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:
- 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!
- 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?
- Email addresses come and go, but my websites tend to stick around.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It feels like an old school visiting card.
- 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.