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What can the history of business cards tell us?

The business card is a strategic weapon. It creates the first impression of you as about a businessman, and it continues to work for you and your reputation even after the meeting. Nowadays in the age of instant messengers and social networks, a business card remains to be an important way to establish and maintain the connections between people, which greatly helps not only in business, but also in everyday life. Every store, restaurant and businessman has a business card.

But, earlier the purpose of business cards usage was quite different.

The history of business cards began 5000 years ago, namely among the Sumerians, merchants and artisans, they had original "business cards" - clay and leather tags, where were written the names and origin of their owners.

But the appearance of real business cards began 2500 years ago in China, during the reign of Chunqiu (770-476 BC) and Zhangguo (475-221 BC), it was period of a cultural prosperity in China. They used thin bamboo plates, on which the names of the owners were recorded, most often the owners were respected or rich people, then through servants they passed the "business cards" to others to make an impression and to mark their importance and position in society.

In the III century BC the main material for creating "business cards" was silk. People used to write the name of the owner on silk and then sent such a "business card" to those, whom he was going to visit. Calligraphers made such "business cards" individually for everyone. But, they demanded a lot of money for this, so not everyone could afford such a luxury at that time. Chinese officials had cards with their own name and position held, necessarily written only on red paper. There were no superfluous, secondary details.

The first card, similar to ours, modern, dates back to the Rococo era, at the time of Louis XIV. Then the visiting card became an essential accessory among high society figures. After all, every respected person of those times considered it his duty to order a beautiful business card that would emphasize his status.

Their business cards were similar to playing cards with the name of the visitor written on it, which represented their owner from the most positive sides. Luxury jewelry, ornate drawings, engraved coats of arms - this is the main feature of the French business cards of that period. In a nutshell, business cards in France were used to emphasize the status of the owner. All business cards were made from expensive material, fabrics, ivory ornaments and family emblems.

And in 1786, in Germany, the first printed, modern business cards were created. A well-known collector of business cards was the German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

Here is his collection:

And the business cards of Goethe:

A little later, namely, under the reign of Catherine II, business cards came to Russia. They did not have any differences with the luxurious and decorated French business cards because the Russians adopted this "attribute of a respected person" exactly from France. It was incredibly posh in high society to order business cards from famous artists.

This was the period of the "golden age" of the nobility, when everything was incredibly rich and elegant, and business cards were a special sign of high respected origin. Even the richest man, but of simple origin, simply could not use business cards.

But later, business cards became widespread among simple people. The most popular color of business cards was bright bronze. Business cards were even divided into women's and men's. Women’s cards were usually small, but very beautifully decorated. In the center there were written the name of the owner, along the edges were small floral ornament. Ladies always generously splashed their business cards with perfume, before giving it to someone.

Men's business cards were much larger and had a slightly chaotic shape, they were rarely rectangular. There were no specify any details, only the name of its owner. Men used to write something on the other side of the business card, if there was such a need.

Then the corporate business cards have emerged. They were created from the most expensive materials, in a restrained style, without any extravagances. Because of the high cost of corporate business cards, they were used only by very famous institutions and companies.

Development does not stand still. The world of modern information dictates its own rules, and that’s why we have created a new service, the network of digital contacts Fly Card. Digital business cards are a new step in the development of classic cards, s that are already outdated and too uncomfortable for a modern person.

Networking: How to find new perspectives in every acquaintance

Maybe the first popular work on networking was the book by Dale Carnegie. In his piece "How to Win Friends ..." he explained how to represent yourself in a right way to new people, make useful contacts, and to leave a good impression about yourself.

Since then, business, technology, and communication rules have evolved very actively. There is now such thing as netiquette - the etiquette of communication on the Internet, and the establishment of contacts became vital for both professional tasks and simple social activities.

The idea of ​​mutually beneficial acquaintances is not new itself but thanks to the evolution of social networks and as the working area go online, it got new rules and has become more relevant than ever.

Networking. What is it and where to look for it

Networking as searching for new valuable contacts can be classified into two types:

  • Social. Find a good dentist, make friends with the parents of your child's classmates, rent a comfortable apartment, or go on a date - all these actions can be identified as social networking. You never know what kind of acquaintance will be useful or with whom you can deal about mutual benefits.
  • Business networking. People from one or allied industries looking for new partners to work with. You can find new customers or suppliers for cooperation, colleagues to work together on a project or represent yourself as a pro in your field. This is what business networking was made for.

Where and how to find new acquaintances? That's easy:

  • Work conferences of a particular industry. These events' main goal is to establish new business contacts.
  • Parties for workers of a specific business area. You may not believe, but here you can get yourself a job offer easier than on job websites!
  • Themed forums and groups on social media. Whatever you are interested in, it already exists on the web. Find like-minded people and make them your allies.
  • Park, bar, gym ... the choice is yours!
How to be effective in networking
  • Know your weak sides and think ahead. If it's hard for you to remember names repeat them out loud when you meet new people. If you are shy, try to avoid big companies, instead, prefer to chat with one or two persons. There are no unsolvable tasks, you just need to know how to work with them.
  • Be interested in your companion. Like in every part of our life, it's always a pleasure to have a conversation with someone who listens. What projects your new friend is involved, maybe you can be useful to each other. Don't forget to tell about yourself. Not much, just professional stuff. And remember that this is not a job interview, just a small talk, don't be too official.
  • If you found a common ground don't wait to discuss the options and terms of cooperation. Specify the most suitable channel of communication.
  • To confirm contact, experts suggest to remind about yourself in the first few days after the meeting. At this point, you can make some mistakes that will sabotage your productive cooperation. How to prevent them?

Mistakes that can ruin your networking

Since you are already familiar with the person but didn't work together yet, communication shouldn't be too stiff. Anyway, don't forget about the primary purpose of the story. It is better to confirm the phone call with a letter to repeat the agreements, and also to leave every possible contact to reach you.

  • Too much information. Don't call or message often. In fact, all calls should be scheduled in advance with your partner. No unrequired info or off-topic chatting. Don't be annoying.
  • Red flags. Sometimes a person is not very excited about working with you but don't want to be rude, that's life. If you're waiting for a response for weeks and still don't get clear formulations , it seems like you are not the person wanted at the moment. This doesn't mean that it wouldn't change in the future. So, don't burn bridges, all contacts are important.

And the greatest dealbreaker that can ruin your future cooperation is to forget or to mistake information about the person. This not can only cost you the plans but also you will prove yourself in a professional society as an inattentive and rude person.

Of course, it's hard to keep the terabytes of data in your head, especially when it comes via so many channels. Some use Google services to organize their contacts, the others find another ways. The only disadvantage of these services is that not everyone uses the same platforms to synchronize contacts. Now you can use a handy service that will help you to make great results out of your networking.

Fly Card is a modern day heavy card holder with one difference: it is in your phone and it only takes a few seconds to find the right contact. In short, this service helps you create a virtual business card with any data you want to share with new friends and partners: phone numbers, links to social networks, e-mails and much more. You can send this card easily, and all the data will immediately be on your interlocutor's phone. The "Radar" feature will be very useful for professional events. With this option, you can collect virtual business cards from people nearby. With Fly Card networking will become easy and effective, and you will always be on top of the game establishing new relationships in professional and social spheres.

Well, we figured out that networking is essential and useful for everyone. The best way to find a new job or business partner, a good specialist for personal purposes, or even a restaurant with the most delicious pasta in the city is always a trusted acquaintance. All these benefits are closer than you think. Just be open to communication and know your goals in meeting new people.