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“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

In this quote from Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum (spoiler alert) is berating the park’s plan to reanimate long-extinct dinosaurs. But, along with many things these days, he could have been referring to the invention of the digital business card.

They seem to be an attractive proposition at first glance (digital business cards, not velociraptors). After all, they promise an eco-friendly, convenient and seemingly limitless networking tool. No waste, no reprints.

However, when you examine them a bit closer, they’re not the silver bullet for networking everyone first thought.

Are digital business cards worth it?

For all their high-tech wizardry, digital business cards lack the personal touch. They are quick and convenient, yes, but also completely impersonal and instantly forgettable – just more data to get lost among the digital clutter we all receive every day. They turn a personal business introduction into a soulless data transaction. Bip! Next!

Imposing technology on networking also introduces unnecessary barriers. Not everyone uses the same digital platforms. Not everyone knows what to do with a digital business card, and not everyone prefers to receive information in digital form.

There’s an assumption, usually from the kind of people who use them, that everyone else they meet in a professional setting is as tech-savvy as they are, sporting the latest iPhone This or Galaxy That.

But this excludes a whole bunch of people and ignores their personal preferences.

It says, “I don’t have time for your old-fashioned pieces of paper! Don’t you know this is the 21st century? Now, let me tell you about NFTs and the Blockchain…”

Zzzzzzzzz.

It’s all too easy for digital information to get lost in the sea of emails, texts and notifications that flood our devices. Your electronic information may slot itself seamlessly into my Contacts, but when I scroll past your name a few months later, I won’t remember who you were.

However, my biggest issue with electronic business cards is not so much that they are presumptuous (which they are) and an imposition (which they are). It’s that they are a privacy and security nightmare.

I think most people these days know enough about cyber security not to shove a random USB stick into their computer. The same approach should be taken with digital business cards wirelessly syncing to your phone. Who knows what you’re being asked to download?

I had one of these cards thrust at me the other week. Apart from the privacy implications of connecting to an unknown device, this card asked my phone to open a webpage (?), and I was expected to type in my own details!

I have no idea how that is meant to be convenient for me. Nothing says, “I’m not interested in you”, like asking a stranger to do your data entry for you.

Similarly, some people insist on me scanning a LinkedIn QR code rather than handing over a business card. This usually results in a barrage of pre-prepared sales messages pinging into my inbox, which I can’t delete fast enough.

Old School Business Cards Just Work

The charm of physical business cards is that they’re simple and universal. They don’t require the latest app or device – they just work.

They are tactile and personal, conveying the giver’s personality in their design and texture – even in the way they are handed over.

Printed business cards offer you a huge branding opportunity. You’re not just handing over contact information – you’re showcasing your business values. Rather than reducing your existence to ones and zeros, you get to embody your brand using tactile materials, colours, words and shapes.

If you want to connect people to your digital assets, you still can by including a printed QR code on the back that links straight to your website, mailing list or online shop. At least that way, you’re giving people the option of whether to connect digitally or not.

Your business is so much more than mere data. You should take every opportunity to stand out, and business cards are a great, cost-effective way to do that.

Printed cards are an opportunity to get creative

My first Keefomatic cards (pictured above) were extremely fancy – silver ink on blind embossed thick black card, printed on a letterpress machine. They cost me an arm and a leg, but they were worth it for the interest they generated.

I wanted them to stand out, create a wow factor, and set a high standard for quality, and they certainly did that.

You don’t have to go to those extremes. Business cards are a cheap and effective way to create a buzz.

Die-cut Business Cards

Make networking memorable with a uniquely shaped die-cut business card.

Silver Foil Blocked Business Card

Add a touch of luxury by foil blocking your logo.

Spot Uv Varnished Business Cards

Make your business card shine bright with spot-UV detailing.

Qr-codes on Business Cards

QR codes: The smart way to share your digital world.

Many different paper types and finishes, such as velvet lamination, metallic ink, or spot UV varnishes, enable you to be a little different.

The paper you use tells a story about you and your brand. A business card printed on thick paper stock conveys confidence, while those on flimsy, uncoated paper say, “I’m cheap” (especially if it also says “Printed by Vistaprint” on the reverse). 

Handing over your business card is often a potential client’s first interaction with you and your brand. Your card’s quality and attention to detail can help you make an unforgettable first impression, setting the stage for a successful business relationship.

And you know what people say about first impressions.

The next time you hear someone raving about digital business cards being the future, remember that the simple, tangible and personal nature of a printed business card can speak volumes for your brand in ways an electronic one never will.

Want to Work With Me?

If you would like to find out how I can help your business stand out with quality business cards, or anything else, please get in touch.