So we’re all pretty familiar with those fishbowl drawings at restaurants for an opportunity to receive a free lunch or catering for your company. Well those little things you are dropping into that fishbowl can do so much more than satisfying your taste buds!
Now-a-days, business cards get haphazardly thrown together, used and definitely abused. In some cases, they are forgotten all together. A portion of these people forget about the brand representation a business card has while others don’t understand the impact it has because they can connect to someone on LinkedIn via their Smartphone.
Just like a website, logo design, and a company brochure – a business card must be designed in a way that represents what the company is all about.
As you may have picked up by now, we are mentioning a lot of factors that are visual graphic design elements but what’s fantastic about business cards is the fact you can play on one other human sense: TOUCH
These give several sensorial factors that leave an impression of your company onto those you meet. If you think about it, you can easily meet over 100 people at a large trade-show or busy networking event in the city.
It can be hard to remember everyone you spoke with so a well designed business card can be like a re-introduction to you as well as to what you do. This card becomes your elevator pitch and if they are not impressed, they will file it into the trashcan.
We cover the importance of color in episode 13 of Branch-Out but let’s cover an example of how typography in graphic design can have an impact on telling your brand and what typography really is.
Your choice of typography can speak volumes about your company’s style and philosophy. Just think about the stark difference between newspaper print and graffiti. Those typestyles denote very different stories and very different markets.
This may seem pretty obvious but to those of you who are just relying on LinkedIn, this one is for you. Business cards assist in exchanging information (you know… those little things like email and phone number). If you skip out on this process and just connect on LinkedIn, you are actually making your job harder.
Not only does the person you’re speaking with not have your direct contact information but now you don’t have theirs either. Even though there’s an option for people to list their contact information in their LinkedIn profiles, many don’t.
Also, any professional social seller will tell you that social media (like LinkedIn) is not for selling but for creating conversations in order to make a warm contact via phone or email. So even if you’re connected with them on LinkedIn, you will still need to get their direct contact information.
To create our own ‘Shakespearean Quote’ – What is in a business card?
Well, besides what we have already discussed, there are some great tools that can connect that card to your digital presence. And no, we aren’t talking about using a hashtag. (What is in a #businesscard?)
One easy tool that has been used on and off is the QR Code. You can easily create a free QR code online and tie it into the graphic design on your business card. This way, not only does a connection have your direct contact information but they can scan the QR code (via a multitude of free QR code scanning apps) which can take them directly to your website or even LinkedIn profile.
Also, if you want to avoid scanning a QR code all together, there are business cards with built-in NFC technology.
“NFC is a form of wireless communication that allows the flow of information between two devices.” All current Smart phones have an option to turn on NFC (an evolution from RFID).
With these types of business cards, an NFC chip is built into your business card and you can program it to lead the individual scanning the card to anywhere you want. It could automatically bring up your website; it could bring up directions on how to get to your location or even to bring up your app.
Whether it is about telling your brand, assisting in making an easier sales process or connecting to digital collateral, business cards still have an impact; it is just about how you use it. Just like any other tool, if you don’t use it correctly or rarely, you will never see the benefits of it.
|For more than a decade, Evin Charles Anderson has explored the intersection of performance, production and promotion. As the CEO and Creative Partner of Waverley Knobs, featured in Lifehack and CEO Blog Nation, he helps clients shape, shoot and share unique and engaging brand stories that inspire action, innovation and change. Evin’s independent, Hollywood and commercial film experience and marketing expertise means he not only knows how to visually tell a story for his clients, he knows how to position that story for real-world impact and business results.
In addition to running Waverley Knobs, Evin is a professional actor and director, as well as co-creator of the podcast Branch Out: THE Marketing and Digital Media Podcast. He also teaches acting, directing and marketing classes for the City of Cambridge in Massachusetts. Evin’s film Paperthin has been featured at The Magwill Film Festival in California, and Waverley Knobs’ short film, The Heist, has been featured in Examiner and MobileMovieMaker.