The End of Business Cards?

I checked my drawer the other day to see how many business cards I had left from the last print. To my surprise it was a lot more than I had thought.

This leaves me with a dilemma. In one sense, I need my cards updated. My business has evolved, and although the call to action on the reverse side is still relevant, it does not precisely chime with my favourite niche.

On the other hand, I am not handing out many cards these days. Once upon a time when I started with breakfast networking groups, we handed out loads of cards, gave other members a supply to give to their contacts, and generally hoped they would bring referrals. Now, I mostly give cards to people who actually ask me at networking meetings and elsewhere. I think that is because everyone is now aware they can find everyone else on-line, or at least they should be able to do so.

A deterrent to handing out many cards is the likelihood we will get on people’s email mailing lists. I guess we know if we go to a trade exhibition and get asked for our card that is because we will be put on the trader’s email marketing list. I do not feel guilty about unsubscribing from those, but when someone I meet while networking adds me to their email list, I feel worse about unsubscribing even though I did not give them permission to add me in the first place.

The reality is that there is much less call on my supply of business cards. I am more reluctant to hand them out and do not feel I am expected to. My contact information, my skills and my businesses’ niche services are on-line for everyone to see. Do we really need to order 1500 cards at a time as I did several years ago? In five years’ time, will I need any at all when there will be some app for each of us to pass our details and spread the word?

What do you think?

An Innocent in Social Media Marketing Wonderland


English: The Mad Hatter, illustration by John ...

English: The Mad Hatter, illustration by John Tenniel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

`You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that “I tweet when I sleep” is the same thing as “I sleep when I tweet”!’

At least that is what the Dormouse might have said nearly a century and a half on. I don’t know about you, but while I am very interested in social media, and indeed social media marketing, I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about either, but I do my best with the marketing bit and I try to learn from others. I buy in some help, mainly in the area of on-line learning. I also belong to various Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and follow the most interesting marketers on Twitter.

Many of the lovely people who run the various groups or whose pages I “like” send me marketing messages from time to time. I always like to know about new content. Who doesn’t? The content for so many is what sells their paid stuff. It is the same for me in that it is content which convinces people that I and my business are the right people to help them.

However it is a well known rule of Twitter that you do not sell, but you offer valuable content, with just the occasional “infomercial”. Otherwise you end up annoying people and being unfollowed, which is unfortunate if you hope that now and again a follower will buy from you.

So why is it that some nice people with huge Twitter followings and successful blogs in terms of visits seem to achieve this while sending out automated marketing emails and Tweets to their blogs morning, noon and night? It is not even as though most of it is new stuff. Some email me daily or overnight every night with the same content, over and over again.

I am inclined to unfollow / unsubscribe, and in some cases I have. However, I would like to know whether relentless pushing of the same stuff is effective in selling, and whether the mantra about not selling on Twitter is valid in social media marketing best practice?

I would love to know what you think because I am as confused as Alice was at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

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