business card doesn’t need batteries.” – Bob Heimbuch, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President, Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia and Pittsburgh
While people will always do internet searches for products and services, there are some people who are not going to bother to look for your digital contact information readily as they will if you hand them a really cool business card.
If you combine printed creativity to your professional presence, it is simply going to add to your accessibility and likability. It also makes you look invested in your message and present you as more motivated and trustworthy. Studies abound about the efficacy of business card use and how it endures even in the modern digital era.
For arguments sake, however, let’s acknowledge that smartphones are so preferred that some people may meet you, smile, take your business card and then, GASP, throw it out. Studies show that STILL doesn’t mean you should not get them designed and printed.
According to a study published by Credit Donkey, not everyone saves the physical business card, but that does not seem to affect the purpose, to make your mark as a professional in their minds. Before the 88% of recipients throw them out, most scan them into an app like Evernote and then add notes and some even follow up on LinkedIn.
Though 77% of Americans have a smartphone (which is 42% more than 5 years ago), the business card is still in high demand. It demonstrates a higher level of professionalism, even if it is discarded or ultimately scanned into a device. It is clear that it is the ritual of exchange that matters. The act of handing them out has not lost one ounce of strength in marketing and it could be argued that rampant digital fatigue in society today has bolstered its power. People are relieved when you give them something you took the time to have designed and printed.
The amount of digital content we are all creating (novices and experts alike) is increasing exponentially and that does mean a bit less is being printed in a classic way.
With the increase of digital fatigue comes a unique contemporary space for print and it provides you with a way to take advantage of the singular introduction tool known to building relationships: the business card.
The business card tells your story in fractions of a second, is inexpensive, and with every one you hand out, the data continues to show how your possible ROI surpasses any expense.
Pat Lord, owner of Minuteman Press in Wilmington, Delaware, recalls a large client that was wise to the fact that printed marketing is necessary and one of the starting points is a fine business card. Today, they do a wide range of design and print for Acosta Food Services as their marketing services providers; but the partnership began with a small job when Joel Robbins came in five years ago and asked for a $400 brochure job. Shortly thereafter, realizing their value, he came back for business cards.
Tom knew why and explains, “Basically, he was testing our quality and turnaround time before asking for more from us. What started with those smaller jobs, namely, the classic business card, led to the enormous number of projects we do for Acosta today. We have the customer service of a small printer, but we do so much more. We can do the work of a big company, but that work began with brochures and business cards.”
So if you think you don’t need business cards, you’re wrong! If you are serious about developing a career and networking as a stand-out in your industry, you need to get them printed. Find yourself a marketing services provider to listen to your story and then, treat yourself t design and print that will be your signature mark. Distribute widely and buckle up for growth!