Life gets more and more paperless every day. And in most ways, that’s a good thing. We archive our emails instead of printing and filing; we view attachments on the screen instead of using up expensive ink or toner. We share documents in the cloud instead of distributing paper copies before a meeting. Are business cards going to go the way of the memo?

We don’t think so. Whether you work for a company, own your own business, or are a freelance entrepreneur, business cards still carry relevant information in an inexpensive and convenient format. And with a couple of 21st Century tweaks, they can be a great little marketing tool:

  • Design—Make sure the design of your business card effectively reflects your business services. Colorful or subtle, austere, or complex. Think about the visual image as well as the information you present. For creative companies/individuals – the design of your business card is as important as anything you could say to a potential client. Your card should represent the type of design you prefer to deliver. Misrepresent yourself here and risk losing potential business – before you’ve even connected.
  • Email—Of course you will include your email address on your card, but if you are a freelancer, you might want to consider obtaining a more businesslike alias than your personal email address. Find out if your email service will let you have more than one. You can have it automatically forward to your regular Inbox and not miss a message.
  • Portfolio—Don’t forget the URL of your online portfolio or website
  • Social Media—If you are marketing your services on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or another platform, include your contact information on your card. You never know where someone you only met for a moment might look to find out more about you. Make it easy.
  • QR Codes—The latest trend seems to be putting a QR code which leads to your portfolio or website as well as the URLs on your card. People with smartphones can get all the information they need with just a moment’s scan. 

Without business cards, the people you meet will have to remember your name to look you up later. Will they or won’t they? Don’t take a chance. Business cards will be around for a long time and for good reason.

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative