The Long-Lasting Importance of Business Cards in Networking
In today’s digital age, face to face social interaction is becoming more and more scarce. The reality is, when it comes to networking, you can only get so far by sitting behind a screen scrolling away. Sure, there’s professional networks like LinkedIn that connect you to other professionals, but these “connections” can only support your networking efforts so far. As business professionals, the most valuable networking comes in the form of intentional face to face interactions where some sort of value is transferred between parties. To ensure you are maximizing these networking opportunities to their fullest potential, business professionals should come prepared with business cards.
Here are a few reasons why business cards should be part of your networking arsenal.
Believe it or not, the age-old tradition of passing out a personally branded business card is one that sets you apart and showcases professionalism! Having a tangible business card will give you the upper hand when interacting and networking. Arriving at an event with business cards readily available will show you have done your due diligence and are prepared to engage in meaningful conversation with others. Whether you are seeking out new business opportunities, looking for your next job, or simply enjoy networking and meeting new people, you will immediately be taken more seriously than those who have not come prepared with business cards to encourage interactions.
Leave a Lasting Impression
Business cards are a representation of your brand and showcase who you are, what you do, and how you can be reached. Business cards can easily be an icebreaker to begin a conversation, so this is the perfect opportunity to show off your personality. You can even use services like Vistaprint to build custom designed business cards that can help you and your business feel legitimate and professional. So get creative! Passing along a plain old business card without any creativity or thought involved won’t do much to help create a conversation or get you remembered. An extension of your brand, you need to give a card that leaves a lasting impression. Nowadays, business cards can be almost any color, any material, and can even be scented! It is important to consider how you want to be remembered, so make it count!
Enables Quality Conversation
The purpose of networking is to build meaningful relationships through quality conversation. Now more than ever we see networking being limited as a result of the technology that is in front of us. Rather than engaging in quality conversation, we keep our heads down and focus on our phones. A business card exchange allows you to not need to pull out your phone to exchange contact information and keeps the focus on the conversation. Once you exchange cards, various details of the card can spark a conversation that may not have otherwise occurred. Even more importantly, how many times have you been at an event and forgot an individual’s name? The business card can work wonders to ensure that your name is not forgotten, and when you receive them, it can be your cheat sheet for remembering others as well. After all, there’s nothing worse than forgetting someone’s name immediately after shaking their hand.
As technology continues to improve, it is clear that there has yet to be an innovation that beats the simplicity and effectiveness of exchanging business cards. So network away, and be sure to have your awesome business cards with you wherever you go!