Sunday, August 24, 2008

Business Cards: Are They Still Needed in a World of Web 2.0?

I’m getting ready to get business cards for my younger daughter and me for our company Miller Mosaic, LLC. Up to now there’s been no need for business cards for this new online company, whose website isn’t yet live and whose business model will be part of Web 2.0.

Yet next month my daughter and I will be attending a conference in LA where we hope to meet some of the people we’re following on Twitter and in the blogosphere, such as conference speaker Chris Brogan, a Web 2.0 guru (www.chrisbrogan.com). We want cards to hand out when we meet these people in person.

Considerations for getting your own business card

If you’re starting to look for your first real job, do you need business cards? After all, if you get a job, you may be provided with business cards. And until you have a job, what would go on your business card?

In the “old” days business cards could cost a lot of money. Today there are so many places online and offline to get cards, including cards that are free except for shipping, that cost should no longer be a deciding factor.

And there’s another consideration. Some time ago I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about people having different business cards for different parts of their lives. For example, someone may work as an accountant during the day and have a company business card. Then she may be a slot car enthusiast on weekends and pass out a personal business card when she meets fellow slot car enthusiasts.

Thus, you could get an inexpensive business card now that can be used while you job search and, after you get that first job, can be used on weekends for meeting people at parties or other venues.

What’s needed on a personal business card?

Name, personal email address, and cell phone number are the minimum needed on a business card plus possible a personal website (as long as there are no inappropriate items on the website). No need for an address, which can change, or your landline phone, which can change. In most cases you’ll keep your personal email and cell phone even when you change jobs.

You could add one more element – something that makes you memorable in the minds of people you meet and yet is “professional” enough when giving out a card at a job interview. Such elements might include: website designer (you made your own website), social media expert (you’re a pro at MySpace and Facebook), political commentator (you’re a regular commentator on several political blogs).

While you may be interviewing for the job of an actuary or a social worker, the interviewer should still be impressed at your “talent” because those companies who haven’t yet embraced Web 2.0 will need all the help they can get to do so in the next couple of years.

Who knows? You may be hired for an actuary job and end up the company’s social media guru as more and more companies create such a position.

So say yes to getting a personal business card. (And you can even attach a copy of it to your email signature.)


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2 comments:

mnc said...

Business cards ARE still needed in the world of web 2.0. They're a way of connecting offline, so that your business, blog or site has a presence outside of the web.
Why not reconcile the two world and have a business card that truly represents your online identity?
I love the blogger business cards on http://www.ooprint.com . . . you can even personalize a tag cloud on your card! Try them out, you can order 100 for free!

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