|My Current Business Card|
A calling card allows you to connect more easily with other genealogists. You're more accessible with your name and contact details on a card.
Do you have a blog? A website? Are you a passionate genealogist? Are you a member of some genealogy societies, a volunteer for a genealogical organization? Are you on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn or other social networking sites? You need a card to let other genealogists know about your interests and how and where they can contact you!
|Victorian Calling Card|
Perhaps you've sat through a wonderfully inspiring and informative presentation on a genealogy topic. You managed to introduce yourself to the presenter. She gave you her business card. Wouldn't it be great for you to hand her your calling card too? Now she has a name, an email and any other information you want to put on it, to remind her of your meeting. Who knows, maybe you'll connect in the future.
Or you got chatting to the genealogists sitting on either side of you. Hand them your card if you think you'd like to continue to engage with them. Maybe you went to the Conference alone and you don't know anyone there. You might decide you'd like to meet one of them for a quick supper. If your card doesn't have your cell number, you can scribble it on the back and invite a phone call or text to arrange a meetup.
Kerry Scott, from Clue Wagon blog, wrote a very interesting and timely post called What Do Modern Business Cards for Genealogists Look Like? Since RootsTech 2012 is only a few months away, I've been thinking about my own cards and how I might change them.
The business cards that I printed for RootsTech 2011 are too simple. And I wish I'd done colour for my logo, not just black and white. I like simple. I like uncluttered. But mine don't contain enough details and I have decided to take Kerry's suggestion and remove my cell phone number. If I want someone to have that I can easily add it, because unlike Kerry my cards are not glossy and they aren't double-sided. It's a personal preference re glossy or matte, there's no right or wrong.
I’m a writer-on-business-cards kind of gal! I always always jot a quick note on the back after someone gives me their card – a reminder of why I wanted it, or why I might want to reconnect. It’s faster and easier for me than entering it in my iPhone. I sometimes put notes on the backs of cards I hand out - such as a URL for a site they expressed an interest in or the name of another contact, so glossy doesn't work for me. I can't write on a glossy card so matte wins.
Even though I jot down notes on business cards, one of my favourite apps for my iPhone is a scanner for business cards called WorldCardMobile. It reads any business card and imports it into my contact list. I can’t live without it! I misplaced several of the cards I was given at the last RootsTech Convention and this year I'm prepared.
|Business Card Case|
I'll keep my Olive Tree Genealogy website URL of course, and my email address. If there's room and the card isn't too cluttered, I'll add the URL for my Facebook page for Olive Tree Genealogy but that's probably all I'll have on my card.
Oh and no QR codes on mine. I don't see the point. A lot of people don't know what those codes are for on a business card, and I'm not convinced of their usefulness on a card that already has the information printed. Michael Hait of Planting the Seeds blog created new cards with QR codes and he presents a good case for including one but I'm not quite ready to jump on the QR bandwagon. You can see an example of his new business cards at 21st Century business card designs
I hope you are going to create calling cards or business cards for your next genealogy convention or think about whether or not it's time to revise old ones. Then think about which you prefer - modern business cards or old-fashioned calling cards. Or maybe you will surprise everyone with a combination of the two. What are your thoughts?