I’m spending time going through information from all of the amazing people I’ve met this year, and trying to organize it and make sure I connect with everyone who wants to do that. In the process, I realized that some of my closest colleagues have already changed organizations or moved across the country-I know that LinkedIn helps us stay in touch professionally, and I definitely utilize that platform for consistency of contact and keeping up with good news from my network. But I can’t help thinking that we all just need a calling card.
My business card doesn’t change, no matter which client I am working with, because I am a business owner. I have many contacts who are like me, whose information will never change. But I also have some colleagues who are starting to either share two cards, one for their own information, and one for their company’s. Or those in transition have a personal business card that conveys their brands and what they have to offer. Once example is my new friend John Quarles, who is a senior HR professional soon to be in transition, who has a gorgeous card highlighting his top skill areas, including HR specialties and other business areas like Mergers and Acquisitions and Six Sigma, as well as a tagline to sum up his brand: “Supplying your company with the HR tools it needs to be successful.”
While John will certainly be off the market before we know it (you can check him out on LinkedIn for more information) we can all take a page from his book and think about how we can represent our best skills not only on LinkedIn, our websites, and on other social media platforms, but also in a small, tangible reminder that we give to others when we meet in person. I was joking with SHRM’s Social Media Director, Andrew Morton, about a few years ago when there was this thing where you could bump your phone with someone else’s and exchange information. What ever happened with that? It’s funny that now it seems archaic, but there doesn’t seem to have been a replacement technology that’s been widely adopted, other than social media-based and app-based connections. We still like the feel of a real card in hand, and exchanging a physical item with one another to remember each other by.
Creating a unique calling card is easy. My business cards come from moo.com. I love the unique feel of the designs, shapes, sizes and materials. If price is an issue, VistaPrint has a great deal on a first order of business cards. Canva is a wonderful free tool that makes it easy to create a personal design without spending a penny. If your website is hosted through Squarespace, you can utilize their free logo designer to create your own simple icon.
Once you have your card, when is it appropriate to share it? Everywhere! The beauty of a personal card is that you don’t need to be in a business situation for it to be an appropriate gift to a new connection. Here’s a wonderful example from moo.com: