No Need for a Business Card anymore! But you may want to carry a small marketing card.

No Need for a Business Card anymore! But you may want to carry a small marketing card.

Something Different Companies Log from J.R. AtkinsI have been conversing about the importance of business cards for years. It started in 1993 with the forming of the Aggie Roundtable and the Aggie Job Network. My friends and I would help young graduates and those in transition connect with others, teach them about informational interviews, how to use the telephone and the importance of having a business card. I’d tell them “There are three things that make you a professional: 1) Education and Experience 2) your Attitude and 3) a Business Card.” But as technology has become more pervasive in our society, the reasons to carry business cards have diminished. Some say you don’t need to carry business cards; if that is true, then what might you choose to carry instead of a business card? 

First let’s look at all the ways in which we can connect without a business card. Here are just a few you might want to try out: 

Bump – The Bump App allows you to bump your iPhone or Android phone with another phone and exchange information. You can exchange your contact information, pictures, videos, files, and almost anything. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

Beam Me – The Beam Me App, available only on iPhone is similar to the inferred beaming of the Palm Pilot of the late ‘90’s. Although this App was popular for a while, it appears to be abandoned by the developer. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

Card Munch – Available only for iPhone, the user takes a picture of a business card with the App. The App then sends the image to a real person to key in the data. You get a notification when the transcription is complete. If it is incorrect, you can have it re-transcribed with the click of a button. Once you accept the transcription, you can send the person an email, text, or invitation to connect on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Although the App is free now, LinkedIn purchased it and could change it to a paid App. (This App requires an internet connection to work.) 

Text & Email – No Mobile App required, just ask the person for their mobile number or email address and send them your contact information from your phone. (This non-App requires an internet connection to work.) 

LinkedIn App – In addition to accessing all of your LinkedIn contacts on the fly, the LinkedIn Mobile App will allow you to connect with others and exchange information. This App is not available for the Android yet but is available on the iPhone, Palm Pre and BlackBerry. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

Twitter & Facebook App – These Apps are more like the Text & Email from above. Just get the users ID, send them a message and you are off to the races. (This App requires an internet connection to work & both parties must have the App.) 

With all of these technologies, you can facilitate the exchange of information without a business card. Yet, that is the one of the main reason why so many people have business cards. In addition to these Apps, on-line profiles provide a great deal of information about someone before we meet in person. So again, what do I need a card for? Here are few reasons or ideas on why you might want to carry something like a business card. 

  • In The Moment Marketing – The card shows or tells something about your business
  • Marketing For Later – The recipient remembers you and your business later
  • Something To Remember You By – A lasting impression
  • A Gift – As in Japanese culture, you exchange cards like they are gifts
  • A Conversation Starter – A little something unique about you and your business


I have used a unique card for the last 3 years and it stimulates a variety of conversations. People come up to me and say “oh yea, you’re the guy with the cool card”. Now granted I am in marketing and social media business but aren’t we all in the business of marketing for ourselves? Thus I suggest you still carry a business card, it’s just for different reasons. 

What about students and retirees, I suggest you carry a personal card with your contact information and maybe a title or statement that says something about you. This way you can make a better impression on people you meet and you have something to exchange when they offer their card.

There are few people who are “off the radar”; they do not need to build a network due to the private nature of their work. But remember, even James Bond carries a business card, though it does say “Universal Exports” and that is a rather misleading company name.

Maybe there is a point to be reached, that you are so well known, that you don’t need cards. Right, I’ll probably still carry unique cards just because I like them so much and the results they generate.

Noteworthy Events 

11-28-11 Knowledge Management Association Inaugural Event

11-29-11 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at The Ritz-Carlton

12-01-11 The Jingle Mingle

12-05-11 DFW-World Affairs Council presents Wang Jiarui

12-06-11 Social Media and your Career in 2012

12-06-11 Dallas Aggie Business Luncheon Honoring the Aggie 100

12-06-11 The Dallas Business Club Annual Holiday Party

12-07-11 N Texas Crime Commission Membership Breakfast

12-08-11 NTCAR – Virtual Tour – Uptown/CBD

12-08-11 Networking Luncheon – DFW IT Professionals

12-08-11 Dallas Safari Club Holiday Party

12-15-11 Using Facebook to Market Your Business with J.R. Atkins

12-27-11 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at the Ritz Carlton


Is There a Mobile App Developer Shortage?

