Are you one of those people who carries your business card everywhere you go, or do you even care to have one? Because I'm in the former camp, I occasionally forget about the times when I was in the latter camp. I'm thinking about business cards today for three reasons:
- Someone surprised me this week by telling me he hasn't given out a business card in over a year; he works in an industry in which that choice is, no doubt, verging on the unthinkable.
- I found a business card from someone I was to have followed up with. But I didn't and I'm very excited now as I draft the email I'm going to send her this morning.
- I helped a friend create some business cards yesterday to better reflect the career transition she's in; what fun to be a part of that little gem of excitement!
- When the guy told me he didn't give out business cards, I felt like one of those stunned people with the light shining on her. I didn't say it, but no doubt my face reflected the knee jerk reaction: "I have no response to that!" Of course I did come up with a response and we had an interesting little dialogue about his choice. While I respect his assertion that he's stellar at follow-up and will always touch base with a new contact, I still went away feeling I'd wish I had a little card with all his handy information on it, for myself. Never mind they're not always in the best order and accessible. I've been working on that organzation, too, see, and I'd love to have his too. I suppose I could always make him one and keep that copy for myself. :)
- When I was in Seattle, my friends and I were about to enter a restaurant. Bob noticed a woman nearby wearing a teeshirt from North Carolina where I live and where he used to live. He greeted her and conversation ensued. We talked quite a while and found we had all these interesting little connections. The ones about which you think, "I need to pay attention to this." Before the end of our time together there on the sidewalk, while her husband talked to my friends, she and I had moved to the side and were chatting it up like I know you'll be surprised to know I can do sometimes. And somewhere in there the conversation triggered something subtle. She went for her purse asking a follow-up question. We were talking careers. I did the same. We immediately exchanged business cards with promises to contact each other when we were done with our travels.
When I opened my business card holder two days ago to give my own card to He Who Had None, I saw her card and said, "Who in the world is this?" Then yesterday, again, when I was helping my friend work on a new business card design, I found it again and the clouds parted, the skies grew bright, the angels sang. I have a contact I haven't even remembered. I have someone new to email for The All Important Business Contact. Doesn't matter if she's already handled her needs. I liked her company and found her interesting to talk to. I want to honor my promise and connect with her again. She lives in my state in a town I've never visited but always wanted to. I hope she recalls our conversation as favorably.
- I have discovered that the invention of "create your own business cards at home" materials is vastly improved over the last two versions I knew about. What fun it was to sit and play with fonts and word placement and bold and lines and shadows. There are, no doubt, entire articles...maybe even books on the importance of creating a business card that reflects your goals and your personality.
I think we were able to accomplish a bit of that yesterday. And then when we printed it out, sure enough - no perforations and now no curls either. The cards look as if they came right off the presses, out of the box you get from the printer. In fact, it's possible they look better than the last batch I got from the printer. Hmmmm.