My Business Card Woes!!!

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: June 28, 2011

Category: General

I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with business cards. Now I know they’re an essential part of being in business and making contacts and networking but when it comes to carrying them I always find that the ones I keep in my wallet invariably get miss-shapen and very quickly start looking dishevelled and I’m certainly not into carrying a purpose made holder/wallet in my pocket.

Plus when it comes to cards I very quickly get bored of the design, get picky about which ones to hand out and so quite a few get thrown away. So, this is why I was particularly interested in what world famous Wedding Photographer David Ziser [Link] does with his iPad.

You see what David will do is backup photos during the day to his ipad that he shoots at a wedding, and then during a break (rare as a wedding photog’ I understand) he will then show a couple of images to, for example, the bride and groom. Naturally they get a fantastic reaction followed by a “Wow my friend X would love to speak to you about….’ so rather than give a business card David will get their email address and send one of the pictures to them along with his contact details; instant impact…Genius!!!

So the ole grey matter got to work and came up with an idea that could possibly cure my Business Card Woes and this is what I’m going to be trying and testing over the next few weeks…

One thing I always have with me is my iPhone…infact some would say it’s my extra limb, so why not create a business card that I can email or MMS directly to someone I would have normally handed a card to? This way I’m not carrying anything extra, I never run out of cards, they always look their best and they’re not only getting my details and a sample photo, but I have their details too so I can make a follow up call/email about a week later.

Obviously this isnt going to 100% replace the ‘hard copies’ that I would have normally used because there’ll always be times when one of those is more appropriate but for general day to day use this definitely appeals to me…plus it plays to my geek side 🙂

Like I said, I get bored very quickly and consequently I’ve lost count how many times I’ve had cards designed or have designed myself only to find that a few short weeks later I’ve gone off them and am reluctant to hand them out. Sure this is probably a complete waste of time and energy but hey that’s just me, however this new eBusiness Card approach, for want of a better phrase, changes things completely as I can alter the design with a few clicks and send cards containing a relevant photo to the appropriate prospective client and at no extra cost for re prints etc…

Smart Objects:
Making up unlimited designs and being able to swap out images is extremely quick and easy when using ‘Smart Objects’ in Photoshop….

The eBusiness Cards themselves measure 960px x 640px which is the exact dimensions of the iPhone screen but as a bonus these dimensions will show up nice and big when viewed on a computer screen.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new approach so feel free to make use of the comments section below. Indeed you may already be doing something similar; if so how are you finding it…could this be the way to do things in the future or do you not think this is a good idea? … feel free to comment anyway.

In the meantime,
Enjoy 🙂

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19 Comments

  1. Corin Bishop

    Love the idea of the iphone business card. More importantly I like the idea of turning the contact into a more definate ‘lead’.

    So many times people will take business cards and do nothing with them. However if you’re able to take their details then you have a new potential customer that you can follow up (in a nice way of course!).

    cb

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Corin…Yeah it’s the follow up part that will be particularly useful for me mate. All too often I lose business cards or simply forget who it was that gave it to me so hopefully this will sort that out.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  2. Nat

    I think there’s a need for both Glyn, but wouldn’t it be cool if there was an “App for that” and you could collect all your business cards in one place on the Iphone and then wait it could link into your contacts for a one stop calling experience?!!! Think you’re on to something here 🙂
    Have a great day!

    Reply
  3. Paul Pride

    Glyn you’ve done it again! So simple yet so very cool! I have struggled to come up with a business card design that applies to different styles of my photography as very rarely does one image suit everything. This way it can be chopped and changed at the drop of a hat to suit the potential clients needs.
    Also I know that I lose business cards all the time yet I never delete an email.
    So I know what I’m doing this evening!

    Reply
  4. Michelle Lovegrove

    Hi Glyn,
    I am obviously biased being a print designer but whilst I think this is a good idea for an addition to your branding, it adds an extra dimension to both your professionalism and the ability of contacts to get connected, I do think that an “extra” is exactly how this technology should be regarded.

    The traditional business card is still an essential part of getting you name out there. Also whilst a techy business card may be ultra modern and swish…the message you are sending out is that you are technologically aware and current. All very well for some clients and indeed impressive….one has to remember however that not all our potential clients are as technologically proficient. A too hi-tech approach can be intimidating to the less computer literate and potentially alienating.
    Of course this depends on your business…IT Support Contractor…then great…the more hi-tech the better!

    The other downside IMO of a electronic business card is that it is only two dimensional and lacking it the tactile aspect of printed alternative. The materials chosen for your branded stationery also convey something about you in a way that is often overlooked. Choose the right material and you will be sending a clear message about your tastes and ethos…what’s more the potential client won’t even be aware they are making a judgement on this basis. It’s subliminal, but still effective.

