Business Cards – like job titles and an office – some people love them; it can define them – or so they think, remembering perception is reality.
Years ago business cards were a must have and in a lot of cases today they still are. Swapping Business Cards when you meet somebody in business can be an important ritual in most instances.
I’m now doing business regularly in many countries and no matter which country I have a meeting in, the handing over of business cards is part of the process.
I was chatting with a friend recently and the topic of Business Cards came up. He was putting the case forward that they aren’t needed in today’s LinkedIn world.
I countered that maybe putting your Business Card into your LinkedIn profile can somewhat “legitimise” it? Just a question.
It’s funny because I’ve never really thought about them but take a look in my drawer and there they are dating back to my first business card in 1998.
Does that make them important to me? I can’t say no because the prove is there…. for me they define and remind me of the path I have taken.
Today we do that pretty easily through LinkedIn where we have our professional history laid out for all to see.
Like a Business Card, LinkedIn has different meanings and uses for each person but here’s what a Business Card does that LinkedIn cannot – Anyone can created their own LinkedIn profile and have a license to tell their own story, not so with a Business Card (in any reputable business that is); in most cases you have to earn a Business Card. Not everyone gets one and not everyone needs one – ok maybe I’m putting a little bit of sauce on this!
My Business Card progression is similar to my LinkedIn profile experience progression, as it should be I suppose.
My first Business Card was a big deal to me. I’d been a developer/product manager for nearly 10 years and stepped into heading up the e-commerce push for Reynolds & Reynolds in 1997.
I then had the first ever carsales.com.au Business Card created in early 1999 for my trip to San Francisco for the NADA Convention whilst I was working for Reynolds & Reynolds.
Is a business card still a required item in today’s business world? Of course it is!
I still like to read the printed version of the newspaper on weekends too; it is still a ritual at the start of a business meeting with people you are meeting with for the first time no matter where you are in the world.
And what would your LinkedIn profile look like with an image of your business card there in each position?
Would it legitimise it, cheapen it or just look stupid?