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Recently I was at a big conference, the Podcast Movement, in Nashville. Thousands of professionals from the podcast community, many of us strangers, were there. After the sessions, before the sessions and between the sessions, we networked and connected with each other.
Some had business cards, some didn’t. And that got me thinking: are business cards still important?
There were three types of people at the conference:
- One guy, like me, had a whole stack of new business cards.
- The second type wanted to connect via Instagram, LinkedIn or a third-party “business card” app.
- The third guy had no login options and had to pull a crumpled piece of paper out of his wallet or purse.
Related: 8 Ways to Make the Most of Networking Events
Are business cards important?
Here’s why I love business cards and think they’re an essential part of your personal brand.
Business cards are the fastest and easiest way to give someone else your details or receive theirs.
With a simple flick of the wrist, I can receive or give my details to another professional.
When someone shares their information with me through LinkedIn, sure, we’re a LinkedIn connection, but I have no idea who that person is or how to find them a week or even an hour later. My new connection is the latest of a myriad of contacts.
With a third-party app, I need to activate my phone’s “NFC” antenna to receive contact information. Most of us don’t have it enabled by default.
Business cards can help me quickly and easily share my contact information with someone else.
Related: 21 Apps to Increase Productivity, Accountability, and Success
How to design a beautiful business card
If you’re going to start using business cards, make sure they look as professional as possible.
Too often I’ve seen people use business cards that have a font that’s too small or just plain hard to read. If you use fonts that look like cursive writing, I can’t read your name clearly and quickly. Is it an “L” and an “I” or a “J”?
Your business cards should “burst”. They don’t have to be too cute, but be sure to avoid gray cards with black text or white cards with tan text.
Not only is it hard to read, but it doesn’t stand out either.
Does that mean it should be bright pink or garish yellow? Of course not. However, when I receive your card, it should stand out among the many I have collected.
You should also consider how cheap your card is. Although cardstock does not need to be etched with metal or gold, it should be “premium” weight paper.
Related: 3 Reasons Why Simplicity Isn’t Always Best in Logo Design
How to create your well-designed card
There are many ways to get a well-designed card.
You can absolutely design your card yourself or go to a local printer as well.
I’ve heard some people tell me that business cards are old-fashioned, and maybe they are. — but they work.