I'm the asshole without contact info on my business cards

Oh you're one of THOSE

I recently ordered a fresh batch of business cards, and when I handed one to a friend/colleague, he quipped, "Oh, you're one of THOSE assholes — you don't have any contact information on your card!"

He's right, of course. My card has my name, title, and publication names … and that's it. No email. No phone. Not even the URLs of the websites I run. Here's why:

  1. I'm super easy to find. If you type my name or the name of any of my publications into your search engine of choice, you'll find me. Even easier: Google "contact offbeat empire." TADA!
  2. Oh, and when you start typing "Offbeat…" into Google, one of the first suggestions that pops up is "Offbeat Bride," which is great for impressing potential advertisers. In other words, who needs contact information when you've got pagerank?
  3. Email addresses come and go, but my websites tend to stick around.
  4. URLs aren't especially pretty on a business card. I like the minimal simplicity of logo on the front; name, title, and publications on the back.
  5. I'd rather people contact me via my contact forms. I've put a lot of work into ensuring that email sent from my contact forms gets into the right hands — for instance, if you have a story idea for Offbeat Mama, and you use that site's contact form, your email goes straight to Stephanie, the managing editor of the site. If you email me directly, your message rattles around in my inbox until I have time to forward it to Stephanie myself.
  6. I don't like having my email out there. It's not a secret (my first name + this domain = no brainer) but I know from over a decade of working in media that once your email address gets into the wrong publicist's hands, you'll be getting shitty press releases about crap you don't care about until the end of time. My old Yahoo email account STILL gets rave/club promotional spam from my days with Lotus Magazine in the late '90s.
  7. It feels like an old school visiting card.
  8. I'm a snob/asshole: If you don't know how to use the internet to contact me, I might not want to work with you. Using a search engine and contacting me via my websites is pretty basic; if someone can't figure it out, then we may not be a good fit to work together.

The most legitimate argument I've heard against business cards without contact information is that some folks use card scanning apps to slurp contact info into their phones. Fair enough: for these people, my cards are a complete fail. Considering, however, that my business has tripled in size over the last three years without my having ANY business cards, I guess I'm not too worried…

Which does indeed make me an asshole.

  1. Very interesting and something I never would have thought of. Thank you!

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  2. Are you serious? I've never seen this and it's brilliant. I don't carry cards, but I feel like an asshole explaining that it's easier to Google me.

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    • People can definitely find you via google "Cat rocketship." LOL Ariel has a definite point there!

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  3. Hah; I love this post. I don't put my phone number on my business cards because I want to work with people via email. I don't put my address there either because I want to schedule a consult with them, not get a random walk-in.

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  4. Hi Asshole!

    I'm the asshole who only has her email address on her business card and only under duress. I'm also the asshole who never carries her business cards because honestly the people who ask for them are the people I don't want contacting me.

    Also, while I'm on the soapbox…

    Don't call me. Write an email. Write an email because even if you call me and leave a long-ass description of your problem on my voicemail, I'm going to reply with an email. Why? Well partly because the first thing I'm going to say is "send me these files" and you're gonna need your email to do that. Partly because I like to have a record of the problem and my email doubles as my filing system. But the biggest reason is that writing an email will force you to organize your thoughts into something that resembles organized communication and not that free association game you're playing on my voicemail.

    Write. An. Email.
    Please.

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    • Over the last four years, there have been a small number of business owners who've wanted to talk to someone via phone before purchasing an Offbeat Empire ad. Of those phone-talkers, 90% of them have proven to be bad fits — poor ad performance despite great placement, lots of challenges with expectations and procedures, etc. Moral of the story? While I have a sales rep who's happy to talk to people on the phone (THANKS, KATHLEEN!), it's almost never worth her time.

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  5. I have thought a lot about having calling cards. One of the reasons being that I don't have a business web presence yet. However if people seach for my name on Google Jessica Brewbaker the frist result is a judge in PA. So having at least my email address on said cards would be really smart. Another hurtle to getting the calling cards is that I'll be adding a new name to my name in May. So having calling cards with my soon to be opsoleat name might not be a good idea.

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  6. Oooh. The design of these is teh awesome. I like that there is a space between your name and what you do on the back so that you could, in theory, write down contact information for someone. Or take notes.

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    • True story: the business card design is a 5-minute template from Vistaprint. I mean, the front is my logo, but the back is just their cheap template. :)

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  7. I love old-school calling cards too. :) My cards business/social have just my full name on them and I write in more depending on the situation.
    I can add a dot between each name and an @gmail at the end and it's my email address. I sometimes write my phone number, sometimes one of my facebook accounts, sometimes where I met the person or just instructions, so the card reads "sara.___.b___@gmail send me the name of your cat sitter!"
    As I do 3 distinctly different jobs it's handy.

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