I was at a deposition yesterday and, as is nearly always the case, we wen through the ritualistic exchange of business cards. We joked, like we always do, about the fact that business cards are basically worthless these days (setting aside, of course, the court reporter’s need to have everyone’s contact information). We laughed a little and proceeded with the deposition.
After thinking about it a little more, I started to wonder what lawyers are using to replace the “traditional” business card. Nearly everyone has a “bio” page on their firm’s website. And that page usually contains all the necessary contact information (and oftentimes, you can find a .vcard to download straight to your address book). But people like us (meaning you and me) like to be progressive, so we don’t want to rely on the static firm biography page. We want something more. Here are a couple of ideas (based on what I have done). I hope that you will provide some more suggestions (so I can use them).
At the outset, think of this as the online version of the elevator pitch. “How can I present the information I want to present in the fastest, most memorable way pospsible.” That is the goal here. Create an “online business card” that is easily accessible and easily remembered.
First, you almost certainly have your biography listed on LinkedIn, Martindale, Avvo, or somewhere similar. You can always use links to those listings as a business card of sorts:
But those sites are not really designed to serve the purpose provided by the traditional business card. And no one, including you, is going to remember the actual URL, even if the site provides some form of automatic link shortening:
So, what is the solution? Here are the two things I suggest.
First, you can use one of the many free “profile” websites. The two I am most familiar with are about.me and flavors.me but I know there are many others. Signup for an account and in 10 or 15 minutes, you can create a nifty looking “business card” biography:
There are some beautiful about.me and flavors.me websites out there; mine is not one of them. But it did take less than 15 minutes. (And I do plan on making it better.)
Option two: create your own online business card:
I would have gone with tyson.com (but it is taken by a chicken company) or tysonsnow.com (but it turns out there is a pretty good artist named Tyson Snow and he already has it). So I’m stuck with http://tysonsnow.co, which, in my book, isn’t half bad. It is short. It is easy to remember. It’s my name. And it allows me to present the right amount of information in the exact way I want to present it.
While it may look fancy, it is nothing more than a simple WordPress site that turns out to be a great place to send people who may want to learn more about me. It is easy to add to emails, tweets, status updates, or anything else. It registers high in search results. And it is mine. All mine.
You can do the same thing by registering for a free WordPress or Blogspot account and setting it up in a similar manner. But the real value in this approach is being able to choose the domain name; if you are serious about it, setup your own site.
In sum: If you are looking for fast and free, use something ending with .me
But if .me isn’t enough for you, you can always do something similar to me.