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Business cards for knowledge workers

September 12th, 2012 No comments

I’m obsessed with business cards.

I’ll admit it.

I get excited when I meet someone who took the time to do something interesting with a card. I’ve found myself respecting people or companies more if they have a well-thought-out card. One time I requested a meeting with a person purely based on the quality of his card.

Here are a couple cards I like:

I like cards that are well designed, that are one-of-a-kid and that convey a message. Showing a little character is big. Image consistency between a card and a corresponding website? Key.

On the flip side, I’m sure you’ve all seen stock cards on cheap paper. The most egregious is the Vista print variety. Do I even have to remind you the message dirt-cheap cards convey when a new contact hands you that flimsy card peddling a plug for the card-printer on the back?

OK, with that out of the way, I’m a software developer. I do a mix of freelance and startup work. The types of contacts I want to make are potential business partners, clients. and industry contacts (the types of people you’d meet at PyCon). I think knowledge workers like me should have great business cards. Spend your money and time on it.

Recently, I was actually questioning my affinity for business cards. As of last week I was pretty sure nobody ever used my card. I don’t give my card out too often, and the few people I did give it to were friends and family who already know how to contact me. There were a few times I handed it out to strangers, but I wasn’t sure if I was getting any reaction out of it.

About six months ago, I gave my business card to someone I met in an elevator. We hit it off: he was working at building his startup and wanted to keep in touch. At the time he commented about the card and was pleased to have met. Nothing happened. Today I got a call from him wanting to set up a meeting.

If your deals are worth tens of thousands dollars, spending a couple hundred bucks today on a very focused marketing plan seems like a well worth investment for tomorrow.

As a knowledge worker, we don’t have many sales opportunities. Take the time to make a statement, you never know who you’re talking to.

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