Time to revisit the Carte de Visite?

The Carte de Visite (or visiting card) was a small calling card with a photographic image mounted on, was patented in the mid-19th century in Paris by photographer André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri. The card was traded between families and friends. They were used as a trump card by the household and left on the side table in the hall allowing any visitors calling to peruse them and inevitably feel inferior.

Why should I mention the Carte de Visite? A friend recently went to a seminar and found when exchanging business cards if they hadn’t scribbled a note on the back they had trouble recalling the person and the conversation a day later. This isn’t the first instance of ‘business card fatigue’ I have heard of. Not going to a seminar for some time I had forgotten how overwhelmed you can get. Inevitably business cards becomes just a pile of cards on your desk and you suffer business card fatigue.

Why, do we suffer? Invariably business cards are the same, they have an accepted format, landscape, Company logo, name, position and contact details. Of course, the difference amongst business cards is the quality of the paper, and people agonize over this. Is it worth agonizing over when no one can remember you? We can go through each card and look up each person, but do we really have the time for this?

So why don’t people make life easier, use the empty space and put their portrait on it? We often forget names but we do recognize faces and the conversations we have had with that face. Is it a time consideration? Are we traumatized by our experiences of school photographs? A question of cost? Now is the time to address the situation, stand out from the crowd and help people engage with you. Give more than that ineligible scribble on the back of the card to remember you by.

Take a leaf out of the gentleman above’s book, go professional, throw in a smile and you have a USP when going to that next seminar. Have I got you wondering then contact me for a chat about a portrait session, stand out from the other cards and ultimately other businesses. In case you’re wondering the gentleman in the picture is my great grandfather Isaac, eye catching, isn’t he?

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