Business cards are not passé

Historically business cards were a symbol of seniority. New college grads were rarely deemed important enough on the totem poll for a company to spend money on printing, especially if they were an engineer or programer and non-customer facing.  This left the techies  embarrassed that they didn’t have a card when asked in social settings.  Especially as it seemed that every other friend in sales, marketing, accounting, finance and law had a business card.

Things have changed.

Thanks to VistaPrint, Staples, the Internet and competition nearly everyone can now afford to print their own card and on very high quality paper. And due to the higher rate of job transitions and big brother monitoring corporate email, many professionals prefer to give a personal card rather than a business card.

Yet in some circles it’s hip to not have one. In the startup tech world it’s not uncommon for even CEOs to not carry a card.  They figure their company and their details are already on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook or their own personal resume page.  On the other hand,   programers have flipped from geek to chic over the years and are in high demand.  They often didn’t have cards in the first place, so now being a programmer is a status symbol. And for the environmentally conscious, not carrying a card is an opportunity to remind others to respect the environment.

If you have no desire to grow your business or are already happy with your success then maybe having a card doesn’t matter to you.

So why bother?

There are a number of reasons why a business card still matters.

1. This is your personal marketing document.  It’s your opportunity to get people to look at your website or google your company when they’ve long forgotten your name.
2. It makes you seem more sophisticated to the multi-million dollar investors.
3. It gives you credibility.
4. It allows someone to pass your details on to a professional connection hand to their assistant to set up a call, or snap a photo to text their Angel or VC friend.

Is your company trying to raise raising capital? Make it easy for people to find you, not hard.  Think of your investor as your client. Why make them try to remember your name or quirky purposeful misspelling of a word that you use for your company?  If you don’t make it easy for people to interact with you, then you may be missing connections.

We’ve met hundreds of investors managing $1 billion to trillions. They all have cards. Yes everyone important to them can find most of them on Bloomberg, BigDough or LinkedIn. But in the world of finance making your details accessible to those you value enough to meet with is considered a professional courtesy.

Just because VCs and Angels don’t give you their card doesn’t mean they don’t value them. They give them to their peers. They lay low at pitch events watching for ideas but keeping their cover to avoid being bombarded by attention.

Don’t be a missed connection. Cards still matter.

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