Business cards, we’ve all had them. Some of us swear by them, others say “neh” and do away with them. Whatever type you are, I’m sure someone’s handed you one at some point. And you probably thought, “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” Or maybe you were like “sweet dude, I’m gonna call you right away.” Either way, it probably got you thinking. You may have thought, “wow this person really comes prepared.” I seriously doubt you thought, “heh, look this guy, what a dinosaur, still uses business cards.”
In this article, we’re going to take a look at a few things you can do with business cards to stand out amongst the sea of musicians out there, and why business cards for musicians still can be used today.
Okay, it’s kind of interesting that in 2018 we’re still talking about them. I mean, we’re supposed to have hover-boards, flying cars, self-tying shoes, and time travel should be a thing of the past. Sorry, Marty, we’re not there yet.
As the world becomes more and more digitized with things like SoundCloud, Spotify and Facebook it may feel like business cards for musicians are a bit old-fashioned. But are they really? Well, we’re humans, so it’s only natural that we like the human touch. Handing something that is tangible to another person has much more of an impact rather than another ‘like’ or ‘follow’ on social media. In 2016 paper books made a 7% increase in sales while eBooks made a decrease of 4%. A big attributor to this was adult coloring books and children preferring paper books over a Kindle or iPad. What does this suggest? I think it’s kind of clear. We don’t like everything in our lives to be digital. We like things that have texture and we can hold in our hands. Digital can just get a little too sterile at times.
Forces You To Network
When you learn the knowledge of something for yourself, you take responsibility for it. Similarly, when you spend money on something, you’re more inclined to use it. A Facebook page or a Twitter account cost nothing. So it’s much easier to give it the old ‘oh tomorrow, tomorrow’ adage. It doesn’t feel too good spending money on that New Year’s resolution exercise equipment for it to just sit there, collecting dust. But what happens when you actually use it and you start to see results. You probably feel like a million bucks. Well, when you’ve spent money on some business cards , I bet you anything you feel pretty good when you start using them and start meeting people. All the while putting you in the right mindset to get you off your ass and get to those networking events or build up the courage to talk to that person that could make the difference.
What To Put On Them?
Your basic setup should be quality stock (stock = type of paper). A nice 16pt paper or 38pt triple layered paper works beautifully. Avoid basic, cookie-cutter designs or images. Make sure your business cards include the following:
- Your name
- Services provided
- Phone number
- SoundCloud, Spotify, Facebook, or YouTube
- Your website URL
Don’t overwhelm people with every single social media account you have. Provide the ones you use most and that best exemplify you .
Your card is a reflection of your artistry to an extent. So it should speak for you. Are you a plain and boring person? Then your business card should be plain and boring. Are you a simple yet modern person? Then your business card should speak of that. Try things like colorful backgrounds, or follow the trends of modern artwork and try to incorporate that into your design. It doesn’t have to stop there either. Why not have some funny quotes or descriptions of your services? Don’t just settle on ‘guitar player’ or my favorite ‘pianist’. Make the line about who you are. Just don’t overdo it.
Business cards aren’t the end all. When you have them, you aren’t going to just start booking outstanding gigs and getting more work (maybe you will). They are simply a way of having your information nicely placed for your prospect to take an interest into what you have to offer. Then, that may drive them to your website or demo reels. A good looking business card is just the first step, the rest is up to you …
I ask you this
How many of you musicians out there still use business cards? What are your thoughts about them while we move more and more into digitization. Do people really care about tangibility? For my networking musicians, if there were a website that helped musicians by taking the frustration out of designing business cards and other paper promotion, would you use it?