What Do Modern Business Cards for Genealogists Look Like?

Business CardsMichael Hait at Planting the Seeds wrote a post last week about his new business cards.  In it, he talks about how new technology has changed his business card design.  He’s now including a QR code on his business card along with the traditional contact information.

I’m running low on business cards myself, so I’ve been pondering what changes to make before my next order. My current business card is above.  That’s pretty much the actual size (i.e. the print really is that big).

  • It doesn’t include my telephone number.  For a variety of reasons, email is a better way to reach me.  If someone wants to hire me but refuses to use email…well, I’m not going to be a good fit for them.  This is my way of subtly weeding out the phone-only people (not to mention keeping my home office phone from ringing at 11pm, which happened all the time back when my phone number was plastered all over everything).  It also keeps the telemarketers away; I can put my business card in whatever fishbowl drawings I want without fear that I’m going to end up on call list for timeshares in Las Vegas.  I do, of course, give my phone number to people when it makes sense; I just don’t give it to random strangers.
  • It doesn’t include my address. When I designed the cards, I realized there’s no reason to have it there. Business cards go to strangers, not people I’m already doing business with.  Why would strangers need my home address?  Are they going to contact me by snail mail to start a conversation?  Probably not.  If a client needed my mailing address for something, I’d happily give it to them…but business cards come in well before the you’re-my-client stage.  (I should probably note that in my old line of work, keeping my home address and phone number under wraps was important, because when you fire people for a living you have to worry about stuff like that.  I’m probably more focused on this than most genealogists.)
  • It does include my website.  I like the “Google Me” idea that Michael’s post mentions, but it wouldn’t be a fit for me.  For one thing, I don’t have the easiest name in the world to manage online.  For another, I don’t benefit from driving traffic to Google; I benefit from driving traffic to my own site.  If people want to know all about me, here it is.  This is the place.
  • It includes a link to my Twitter account.  I had these printed at the time I switched from blogging about job-hunting to genealogy.  I had been hanging out with HR people, who were way more likely to be using Twitter rather than Facebook.  Genealogist seem to prefer Facebook, because they’re crazy  Zuckerberg has naked pictures of them  they’re gluttons for punishment all of their friends are already there.  On the next printing, I’ll probably add Facebook and Google+ (or, alternately, just drive them to this website, which has links to all of the other stuff anyway…I don’t want the font to be so small you can’t read it without a magnifying glass).
  • It doesn’t include a QR code.  These weren’t used much when I first ordered this batch of business cards, and I’m debating whether to include them on the next batch.  Here’s the thing, though: Does it make sense to include them on the card itself?  Because the QR code is just going to direct you to my website, which is already printed on the card.  If you have a card, you probably don’t need a QR code.  To me, the QR codes make more sense on objects other than business cards, because they mostly serve as an alternative to them.  For example, I’m probably going to print one on a label that I can affix to my nametag when I’m at RootsTech.  I might add another one to my key chain, because the only time I’m without business cards is when I walk around with just my keys (at daycare pickup, for example).  Inevitably that’s the time I get to chatting with someone and wish I had a business card to give them.  But on the business card itself?  I’m not sure it’s worth the space.
  • It’s shiny.  You can’t tell from the photo, but these are high-gloss cards.  They look really cool, but you can’t write on them, and some people find that annoying (although I always wonder…what are they writing about me on there?  Do they not keep their notes about people in their email contacts notes field?  Are people, like, stapling this card to a Rolodex or something?  Just how retro are we talking about here?).  I haven’t decided whether to stick with the gloss or not.

What about you?  What’s on your business card?  Is every piece of information there really essential?  Is there anything missing that you wish you’d included?

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17 Responses

  1. Michael Hait 4 years ago
    • Kerry Scott 4 years ago
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  5. OnlineGenGuy 4 years ago
  6. Dee 4 years ago
  7. Debra Newton-Carter 4 years ago
  8. Laura Prescott 4 years ago
    • Laura Prescott 4 years ago
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