4 Things More Effective Than a Business Card

Business Cards

Today All Groan Up is honored to welcome a guest post by the smart and funny Jen Glantz. Enjoy!

 

What I handed him looked like it had been places.

And it had. The 3×2 business card was glossed over with a raw shade of plum lipstick and defied the law of gravity by hanging on to the edge of his middle finger, thanks to the clump of gum that was clinging on to the back of the card.

The process of even finding the business card in the trenches of my purse took longer than an off-Broadway rendition of Hamlet. I had to get to the bottom. I pulled out a sock, followed by a half-eaten PBJ sandwich, followed by a curling iron all before Wuthering Heights and a yo-yo laughed their way to the tiled floor.

“Uhh—just friend me—on Facebook”, he said in the aftermath of experiencing a bundle of tampons explode out of my bag and land on his suede loafers.

Wow, you’re a disaster, he didn’t say. But I could tell by the swooshing of his eyebrows and his raised upper lip that he wanted to. He wanted to so badly.

Instead, he said, I’ll Google you, okay?  But it wasn’t okay. How many times do you get a chance to shake the hand of someone extraordinary in your career field? I’ve memorized this guy’s LinkedIn page, could recite four of his most recent tweets, and knew what clubs he was in at USC. This was my time to impress him, to hopefully one day work for him, to hand him one of the business cards that I spent $45 printing.  But I couldn’t even find them.

When I did, when I finally found a stack, I watched him toss the card in his pocket. The same pockets that would later dance around inside of a warm washing machine and turn my contact information into mush. Into the stuff that clings on to dark pants and is ultimately peeled off with a lint roller.

Business cards are a thing of the past. They can’t keep up with our conversations, our modes of contact, or our constantly changing job titles.

Here are four things more effective than a business card:

1. Start your own website.

You can get 250 business cards on Vistaprint.com for about $19.99. For that same price, you can buy a domain name on GoDaddy.com and host your own website. You’ll even have money left over to buy yourself a slice of pizza to eat as you upload your resume, post your cover letter, and add your portfolio to the site you’ll create for yourself. You don’t need to know HTML or write code to put this together. It can all be done with a couple of clicks and quick decisions using a WordPress template.

 2. Create an About.Me page

If you don’t have the spare change, the time, or the patience to make a website, there’s still options. You can put up all your contact information and any online links to social media accounts or work that you’ve done on an About.me page. You can customize it in minutes and make it go live in seconds. Here’s my page: http://about.me/jenglantz

 3. Keep your phone handy.

You probably bring your phone with you everywhere, even the bathroom. So, if you’re at a networking event or meet someone rad on the subway, pull out your phone and save their contact information there. That way, you’ll always have their digits or their email handy and can send them a virtual business card—aka your new personalized webpage.

4. Carry some old fashion pen and paper with you.

Girls, your purses carry everything else. And guys, if you can’t fit a mini note pad and a pen in your pocket, most places you go to will have something you can borrow. Just make sure you don’t leave a conversation or a meeting without their information. If they just take yours, you may never hear from them again.

Jen Glantz is the author of All My Friends Are Engaged, a book of dating disaster stories. She’s the heart behind the website The Things I Learned From and the biggest supporter of the NYC pizza industry. She’d love you to say hello: @tthingsilearned or [email protected]

5 Comments

  1. Joanna

    A website is definitely good, but its not much help if they don’t remember your name or can’t work out how to spell it, hence why business cards are still useful. You can buy business card holders to keep your cards un-mangled for a few dollars at office supplies or discount stores. When I’m going places I might have a chance to hand them out, I make sure my card holder is in an easy to access outside pocket of my bag.

  2. Jen Glantz (@TThingsILearned)

    I’m so thrilled to be featured on your website today, Paul! You’re such an inspirational and funny guy. Wishing you all the best!

    -Jen Glantz
    @tthingsilearned
    thethingsilearnedfrom.com

  3. Anthony Moore

    Great article, Jen! I totally have an about.me page, as well as the 250 cards from Vistaprint for $19.99, and my own website, heh.

    Still, I think the business card (can be) legit; I think a lot of college grads don’t have them, and if they’re done well (maybe you could pay an extra $10 for the “deluxe” version!) you could really stick out.

    Also, I always try and connect with people on LinkedIn right after I meet them!

  4. Diane

    Jen! I totally LOVE your unapologetically raw & humorous post. And you reminded me that I need to update my About.me page. So thank you!

    But that’s besides the point — I am completely all for the throwback pen & paper method. No one said you can’t go nomad style (sans digital).

    Funny thing, when I first started out & had NO biz cards I literally got down & creative. I found a book with mini fortune cookie *quotes* (c’mon I didn’t actually have the time to consume the amount of fortune cookies needed or bother my local Chinese restaurant) & plastered them onto pretty stationary.

    I put my info on the back & presto! When I went to networking events I would ask people their favorite color & something about them and hand them the appropriate fortune/stationary/biz card.

    Let’s just say I was memorable 🙂

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