    My advice with regards to finding a business card design that you don’t tire of is maybe to think outside the box from the traditional designs and open your mind to something more adventurous, unique and ultimately wonderfully tactile and striking. Maybe then you won’t get bored and more importantly your contacts will be reluctant to file the card in the waste bin.

    Reply
  5. Dave Clayton

    Great idea Glyn, I must admit I love a bit of MOO and I am always tinkering with designs but that’s just the designer in me.
    This way of yours means there is a more definite interaction and also you are getting their mobile number and name in the moment. You can also take their photo when adding their details to contacts.
    I think I need to go and play with your idea now 😉

    Reply
  6. SC

    Glyn – thanks for sharing, I like the idea of having different versions to show of pictures to suit audience and potential customers. Something I’ll put into practice for definite.

    Reply
  7. Jonathan Thompson

    Well, that’s just bloomin brilliant mate. I know when I heard David Ziser talking about what he does with his iPad at weddings I thought it was inspired, so this is incredibly useful (Once I have an iPhone it will be) I too get bored with card designs and struggle to design anything that doesn’t look old 30 seconds after I’ve sent the print job online. Michelle Lovegrove has a good point regarding the tactile, actual card so I’m of the thought that this is an amazingly useful tool to use as well as a cool card design.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Jonathan

    Reply
  8. Melissia Griffith

    I’ve never used Smart Object before. I’ll have to try it out. Thanks again for all your information! How’s the online class coming along? 😉

    Reply
  9. Noel Hannan

    Fantastic idea Glyn, looking forward to seeing them mate!
    All the best,
    Noel

    Reply
  10. A.J. Wood

    Brilliant as always. I’ve been thinkin’ about business cards lately myself as I’ll be on the road here next month.

    I like grabbin’ the other person’s card when possible because as you mentioned follow up is easier. I make it a point even when I use iPhone apps like Bump, to jot down something in the contact card notes so I know how I connected with that person.

    Have you considered using QR codes on your promo materials? This is something I’m thinkin’ about for my next round of cards.

    Reply
  11. Gareth Davies

    Definitely a geeky coolness to them without doubt 🙂

    Like the idea and will appeal to lots but its still in addition to the “norm” cards for me. I have a lot of non-techy clients who without a physical card would find it difficult

    One of the talking points of business cards and what people do with them is down to the quality of them, both in terms of layout / style and the physical presence.
    After ordering cards from Michelle, I have to say the huge difference in the feel between the 400gsm Silk and my old Moo cards is vast. People actually talk about the cards as much as the contact details.

    I love the techy stuff and will give this a go – in addition mind 🙂

    Reply
  12. DaveT

    Hi Glyn – Michelle raises a good point when she refers to the physical qualities of the printed card – quality over quantity can be extremely important to some potential customers.

    We are also very much in an age where social media is the vehicle for communication and marketing. In this context electronic business cards probably have more utility as this would likely be the medium that most appeals, to those using twitter etc.

    It’s also easy for them to pass on to others, and therefore widens the possibility of client referrals. All this with minimum outlay for yourself.

    I think it’s a good strategy to have options for your business card. Knowing your target audience, or the specific client core values, will help you decided which medium to use. You now have the flexibility to use a hard copy, electronic copy, or perhaps a combination.

    Glyn -as an aside I like the diversity of content on your blog, it keeps it fresh and interesting.

    Cheers
    Dave

    Reply
  13. Neil Glover

    Hey Glyn,

    Great idea and I love the look too .

    I might even use this myself…obviously I’d change the picture 😉

    Reply
  14. Marco Ruschkowski

    sounds good… just one question do the ikons (facebook tweeter) und such work and if so how did you get them to work?

    take care

    Marco

    Reply
  15. Glyn

    Thanks for all the comments folks.
    Just to clarify a few points, these won’t be replacing my current hard copy business card…they’re just there to use in addition cos there are always those times (for me anyway) when I run out, the ones I have aren’t suitable etc… The Social Media icons aren’t active but hey how cool would that be; I’ll sort that asap.

    Thanks again,
    Glyn

    Reply
  16. heather

    Glyn, seriously this is genius! I absolutely love this idea! Another rad way to use our amazing iphones. Just started using square with my iphone also. It is a great way to accept credit cards. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hi Heather.
      Square you say? Gonna have to got check that one out now. Glad you like the Business Card idea 😉

      Reply
  17. gary patterson

    don’t you think it would be great to create an app where you could instantly exchange business cards. I guess it would use similar technology as the bump app. If only I knew how to make apps!!!!

    Reply

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