We live in a digital world. We communicate by text, email, chat, social media, Skype, and more. In a society where we connect instantaneously with one click, why do we need business cards? Exchanging business cards face-to-face forms a much more personal connection than emailing someone. This is why business cards likely remain the most often used and effective form of direct marketing. I’ve yet to attend a legal industry event where even the most tech-adept people didn’t trade old-fashioned, paper business cards.
Susan Ward makes a great point that business cards have no downtime – “They're never inaccessible because of dead spots or Internet outages. You can use them at a remote fishing camp or at an industry conference in the mid-city hotel - or even in situations where cell phones and other digital devices might need to be turned off, such as on planes or in hospitals.”
Don’t be that lawyer with a dead cell phone scrawling his or her contact information on a cocktail napkin or scrap of paper.
Why Business Cards Matter For Lawyers
When it comes to branding, your business card is an extension of your firm’s identity. The colors, logo, and even tagline on a card can convey who you are as a lawyer and what your firm stands for. In some countries, business etiquette dictates the exchange of business cards in order to form professional relationships. Lawyers who work and travel internationally should make sure to have a decent stockpile in their suitcases.
Even though we can “bump” or “beam” information from mobile device to mobile device that is not the norm. Meeting new people at the grocery store, at an event at a child’s school, at the gym, or at a CLE presents an opportunity for connection – and connection is instant when you give someone your business card. They don’t have to search for you on Facebook or LinkedIn and find the “right one.” They don’t have to try to remember your law firm’s name, Google the website, and click through the list of lawyers to find you (where you may or may not have an email address listed – you should).
Each new connection you meet should walk away from your interaction with a concise and attractive card that fits in any credit card slot in a wallet.
What A Lawyer’s Business Card Should Include
In my business I see a lot of lawyers trying to make their brands stand out – some do this by having a less standard business card. In some industries this works great, but in the legal profession, you want your card to get straight to the point, look professional, and convey that you are good at what you do.
Vital information to include:
- Lawyer Name
- Job Title
- Law Firm Logo
- Law Firm Name
- Business Phone Number
- Business Email Address
- Physical Address
- Website URL
Listing an address can be tricky for lawyers without a physical law office. Since a physical address helps to validate the legitimacy of your business, get a virtual office address or, at the very least, use a post office box number. How else will you be able to receive an invitation to that new connection’s law firm holiday party?
If your card has room and won’t look too cluttered, you can add items like your tagline, social media channels, the type of services you provide, and relevant licenses, certifications, and other accolades.
How To Make Great Business Cards
Since business cards are crucial to legal industry networking, they should be designed and printed in a way that reflects their importance. Depending on your law firm’s branding and design, paying extra for flourishes like embossing, foiling, letterpress, or texture can make all the difference. When we design business cards for a law firm, we put great thought into the pantone colors of each color used in the design for uniform printing, the font used, the layout, the weight of the card stock/paper, and much more. It may not seem like it, but achieving the best business card isn't as simple as walking into a copy store in a strip mall.
What Do I Do With The Business Cards I Collect?
I have Ziploc bags full of business cards, glass jars full of business cards, crystal bowls full of business cards. Why? I save every single one. I may take notes on the back of a card regarding where we met and pertinent details like “PSC member.” I enter the card information immediately into the appropriate digital location upon my return to my office or to my laptop. Then I can mine my cards for marketing opportunities. Want to know how? Work with us.