I have four questions for you.
Where do you keep your personal business cards? I keep mine in the top drawer of my dresser and in the glove compartment of my car.
I keep two or three in my wallet. They’ve also been know to show up between the cushions on our couch.
During networking events, I keep them in my shirt pocket along with the ones I collect.
I don’t have a silver business card case. Tried one of those but quickly lost it.
When do you carry your personal business cards? The answer should be, “Always.” This means even when you go to family gatherings or anywhere in your community.
(I quizzed my networking group about this one and one person came up with the winning answer.)
Have you ever forgotten your business cards? If you’re honest, you’ll say you’ve forgotten them on occasion. I have. I’ve forgotten to retrieve them from my drawer before I left for a networking event. You might have left them on the desk in your study.
Now, where do you keep your smart phone? It’s always on you, isn’t it? Mine is. I can count on one hand when I’ve forgotten my phone. I’m also constantly checking it.
My phone has become an extension of my arm. I’ve been scolded for taking it out during dinner, at home or in a restaurant. What have I become? I’m an older version of my kids.
For many people, a lot of important information is stored on their phone, such as contact information, access to their bank, a calendar, family photos, etc.
So, why not keep another important item on your phone? I’m talking about your personal business card. That’s right, an HTML-based business card that’s always with you. One you’ll never forget, unless you forget your phone; but I doubt that.
I recently learned about business cards you can store on your phone. I happened upon a company, kwikcards, that designs and installs your business card on your phone. And I thought, “How cools is this?” Very cool. And I can’t wait to use it.
I imagine I’ll be at an event having a great conversation with a network companion and would like to have his card so I can follow up with them. They give me their paper card.
In turn, I don’t reach for my paper card. Rather I take out my phone and quickly pull up my personal business card, the the image above.
(The design was created by kwikcards after I sent them some information. I didn’t have to do anything but wait for a link to show up in my email.)
My networking partners look at my electronic business card—right there on my phone. And the say, “How cool is that?” Their first comment is that there’s a photo of me, which is not common on paper business cards.
My card clearly states what I do: LinkedIn and Profile Strategy. As well as what I do: LinkedIn Profiles | LinkedIn Strategy | Career Marketing | Career Strategy.
But wait. If they want to see my LinkedIn profile, there’s a button I can tap on my phone. It’s below my list of expertise. If they want to see my blog and Twitter handle, I tap those.
There’s only one problem, they’re thinking; they can’t take my phone with them.
No problem. I ask for their tired, boring, personal business card telling them I’ll send my electronic card to their email or text them. Or I can share it with them on the spot; some of them prefer that.
I meet other people at the event and go through the same process. They’re similarly impressed.
As promised I send my electronic business card to my networking partners. In the email subject header I’m sure to write: Bob’s personal business card.
When they open it on their computer or smart phone, they see the same card I showed them the night before.
They’ll notice they can take quick action by calling me (from their smart phone), sending me email, and texting me. The buttons are clearly marked, and my email address and phone number are attached to the buttons.
As well, they can access my LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, even Facebook page if I thought to include that. It’s simply a click of a button.
This, I think, is more convenient than bumbling through their pockets for traditional business cards. If they’re like me, they dump the business cards in their office desk drawer and eventually get to them later that day. Maybe the cards are forgotten.
But not when they open the email or text from me. They’re presented with my interactive electronic business card. They can even download the image on their phone or computer, if they like.
I think my electronic person business card is very cool and am going to abandon my paper cards, which will eliminate the stress I feel when I have to find them or, worse yet, forget them.