I haven’t carried business cards for years. I normally work from home and when I meet people I ask to exchange email addresses, or to add them to my LinkedIn connections. Business cards just didn’t seem important.
But I realized I might need them when I went to a Mediabistro.com media networking party a couple months ago and didn’t have anything to hand out to other freelancers I met there. Later this week, I’m taking a business trip to meet with editors and it dawned on me I’d better have business cards, especially for people I haven’t met in person or worked with before.
Well, a lot’s changed since the last time I shopped for business cards. The biggest breakthrough is online print services where you can open an account, design a business card and have it delivered or pick it up within 24 hours. This week I used Staples Custom Printing, the office supply chain’s online print business, to create a very simple business card that was ready for pick up from the Staples outlet closest to me within four hours and cost $38 for 200. I used the templates provided by the Website to choose the design and fonts, added the text I wanted and got a .pdf proof of my creation to approve before clicking “Buy”. Although my cards should have been done in four hours, the staff at my local Staples store wasn’t satisfied with how the first batch came out, so they redid the cards at no charge, which wins them points from me in the customer service department.