Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Business Cards In A Social Media World

For years, I've always had business cards. Some of them cool, some of them bland, some of them nicely printed on thick stock, some of them over sized, some of them 2 color, some full color. I've also received thousands of other people's business cards over the years. Some of them I kept, most of them I didn't.

Then there's the sheer hassle of business cards. I mean, I often forgot to bring them. I had to have them reprinted when something changed - and then what do you do with the 1,000 cards you still have left with the old information on them? Yep - chuck them in the bin.

What do you do when you receive a business card? Well, if you're like me, when I'm at a show or event and someone hands me a card - I'll jot a little note on the back of the card so I can remember who they are and what we were talking about so that I can follow up with them when I get back to the hotel room, or, more likely, when I get back to the office.

But, here's the problem: I'm lazy. I know that I "should" enter the names and addresses into my contact list, but I just don't. Oh sure, I enter 3 or 4, but by then, I'm just over it. I know that there are card scanners galore out there that take the typing and drudgery out of entering those contacts... still, for me personally, I just can't be bothered.

So if it's a hassle to have business cards, and a hassle to get business cards - where does that leave us? Why, in the digital realm of course! There are lots of applications on smartphones that will allow you to "bump" and exchange contact details, etc. That's all fine and good if everyone you meet happens to have a similar phone (or at least one with the same operating system) - and they have the same application... and you can get them to fire up the application... and then you fire up the application... and then 20 seconds later... done deal.

Ummmm... yeah. Way more hassle than it's worth! There MUST be an easier way...

... and there is. Just fire up your "Notes" application on your smartphone, type out a quick bio of yourself and when you meet someone and they give you their business card - smile, thank them, and send them an email with your details from your pre-formatted note.

Easy. Cross platform. Digital. Done.

Here's my own digital "business card" - feel free to swipe the format for your own!

Subject: Hi, Bob Cusick here

It was great meeting you at the "__________" event. I hope you had as good a time as I did.

As I mentioned, I don't use paper business cards because I feel like people ignore them - which is why you're receiving this email from me... this is my digital business card!
Here's some basic information about me:

Name - Bob Cusick
Company - Clickware, Inc.

What I do - Servoy and FileMaker Pro system design, product development and troubleshooting.

Phone: 805-624-4956
Email: bobcusick@clickware.com


Let's get social:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bobcusick
Facebook: http://facebook.com/bobcusick
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/bobcusick

Thanks very much for taking the time to chat with me. If you think there's anything I can help you with - please feel free to let me know.

Bob Cusick
This is an extremely simple idea, I know. But it's cross-platform, easy, and takes no time at all. Plus, when you sync your smartphone to your laptop, you'll already have their email address (and their business card) - so it will make it much more convenient to follow up.

What do you think? Are analog business cards "yesterday's news" - or are they still relevant?

P.S. I found this video of this guy on YouTube - he seriously likes his analog business card:

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