5

Nowadays we have our pictures everywhere: in the email client, on the company website, in phone contacts, on Linkedin, etc.

Would it therefore be in good taste to put a professional photo of yourself on a business card? After all most people tend to remember faces better than they remember names.

I'm in software development/Central Europe, if the answer varies by region.

  • 1
    Are you working independently as a contractor? Most companies have their policy on business cards since they tend to pay for them. – user8365 Apr 27 '15 at 16:33
  • 3
    It could be a good idea depends on how attractive you are! – davidjwest Apr 28 '15 at 14:11
  • I imagine that models and actors might benefit from a photo on their cards - professions where physical appearance is extremely relevant. – yochannah Apr 28 '15 at 15:16
8

I suspect this is incredibly regional. Living in the New England region of the US, the only folks who have photos on their business cards are real estate agents, and there's enough of that that as soon as someone gives me a card with a photo, I assume that they are a real estate agent or at least in the business of trying to sell me something. Given that I work in tech, sales-type people are something I generally treat with distrust, so this isn't such a win for me personally... but that's probably in the eye of the beholder.

If that's the branding you want - go for it.

My take on personalizing business cards is that first and foremost, I should be able to find ALL your contact info. Next - I need enough info on it to remember why I would call you - in my world, that's usually title and division, although it may be some prominent qualifications (CISSP, PhD, etc).

The business cards I hang on to the longest are the ones where I've had a meaningful conversation and either the card owner or myself have jotted down something particularly important and relevant. It may just be about a technology we talked about, or a particular restaurant they recommended - but it helps me remember why I care to keep the card.

I'm not sure a photo would do that. It's probably useful in a setting where your audience sees a bunch of faces and intros all at once, and so your face helps them remember.

5

It depends a lot on your industry, brand and identity.

You say you are a software developer, but are you part of a team or a contractor? If you are a contractor, then I'd suggest it is a good thing. If you are part of a wider team, it may be beneficial to just stick with the team/corporate branding.

4

There have been done lots of research into how faces affect behaviour. The effects are hard to quantify, but overall economic and psychological research would point to:

  • If you're beautiful - go for it.
  • If you're going to bargain on behalf of your client, go for it. If you're beautiful - or physically stronger than average (as a male)
  • Culture has a lot to say either way and can drown out any effects

Otherwise I think the effect is negligible and can swing both ways. Very strong males can have a face that promotes distrust, but it will also give them an bargaining edge.

References:

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9516.html

http://www.cep.ucsb.edu/grads/Sell/PapersSite.html

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/35/15073.long

3

I would go for it. People remember faces and images better than names but ensure it is a professional picture with the real you and less photoshop/air brush - this is your personal brand logo so let it stand out!

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