Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Card That Means Business

Before my last networking event, I went to FedEx/Kinkos to have a short run of very basic business cards made up. I thought it would be better than trying to run through VistaPrint again, and I will say that Chris at the Washington St. location was great to work with. I ended up with my name in big bold centered letters on plain white card stock, with my address, phone number, and email on them.

It was at that event that one woman advised me that I should have them redone. "Never put your home address on the card, it advertises that you're not working from an outside office," she said. "Also, put down some sort of descriptive title that says what you do or want to do."

I was thinking of this last night, as I went to a DWC sponsored author reading at Barnes & Noble at the Prudential Center. I met a few women that are working with career developing recent graduates, and mentioned this website. More than one person asked me for more information, and I had to stifle a cringe as I realized that my website was not on the new cards.

And today, I ran across a piece in the WSJ's Career Journal with some more advice on business cards. I particularly noted the "different cards for different purposes" tip. Obviously, this is the solution to last night's dilemma; one card for professional development, one card for blogging. And nothing too boring:

A 54-year-old marketing executive, unemployed since October, hands out a simple business card as part of his job search. It lists his name, phone numbers, email account and suburban New Jersey address. "I am a bit of a traditionalist in how I present myself," he explains.

Yet by divulging nothing about the executive's qualifications, his card hurts his chances to find work.

"This kind of card leaves you empty," contends Diane Darling, CEO of Effective Networking in Boston. "A business card represents who you are, reminding people why they should hire you."

I probably won't head back to FedEx/Kinkos, since I'd just get more of the same. I'm thinking about looking around at some local print shops, and seeing what I can find.

2 responses:

Milena said...

Kate - the multiple card idea is a good one, just make sure you have them all with you at all times!

I have one for my "legit" job, one as a voice teacher, and one as a performer.

I also heard a great tip on a website about using the cards to generate business, it's a bit cheesy, but I've done it a few times. When you hand someone your card, give them two, saying, "Here's one for you, and one for a friend/colleague/coworker who might be interested in my services too."

This guy also said every time he ate out, he'd put two cards in the waitress' tray. Apparently this weird technique brought him a conistent stream of ancillary business. How? I'm not sure.

Here are some fun business card ideas...

KEHutchinson said...

That's a really neat idea, Milena. I'll have to practice saying that to avoid sounding too cheesy.

Thanks for the website! I've had a lot of fun browsing this one too.

(C) 2007 - 2009 Kate Hutchinson. All rights reserved.

All opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author.