There certainly must be a dramatic joy involved in meeting Rajesh Setty, an entrepreneur and author. He doesn’t hand out business cards like everyone does. He handles them like a deck of playing cards, letting people choose the one they want. It’s almost like a fun game. But to Rajesh, the cards are more than conversation starters. First of all, they aren’t just business cards. They are ‘ThinkCards’. Each of these ‘ThinkCards’ has a mini saga written by Rajesh on its back. “Each card has a fictional story but with business lessons embedded in each one of them. I have written 123 mini sagas in the last six years,” says a proud Rajesh.
At a time when business cards are not merely contact cards and are ‘social objects’, out-of-the-box thinking like from Rajesh is what will make people sit up and not only take notice, but also remember you and your business.
Everyone distributes business cards like hot cakes at every meeting, conference and dinner party and it’s quite hard to keep track of who you met where. Through his latest set of business cards, social media expert Kiruba Shankar has established that ‘event specific business cards’ are what will help. He explains that with the logo of the event that the card was created for on the back, weeks or months later, when people shuffle through tons of business cards, it helps them recollect where they met him. Another technique that he has applied is to include his photograph on the front. There is no denying that people remember faces better than just plain text.
There are many advantages to being proactive about putting some thought into your business card. Apart from helping you create a good first impression, it also initiates conversation. “I have found that time and again, people drop their guard and engage in a conversation — ﬁrst about the cards and then about everything else. The ‘ThinkCard’ breaks the ice,” says Rajesh.
It also reflects who you really are as a person, allowing others to feel more comfortable around you.
For quiz master Nambirajan Vanamamalai, what better way to put a bit of himself on the card than to have a mini quiz on the back. “By putting a different question on each card, I ensure people come back to me either with the answer or to ask me what the answer is. It’s a great conversation starter and puts my interests out there,” explains Nambirajan. “This is a great way to ensure that people don’t throw away or misplace your cards. If they’re interested in the card, they find a way to keep it safe.”
Rajesh provides more perspective. “Be it on my blog or elsewhere, I strive to de-mystify seemingly complex things and make them as simple as possible. Every mini saga demonstrates that part of me. It takes me a week or so to create one mini saga.”
But while creating an innovative business card, it is important to remember where to draw the line. “A very different card will also create a clear “pattern interrupt” because that kind of card is not what the other person is expecting, especially (if they see it) after I’ve spoken about a serious topic,” points out Rajesh.