Check out this Wall Street Journal Article that posses the question: Is there a mobile app developer shortage?

Do you see a shortage from your perspective?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins ask if there is a shortage of mobile app devleopersIt seems the mobile world can’t get enough of a good thing. And, in this case, the good thing is a talented mobile app developer.

According to a new report published byThe Wall Street Journal, the “talent pool” of devs isn’t overflowing by a long shot, despite the escalating demand for developers and their creative genius.

“The demand is constant,” said Dan Gilmartin, vice president of marketing for web start-up Where Inc. “Every company is looking for these people.”

Where Inc., for example, is looking to double its mobile staff this year after quadrupling it in 2010. But finding a few good developers is, incredibly, a daunting prospect for many like-minded firms.


Original Blog:






Is your Marketing Approach like a Leaf Rake or a Leaf Blower?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins discusses The Leaf Rake Approach to MarketingMarketing to prospective clients has changed greatly with the proliferation of online tools such as websites, email and most recently, social media. Prospects can turn to so many sources for information about you, your company, and your products or services. A recent day of yard work prompted me to explain the shift in marketing to a colleague as being “more like using a leaf blower then a rake.”

The Leaf Rake Approach

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recomends ACT for Contact or Customer Relationship Management Prior to the proliferation of on-line tools, I collected contact information from prospects such as their name, address, phone number and fax number and stored them on 3×5 cards. In the early 90’s I started using ACT, a Contact and Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM, to keep up with prospect information and to schedule phone calls, meetings, and direct mail campaigns. Armed with this information, I could mail, call, and fax prospects about my products and services. This shows the emphasis on collecting contact information, much like raking leaves into a pile.

The Leaf Blower Approach

Today, I take a different approach that is more like a leaf blower. As I meet prospective clients, I connect with them on-line via email and or social media. I have shifted from collecting and hoarding data, to giving and sharing data. In other words I blow information into the wind and wait for those who are interested to reach out to me.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins explains The Leaf Blower Approach to MarketingSocial Media is a great tool for “Leaf Blower” marketing. Once a connection is made via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, a blog or YouTube, the prospect get’s to choose if they would like to follow you and if so, they can choose their preferred method of communication. Some prospects will discard the information you share, others will collect it and save it for the future, and some will find if valuable and share it with others, while some will act on it by reaching our my email, social media or phone. The main idea is that the prospects who are interested in you and the content you publish will “follow you” and when they are ready to buy, they will reach out to you.

Yet, there is a key point with this approach. It requires the marketer to publish content that is interesting, valuable and giving in nature. This kind of content will be shared with others and your message will take on the viral affect where it gets passed around to others very rapidly.

When using the “leaf blower” methodology, your goal is to draw prospects to you by “blowing out the information” and letting those that are interested come to you.

You probably need both

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins share the Big 5 off Social Media modelTo be effective in my yard work, I need both a leaf rake and leaf blower to get the job done. In business, we need both approaches to market effectively. We should use the leaf blower approach to share good content through a website, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, a Blog and a YouTube Channel. Then, we can identify those prospects that have an interest in our content and target them with direct mail, email blast and direct selling content and methods.

By using both approaches we can continue to grow our business while allowing the prospect to connect with us in the way that works best for them. My hope for you is that you “rake in the money while blowing away the competition.”

