Do you want to network WITHOUT carting a pack of business cards around? Find out the clever hack SMASH founder, Emma has developed as a key way to network in 2019.
For my last birthday I was gifted a new wallet… a beautiful black, butter-leather wallet.
Now this was an ideal opportunity to clean out my old wallet… out came the coins (useless coppers and some random Euros!), old receipts and parking tickets… and over thirty (!) dog-eared business cards. Half of these cards I had no idea who these people were, let alone the event or meeting where I was given them. About ten were from friends that I’d kept purely from loyalty; acknowledging the time, effort and expense they’d gone to produce. The remaining five were my own. Now out of date and looking tatty and needing a refresh.
If I had no idea who these cards belonged to and what purpose these cards had at the time, then how many people had MY cards deteriorating in the bottom of drawers, inside old event goodie bags or, even worse… had put them straight in the bin?
So I asked myself: in today’s age, are business cards necessary?
I can think of a number of industries where business cards are considered more professional and used as a branding tool; for instance architects and creative businesses might use their card as a way of branding, or corporate professionals might like the old-school nature of a business card. But to be honest this sector is declining with the majority of people now having internet access.
Tech Superseded Paper
Cards with appointments or loyalty schemes on the back sounded like a great idea, but in reality I do this all electronically now; hairdressers, doctors and fitness groups all send my appointments to me via text or WhatsApp which then goes in my iCalendar. No paper trail involved.
In 2019 are business cards required as a marketing tool for MY business? Do I really have a need to carry around a pile of business cards? I mainly deal with working-age adults who never have a phone far from reach, and I’d be surprised if the majority of those adults weren’t on some social channel or another. In 2018, there were 2.62 billion active users of social media channels (according to Statistica.com). Who can argue with that?
I challenged myself to then go without business cards: I needed to find alternative solutions to networking and more efficient process to connecting with the people I meet.
Here’s the secret:
- First off I designed an electronic business card which I use on the lock screen of my phone. When I go to events I ALWAYS carry my phone and so does everyone else. They can then take a snap of my card and voila! It’s stored in their phone to their photos! I use this method to take a snapshot of their cards too and decline the hard copy. This e-business card (which is just an image!) can also be texted if necessary.
- Secondly I’ve got into the routine of visiting LinkedIn (a MUST HAVE in my opinion for peer to peer), Facebook or sending an email within 24hrs of an event or when I’ve met someone new.
Foregoing physical business cards combined with having a routine for connecting has resulted in me actually connecting with people; I now comment on posts, get messages about potential contracts and my wallet is far lighter!
So what do you think? Will you re-order business cards when you run out or do you like the idea of an electronic card for your lock-screen? Get in contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP if you want SMASH to create an e-card for your lock-screen.
Until the end of the month we are only charging £15 (usual price £30).
Until next time,