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.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.