March Events

3/9/11 Social Media Club of Dallas Presents SXSWi Pre-Party & Chris Treadaway

3/11/11 Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Mendelssohn’s Elijah

3/12/11 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

3/13/11 The American Choral Directors Biennial National Conference

3/13/11 SXSWi – South by Southwest Interactive

3/16/11 AIGA DFW Presents Local App Developer Success Story

3/23/11 Digital Dallas – A SXSW Recap

3/25/11 DFW AMA – How Next Gen Network Capabilities are Game Changers for Telecom Marketers

3/28/11 Dallas iPhone Developers/Entrepreneurs Meetup

3/29/11 Social Media & Your Career @ Career Jump Start

Some App Numbers

Check out the #’s for Apps

Sales of iPad apps to soar in 2011, says Gartner

Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins uses the iPhone App StoreDownloads for mobile communications devices are expected to increase over the coming years, providing new opportunities for mobile marketing campaigns.

Summary of Numbers

  • Device sales expected to exceed $15 billion
  • Application downloads will exceed $18 billion, 117% increase over 2010
  • 7% of 80 retailers in the study had a mobile marketing strategy

Sales of apps for the iPad, iPhone and other mobile communication devices are expected to exceed $15 billion (£9.4 billion) this year, according to the latest figures from Gartner. The research firm is predicting that mobile application store downloads will hit 17.7 billion this year, a 117 per cent increase on 2010, which could boost creativeDallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins uses a Samsung Android deviceandmobile marketing campaigns. “Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so,” said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

Consumers will be more willing to pay for apps over the coming years, theresearch claims, because they will see more value in having them and become more trustful of billing mechanisms.Advertising is predicted to generate just under a third of the revenue generated by application stores, the study also suggests. While apps are often play a key part in mobile marketing campaigns, a study from 2ergo last year found that brands are neglecting non-iPhone users. Just seven per cent of the 80 retailers it looked at had a mobile marketing strategy in place for non-iPhone users.

Posted by Neil Turner, find original post at: DMA: Sales of iPad apps to soar in 2011, says Gartner


Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins believes BlackBerry Apps will increaseResearch Sources: Direct Marketing Association: The DMA employs a prolific in-house research department that produces regular reports on general industry trends, as well as sector-specific issues. As an exclusive benefit, DMA members have free access to new and archived research. Additionally, the DMA has reciprocal agreements in place which means that members also enjoy free access to research produced by other industry organizations.

Gartner: Technology Research & Business Leader Insight | Gartner Inc.

How much to include in version 1.0?

Dallas social Media speaker J.R. Atkins comments on App developmentHave you seen the new photo sharing  app called Path? It was developed by former Facebook employee Dave Morin and Shaw Fanning of Facebook and Napster fame. Most of the Blogs, forums and reviews are hammering the new app for its lack of functionality and limitations–like being able to only connect with 50 friends.  I contend they are on the right path by offering an app with limited functionality.

Take a look at TechCrunch blogger Eric Schonfeld comment; “Path is designed to share photos with only your closest 50 friends, primarily through the app itself. You can’t Tweet out links to your photos or share them on Facebook”. But remember this is version 1.0. I’m sure as Path increases in usage V1.1 or V2.0 will offer more features.

“I find it refreshing to see a project launch with such a tight focus and function.  Clearly the aim of Path is to be the very best at one thing vs. pretty good at a lot of things” says Jason Franzen of [x]Cube LABS in Dallas. “This is an approach to admire in a sea of “Swiss Army Knife” apps that tend to equate Quantity with Value.”

What Jason is referring to is the attempt of developers or clients to add too many features to an initial application. This complicates the development process and often creates confusion for the end user. Think back to when Facebook first started, (or remember the movie) it offered a picture and status update “what are you doing now”. Over time features and functions have been added to become a robust social media network.

Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins reads TechCrunch dailyIf you are considering an app for the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry or Microsoft platforms, keep it simple! Start with a set of high value features that will attract new users. If the applications is interesting, solves a problem, or is entertaining then people will use it and tell others. Once usage is high enough, then release version 2.0 with added functionality. If you are smart, provide a means for users to suggest new features and help you prioritize updates.

As Franzen says “The smart phone is already the ‘Swiss Army Knife’, all we really need are new blades to help us cut to the chase.”