I’ve made a conscious effort this year to expand the QUALITY of my professional and personal network. As any introvert aspiring to be a good networker, things tend to be a bit more mechanical on my side of things but I am working on an automation formula!
Anyways, I’ve noticed something very interesting in the networking events I’ve attended – it seems we’ve entered the era of Business Card Personalization. As the name suggests, Business Card Personalization refers to the application of Personalization (a concept very popular these days in the digital world due to Web Personalization) to networking – in layman’s terms carrying multiple business cards and targeting the recipients of the card based on how closely they fit your information or skillset on each card.
Using myself as an example, I have 3 business cards (soon to downgrade to 2). Each business card has it’s own brand and depicts a somewhat unique side of my professional aptitude. For the record, business cards should be for business purposes – for personal relationships please exchange cell phone numbers. As you’d already guessed, which business card I hand depends greatly on the person I’m handing it to. If I’m at an entrepreneur or startup networking event, I usually give out my Miigle business card, if I am approached by a potential client I hand out my consulting card, and if I’m acting on behalf of my employer I hand out its branded card.
Why am I writing about this? Well, let’s start with my own reasoning. I decide to carry 3 cards because I have and usually pursue different interests at various points in time and thought it’d be too confusing to 1) fit all that information on one card and 2) have to answer the question “So what do you do?” with multiple titles on a card. Given I already have a very hard time answering the question “Where are you from?”, I figured I’d save myself some time there. But I’ve got to ask. Am I doing it right?
Surely, people before us (i.e. our parents and grand-parents) had multiple interests? Yes! However, those interests did not always translate (intentionally or unintentionally) to being an additional source of income as they do today. It’s actually quite amazing if you think about it. There is no prior period in time when people have embraced and felt so comfortable about creating favorable financial conditions for themselves through their different interests and skills! #Entrepreneurship
To be fair, is that not why business cards were created? i.e. Remember me. I’d like to make money from or through you [one day].
So I ask, is this the death of the single business card?
p.s. Perhaps I could keep it simple and just get one business card with the title “Hustler“? I have a feeling there’s someone out there who’d be more deserving. Peace.