Having seen American Psycho years ago what I, like you, mostly recall from it is two-fold; that when Huey Lewis and The News put out Sports in 1983, they really came into their own and, that Paul Allen has a very nice business card.
They all have very nice business cards, something that our titular character should have understood in that scene. Nonetheless, it highlights the importance of business cards. I think the film might be about something else but we’re focusing on business cards here, so let’s move on.
Business cards are incredibly important for streamers if you’re looking to network at events. To make new connections at meet-ups, or you’re looking to talk to potential sponsors. A lot of people seem to be under the impression that you can just get people to follow you on social media and that’ll be just fine. I say this because, for a short while, I thought this was a good idea. So don’t worry I’m not judging you, I’m here to impart Knowledge Wisdoms.
Why Business Cards still beat Twitter
So, the first problem with this, chances are, the person you’re talking to has just asked you for a business card and you have to fumble over a reason why you don’t have one. I know I could never think of a good one and ended up saying “Oh I just ran out” knowing full well that I never had any and to quote Saw Gerrera “Lies! Deceptions!”.
Secondly, and the worst part, you’re not really giving them a choice. I’ve seen people say “okay so open twitter, search for me…yep..that’s me..okay give me a follow…yep…now I’m following you back..cool.” Maybe Brenda from Big Tech Firm didn’t want to follow you? Maybe their twitter is a personal thing? You just made a weird situation where they had to do it! Avoid doing this! But fear not, this is where your friend Business Card comes in!
Handing over a business card not only makes you feel slick (remember American Psycho, as established, a film about business cards) but you’re letting them choose what to do next!
“Reach out if you need anything” or “It would be great to talk some time”.
You’re giving them the choice is WAY better than the situation mentioned above. So now we’ve established why a business card is important what information should yours have on it? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Essential Info To Add To Your Business Card
Keep your business card simple! Don’t fill it with information that is not needed. Think to yourself, what would somebody I want to work with need to know? Chances are:
Things You Do Sum Up Simply
“Content Creator” “Streamer” “Community Specialist”
Primary Social Media Account
(Keeping this professional is important, but that’s another article for another day)
You need your name, because, well, I mean, I could go into the pros and cons of having an identifying symbol to distinguish yourself from the billions of other humans easily when you’re not in the room but that’d drag this article out a bit. You can put whatever name you like here, your Twitch name is fine if it’s what people know you by.
Remember kids, a name is a choice and you can call yourself whatever you want.
An email is the best way for people to reach somebody but make sure this email address looks relatively professional. I know you have held onto PS2sux@hotmail for years. Ideally, you’re looking for name@whateverprovider to complete the “I’m a professional” look we’ve been aiming for. Finally, your primary social media account. This needn’t be the one with the most followers, but the one you update regularly and have kept consistent with your brand. Because when I said professional above I didn’t mean keeping it bland. If your personal brand is fun and full of memes, go for it! Just know that in 2020, companies will look at your online footprint. And leading with it on a business card and keeping things consistent online is a good look.
Make your business card an extension of your brand
The artwork is a good way to help your card stand out, but not everyone can do amazing stuff or get it commissioned. A card without artwork is also fine, while it might not stand out as a super cool card, hopefully, the impression you left with someone will be more than enough!
As a side tip, you can write something funny on the back of the business card. It can make it stand out just as much as cool artwork would. I got a business card from someone who worked in education and on the back of the card there was an interesting fact! I can still remember that card and that person, which is half the point of a card! It was on brand and stood out! Perfect!
So, what things should you avoid? Firstly, keep it the same size/shape as everyone else’s business cards. It might seem like a good idea to get creative and make a business card that’s shaped like an origami crane. (Okay, that would be really cool). Chances are the person you give it to will either want to put it in their business card holder or a wallet and go through them after the event you’re at.
A weird shape is just going to get either crushed up or left behind because they had nowhere to put it.
Make sure it’s on relatively thick card stock, pretty much for the same reason. It’s much cheaper to print off your own business cards on paper at home. But, it’s going to get crumpled up and might not leave a good impression. Using somewhere like moo.com gives you a range of business card types and in our experience has always been good quality but there are plenty of alternatives out there!
Also, as a final parting tip, consider who you’re giving these to and where you’re leaving them. Not only are they not cheap to produce so you don’t want to throw them around. I’ve seen people leave business cards on tables in social areas at conventions.
Sure, this might seem like quick marketing to all the people who go by but did you really want just anyone having your contact details? (Really, I recall seeing business cards left by a streamer around the chill-out area at PAX which first of all, litter!
Secondly, random people have your phone number, anyone that might work there, and be annoyed that you have left litter everywhere! Don’t litter!)
With these tips I hope you see the value in business cards, which ultimately was the main message of the Christian Bale 2000 movie American Business Card, I think. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve watched it.
When you have your business cards, it’s important to learn a little about how to network at events. Take a look at our mini-doc we made that runs through some tips from the XSplit Community, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!