The business card has been a part of business relations for decades, originating in the 17th century as a calling card for esteemed Lords and business figures who would have themselves announced ahead of their arrival by a servant bearing card and insignia. But how relevant is the business card to the modern day business man? Is it still a powerful networking tool or has it become an obsolete and archaic mechanism cluttering our desks and our briefcases? We’ve all been in that position: we’ve shaken hands, made an introduction, identified an opportunity to form a business relationship and finally the all important question lingers – ‘Do you have a card?’
Technology has evolved to a point where connecting two people is instantaneous. We live in a time where everything is slimline, compact, smaller, fewer and more efficient. One can connect wirelessly across vast distances, communicate instantaneously across multiple mediums and multiple platforms. Names are saved in digital phone books, on LinkedIn and on Facebook. The use of possessing names, numbers, web addresses and email addresses on a piece of card is ultimately null if you can store it on a mobile phone along with thousands of others… but can you save an impression?
It was the impression of professionalism and of importance.
In 17th Century London a prominent Lord wouldn’t need a card to announce himself – he had servants, chariots, horses and a bright brigade to mark his presence and sound his arrival, he was after all, a Lord. No, the card was there not simply for it’s information but the impression it created. It was the impression of professionalism and of importance. It lingered in the hands of those who received it, bearing the name of an esteemed and successful man long after he had departed. Fast forward to the modern day network exchange and the value of the card is still tangibly clear: you leave having created an impression, it is an ‘I mean business’ card.
The business card is so much more than the print it represents but the person who presents it. The card has the ability to create a persona, it has it’s own font, colours and logo. It introduces aspects of your business and character that verbal words simply can’t capture. It conveys your style, the standard you uphold, it emboldens who you are and what you stand for. And it does so again and again, when emptying pockets at the office or upon arriving home, the card is a constant reminder of the interaction, the individual and the opportunity it presented.
And all this said and done, there are 563 John Brown’s on Facebook and nobody likes looking for a needle in a haystack, do yourself a favour – invest in a card.
When you invest in a business card, make it really work for you. A card with a simple company name and person’s name may mean nothing to someone when they are looking at your card down the line. Let the card perform as a marketing tool for you! Tell people what you do with a few well chosen words or an image if you are a photographer. For example, our business card performs as a contact card and a mini-leaflet with a clear message and a simple image on the front and more detail on the back:
Front of card:
Back of card: