The business card.. Have you got yours? May 18, 2012Posted by travisthetrout in networking.
Last year I attended an art event on behalf of my firm being singled out as being creative and artistic. Also, I wanted to go. It was an interesting event, I met lots of people, admired a lot of beautiful paintings and indulged in a few nibbles. I got asked for a business card by the event organiser/gallery owner. Unfortunately as a paralegal I did not have a business card provided for me by the firm. A colleague (who just happened to be at the same event in a personal capacity) offered one of his business cards and kindly scribbled in my email prefix and phone extension in the place of his. A kind offer, but also potentially embarrassing.
My makeshift business card did not prevent the person getting in touch, but I suspect that was more to do with his desire to make some money, rather than his desire to keep in contact with me.
Not wanting that embarrassment again, I set about getting some “personal” business cards from moo.com – they work a dream. Whether you are a student, paralegal or trainee it is never too early to get business cards (don’t rely on cost-cutting law firms). I got a neutral, clean cut design as I was soon to be leaving my firm at the time and simply used a professional but personal email, and my LinkedIn.
My OH also got business cards at the same time only from vista print after some nagging from me. Since he is in a permanent job he also uploaded his firms logo which made it very professional looking (but more expensive) and ordered a box load. Despite being a junior in his firm, the cards have proved invaluable at social events, networking events and other functions and he is often surprised at how much he has to replenish his wallet (and where he meets people).
It does not hurt to have a couple of cards, tucked away in your bag/wallet. And before you say business cards are “dated” and social media is the way forward remember 1. Not everyone you want to get in contact with is on LinkedIn and 2. It helps people find you. After all, they can use the card to find you and connect and then pass it on when some else says to them “I’ve been looking for… Can you make a recommendation?” win-win.