We have new business cards here at Unit36 and we are proud of them. So proud that we wanted to share them with the world on Twitter and Facebook – as you may have seen. We are not just proud of them because of their design or unique size but because of the nice happy faces we see when we pass them on. But why is this important and why does using impressive business cards correctly make a difference?
According to experts, business cards can be traced back to the 15th Century in China when they were known as ‘visiting cards’. They were small cards passed on from one to another in order to announce the intention of a meeting – and were also seen as a promotion tool for the upper classes. Over the years these cards caught on and found their way over to Europe. They were used more and more by businesses and tradesmen, becoming known in London as the ‘trade card’, and finally ‘business cards’ as we know them today.
Despite us working tirelessly to achieve digital marketing success for our clients, direct marketing is still king. And believe it or not, the ‘HD’ (head-down) generation of today tapping away on their iPad’s and tinkering on their iPhone’s still love to chat. That’s why people are more successfully marketed to via actual human interaction. And hence why the business card is still essential six centuries or so later – and why an impressive business card is paramount.
Business cards. They are timeless. A well designed business card will stand the test of time as an impressive graphic design will not go out of style – unlike the latest digital software which can dramatically look and feel out-of-date.
Your business card design does not have to be the standard 85mm x 55mm card that the majority of people have. Try something different. Stand out and impress your peers. Our business cards are mini and made from thick three-layer card with the central layer being blue. They are different, unique, and with the scope to design and create that unforgettable business card the options are endless.
However it is not just about having a beautifully designed and impressively crafted business card. There is an etiquette and it is how you use your card which will make it really count.
It takes just seconds to form an impression on a client and the business card can often be the icebreaker. If you can captivate that client within those initial seconds then you have them in your pocket with the potential to exchange business cards. They will then remember your charm every time they see your lovely business card.
Do not just hand out your business card willy-nilly to every person in the room. If you do this then it is similar to sending junk mail and the receivers of your card will more than likely just bin it. The goal of networking is to chat with potential clients about leads. It is not an advertising opportunity as your marketing channels should be in place. Just because you have given out 100 business cards does not mean you have successfully networked.
Give your business card to someone when they ask for it. If they want to make contact after you have networked then they will ask for a way of doing so and your business card is the key. Exchanging 30 business cards does not necessarily mean that you will receive 30 enquiries, however you will have the contact information of 30 people for your follow up list.
Use this follow up list. Do not waste the contact information that you have acquired and make contact through a quick call or a short email to help you capitalise on your initial meeting.
Don’t just assume that because you have acquired a mass collection of business cards over the years that each one of those individuals is part of your network and as a result instantly choose them for a service or product that you require over someone else. It makes more sense to research the service and make the correct choice based on referrals and recommendations.
So there you have it. The origins of the business card, why an impressive business card is paramount and finally a few tips on making the most out of your business cards. We hope this blog gives you some tips for future happy networking.