the grass is greener on the internet


how good you say you are
December 1, 2008, 5:44 pm
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , ,

Two problems:

1) I need new business cards.

2) Someone has ‘indefinitely borrowed’ my copy of Arden’s ‘IT’S NOT HOW GOOD YOU ARE, IT’S HOW GOOD YOU WANT TO BE’

Anyone familiar with that book knows that there is a section on business cards and the importance of how good you say you are.

For me the ‘correct’ job titles would be ‘paid blogger’ (boring, geeky), ‘marketing and business development consultant’ (only just, and how many of those are there?) or ‘student’ (not worth putting on a card).

I really don’t want to put any of those on my business card.

Business cards are all at once the most and least important parts of networking.

On one hand, if you’re a brilliant networker who knows exactly how to play the game, having a strategically designed card is immaterial. They will contact you regardless. It’s said that only the most junior and most senior people don’t have cards – the juniors haven’t got them yet and the high-rankers don’t need them.

On the other hand, an interesting card can be the differentiator that gets a sale or new relationship. I know of a company which took the strategy of having very unconventional business cards – it made them memorable and secured several deals.

Personal branding is arguably one of the most difficult types of branding.

On the upside, you have full control of the product.

On the downside, the market is highly competitive.

It’s interesting to see how people describe themselves in blog headers or twitter, where (like business cards) their description has limited space.

Seth Godin, king of the concise, describes himself as ‘Author, Agent of Change’.

Gavin Heaton (aka Servant of Chaos) is ‘using stories to bring brands and consumers together’.

Best blog title would be ‘Don’t tell my mum I’m in advertising – she thinks I play piano in a brothel‘.

None of these state exactly what they do, but you still understand.

My own description? ‘Like Ogilvy, believes in long copy.’

Time for something new, though. Any suggestions?

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m a bit impartial to Faris Yakob and his title of Digital Ninja.

My business card just says my name, URL and phone number. It’s printed on crappy paper and I usually hand it out in a scrunched up paper ball.

What about something like… Changer?

Comment by Zac Martin

Hi Katherine.

Thanks very much for the mention.

This post by Amelia is worth checking out, http://ameliatorode.typepad.com/life_moves_pretty_fast/2008/11/a-brand-called-you.html

Best,
Nick @ donttellmymum.com

Comment by nickfell

I have business cards for work and separate cards for my blog. Most times, business cards are just an entry point into a conversation and a memory prompt.
I use Hugh McLeod’s cards for my blog information. Check them out at streetcards.com – see if you can find the one I chose 😉

Comment by Gavin Heaton

@ Zac – Marketing catalyst? Hmmm… Maybe look at the card site Gavin recommended then 😛

@ Nick – Cheers! Lots of thinking material on there… and your blog title still gets me every time.

@ Gavin – Thanks for the comment, there’s lots of great designs on the site… I’m still thinking of being more different. The company I mentioned had cards that were transparent apart from their details – you could tell which one it was from a huge stack. As a student, I need that!

Comment by katherineliew




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