What should I put on my personal business cards?
February 7, 2017 8:44 PM   Subscribe

I want personal business cards to use at local political and volunteer events, such as meetings to organize protests, support political candidates, food drives, recycling days, etc. or at events where there's a speaker and I meet people seated around me. I want cards so that when someone asks me for my email address, I don't have to stop and write it down, I can just give them the card. But other than my email address, what should I put on them?

I know I want to include my name and email address. I do NOT want to include my home address or phone number. But this doesn't seem like enough information to warrant having a card. What else -- if anything -- should I include? Usually cards have a job title on them, so maybe I should put something like "Volunteer and Activist"? Should I put my facebook page on them? Should I put a photo of myself on them? (please say no -- I really don't want to do that). Should I put some kind of slogan on them? If it matters, I am in the US.

This is purely for networking in my community. I am not looking for a job. I just really don't want to have to write my email address down for people all the time at these events!
posted by OrangeDisk to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
On the front:

- Your name
- Your suburb or at least a general idea of where you are (e.g. "south west Chicago" or whatever)
- Your email address
- Some other means of contact (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter)

NOT Facebook. These need to be ways for people to contact you, not ways for them to assess you.

On the back:

- Maybe a Wordcloud-esque thing of stuff you do/are interested in?
- Maybe a simple list or array of say six to ten special and useful skills you have?
- Definitely a blank space for you to write in something specific to the specific person you are handing it to.
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:00 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I just ordered another batch of cards for much this same reason.

I am active in the community, and I have plans to volunteer elsewhere.

I put my name, one of my email addys, cell phone (I don't have to answer if I don't recognize caller), and I put my general location --- Manhattan, NY and my zip code.

I tried to think of some sort of slogan, or activist term as well but didn't come up with anything. Actually a quote that I like might have been appropriate, and just occurred to me but ... the cards are ordered. Maybe next time.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 9:07 PM on February 7, 2017

(Though I guess LinkedIn and Twitter are assessment tools as well, depending on who's reading them. What I'm saying is you need to be able to screen traffic in without also inadvertently providing traffic out, in the event your card falls into the wrong hands, especially if you have something like "Activist" printed on it [which I recommend you not do].)
posted by turbid dahlia at 9:08 PM on February 7, 2017

Mine say "Building a Tiny Empire". Be creative.
posted by bendy at 9:15 PM on February 7, 2017

I'd do this:

Your IRL name
Social Justice Activist
Your email address

"Social Justice quote" Attribution
posted by bearwife at 9:18 PM on February 7, 2017

Host it yourself, on a domain that you own.

Social media are there for people to 1) find (one of) your email address(es) (on a domain that you own) and a 2) a link to your website (on a domain that you own). Post no content to social media that doesn't directly serve (1) and/or (2).

On business cards, I'd put an email address, a URL (on a domain that you own) where you can put content you can change as needed and a QR code that leads to said URL.

Apart from that, you want the content and presentation to 1) convince the recipient to not throw it out and 2) let the recipient remember you, and that you go with this card, when they see it in a sea of others a year from now.
posted by sourcequench at 9:24 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I put a google voice number on my personal cards. If people want to call or text, they can. But it doesn't ring my phone, it goes to my email. Also email, location (metro area), website, and twitter handle.
posted by primethyme at 9:29 PM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Cell Phone
posted by saradarlin at 11:50 PM on February 7, 2017


posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 12:28 AM on February 8, 2017

But in all seriousness, a lot of my friends only use the cards because the contact detail in question (phone number or e-mail address) is too finnicky to transcribe by voice "No, no, Sierra, Papa, Alfa, Charlie Echo, then a hyphen..."

Unless you plan some madness like a QR code, consider putting only what you'd put on a tear-off strip for a lost-kitten poster. Name, contact detail.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 12:31 AM on February 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have Moo personal cards for this sort of thing. They're small, so the lack of a huge amount of detail doesn't stand out, and you can put lots of different, great photos on the back. Mine are close-ups of the stitches on various things I've knit.

I would include your name, email address, and any social media / website that you'd like to share with the rest of the community -- Twitter might make sense if you tweet. Even if you just want to follow people, it would let them know who you are if you follow them.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:15 AM on February 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

You want to feel more justified in having cards? make them fun! have the relevant info on the front, but then have the back say:

Wile E. Coyote
Super Genius
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:10 AM on February 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have my name, city & zip, email address and a quote relevant to my civic engagement. I had them made at Vistaprint, and I give them out all the time at the types of events/places you mention. (I used to have an attention grabbing "job title" on previous cards but got rid of this because I thought they were a distraction.)
posted by Pineapplicious at 7:02 AM on February 8, 2017

I think the key is, some people take your card and right away put your info into their phone, or put the card someplace where they know they can transfer your info where they need it as soon as they get home. Other (most?) people take your card, stick it somewhere, forget about it, find it a few days (weeks) later, often along with other peoples' cards they've collected, and have to figure out who's who. I am the second sort of person - if I can't remember whose card it is or why I have it, I toss it out.

So name and contact info of your choice is important. But I would also have some short descriptor of what you do or what people might want from you, that people can use to figure out who you are and where they met you. Or if they completely forget having met you, that might make them say "Oh! I could use a widget inspector!"
posted by Mchelly at 7:17 AM on February 8, 2017

I have a set of these. Just name, email, cell number.

Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh, my God. It even has a watermark.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

I made a set to hand out at the Women's March on Washington. I used a box of card stock and the manufacturer's software (Avery). I put my name, phone number, email address, and Facebook account link. They come ten per sheet, so I could use a temporary graphic (I used one of the posters made available by organizers). It worked GREAT and I passed out almost all of my 20 cards. I saved the layout and i can change the graphic can print more any time I want. If you have a decent home printer, the quality of some of the card stock available is very good.
posted by raisingsand at 7:48 AM on February 8, 2017

You could add something like

We met at _________
and talked about _________

... if you're likely to have a pen and would be willing to jot it down quickly. But you did say you don't want to have to stop and write out your email each time.
posted by dywypi at 8:53 AM on February 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Given your description of the use of the card, I would put name, email and a photo of my face. That's it.

Because you want to give it out at very disparate events, I would not list a label or title of any kind. That gets into territory of how many to list, what to call it and what people in different social settings will think about the labels that do not apply to that setting. And it is completely unnecessary. If you meet them in person, a photo of your face is the single best identifier for jogging their memory.

Carry a pen and if there is a specific thing you want them to remember, write it on the back: "You met me at that march/food drive/whatever."
posted by Michele in California at 10:24 AM on February 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older Choosing a travel spot--warm in winter, affordable...   |   What's the easiest, fairest way to buy a house... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.