First published on BlogWorld. I’m cartoon-blogging there next week; let me know in the comments if you’ll be there!
I’m as guilty of this as anyone. You meet someone at a conference, you find a real connection – be it personal or business-related – and you exchange cards.
But as you hand yours over, you yank it back. “Oh, sorry,” you say, and fumble for a pen – “I just changed cell numbers. Let me just write in the new one… Hmm, you can’t really read that, can you?” (Of course they can’t, because you’re trying to write it on a little card with a big thick Sharpie, the only thing you could find in your bag.) “Do you have a pen? Or just some pointed instrument I could use to draw some blood?”
So if your business cards are out of date, set aside some time today to get some new ones printed in time for BlogWorld. (I promise: I’m doing just that as soon as I finish writing this.)
And if you want to stand out a little, here are a few ideas for business cards that make sense in for a social media conference:
- Chris Brogan goes with a minimal card, giving only his preferred means of contact, along with his name, how he thinks he could help you, and – maybe most critically – space to write things on. He also has a business card on his site.
- Maybe you want to join the cool kids and have a QR code on your card. (I’m using a distinctly self-serving definition of “cool” here, I’ll admit.) To link to the contact page on your blog, just use Google’s URL shortener, goo.gl. It not only spits out a handy shortened URL, but a QR code to boot. (This is what my cartoon’s link looks like.) (And for a rundown on how people used QR codes at SXSW this year, have a look at Gina Trapani’s report.)
- You could always just go completely paper-free with a service like card.ly or chi.mp, which create attractive-looking single-page sites with your contact details and social media links.
- And if you have an iPhone or Android, you’re going to want to be able to Bump. It doesn’t get more fumble-free than that.