bump, LinkedIn, About.me--just some of the many apps and online platforms that were predicted to be the end of business cards as we know them.
But as much they’ve tried to eliminate the need for us to exchange those little 3 ½ x 2 inch slips of paper, they’re definitely not dead yet.
Don’t get me wrong. The technology is cool and it just keeps getting cooler. Robert Scoble, one of the top tech evangelists on the planet, profiled EyeJot—a mobile app that lets you send electronic vCards that include video, location map data, links to your social networks and all your contact information.
As I see it, the big problem with most of the online and mobile solutions is the need for online and mobile solutions. Sure the technology is cool, but you still have to pull out your smartphone (which is still way bigger than a business card) or go to a website and that creates a barrier.
There’s also no universal digital solution that’s been widely adopted and that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to go all digital.
Viva La Business Cards!
Traditional business cards, for the most part, are the same shape and size and include all of the information you’ll need to stay in touch with someone. That makes it really easy to quickly exchange information without worrying about networking connections or platform compatibility (coming soon for Android).
Descendants of the calling cards that became popularized in the 1800s, today’s business cards are still serving much of the same function. They are a physical manifestation of your brand and your business. They are meant to help you stay top-of-mind when meeting with someone.
Having a killer business card helps to establish instant credibility and showcases the unique personality of your small business.
Quality matters…A LOT!
I’ve been ordering my business cards from the folks at MOO since my book came out back in 2007 and the reaction I get when I hand them out is unmistakable. You can see it in their faces as they react to the high-quality paper, the way the card feels in their hand, and exceptional print quality.
Although apps and online platforms have their advantages, I have yet to see someone react the same way as they do when I hand give them a business card printed by MOO. And anyone who has ordered from them before will tell you the same.
Just because you can design and print your own business card, doesn’t mean you should. You might be saving a little bit of money on the front end, but you could also be negatively impacting your brand and your business each and every time you pass out a poorly designed card.
Think about all of the cards you’ve received over the years. How many were memorable? And how many were total doozies?
Don’t skimp on quality. It’s your CALLING CARD. After all, you don’t want a 3 ½ by 2 inch sheet of paper making you look like a hack, do you?
Are business cards still important in the digital age?
Will EyeJot finally be the app that eliminates our need for traditional business cards? Or will the desire to exchange something more tangible—something that’s been hardwired into our brains for decades and decades—win out? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
As a disclaimer, I use affiliate links for some of the products listed. They are all products I absolutely love and trust and would recommend regardless of whether they have an affiliate program.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Jeff Kubina]