I never quite understood the deal behind business cards. Lately, it feels more like I’m just signing myself up for something by coughing up a card. The emails always show up the Monday after the big conferences: “Great meeting you at #HashtagConferenceYear.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know you found me in a fishbowl. It’s really ok to call a spade a spade. Let’s get real here. If you have a name and an email address, you can find pretty much any other information you want to see.
The internet is creepy like that.
So why take a standard approach when you could create a really memorable business card?
This is the predicament I found myself in as I launched Three Ears Media.
You must have business cards. Well, in my world most people have business cards. So there I am. I need to have business cards too. First big event. Here’s the catch.
No one has a memorable business card.
In fact, most of the business cards I’ve seen are pretty damn forgettable.
It doesn’t help that I’m just not a template kind of person and I’m frugal (read: cheap).
So, as I was hunting for business cards, I was coming up empty-handed. If I’m spending $50 – $100 on something, I want it to be good.
So instead of searching best-in-class templates, I asked my interns: what do you think should be on a business card?
Lesson learned: Sometimes asking people who don’t know the “rules” is the best place to start if you want to stand out.
They came up with my concept.
Here’s the idea. A business card should prompt a conversation. It should be something that makes a person say, “oh they were great. Let’s call them.” While your contact details are oh-so-compelling, try putting something you love to talk about on your card. It could be a photo or quote; find something that prompts a question and a conversation.
In my case, it’s a picture of my dogs. I mean, duh.
Let me tell you, my business cards start more conversations than I can recount. People tell me stories about their dogs, friends, family – whatever Ruby’s little tongue and Lyric’s big ear inspire. I think deep down, it also makes people feel a bit more comfortable. In a world where we’re hit with 3000 messages a day, people want to remember you, not feel marketed to.
So next time you order those business cards, go for memorable over marketable.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.