If you’re an entrepreneur (or even if you’re not), you should know how important business cards can be to your success. Instead of having a business card that fades into the background along with all of the other cookie-cutter cards out there, you should LOVE your business card.
You should get excited every time someone asks for it. You should treat your business card as your best friend because it can be your most valuable marketing tool—if you let it. If you’re not sure what makes a business card worthy of praise, don’t worry. We’ve put together some simple tips for you to make your business card (and your business) unforgettable.
Make a good first impression.
If you’ve ever attended a networking event, seminar, convention, trade show, or association meeting to promote your business, you know that most everyone circulates their business cards at these events. But how did people react when you handed them your business card?
Were they excited about it? Or did they glance at it briefly before quickly shoving it into their pocket and moving on? Their initial response says a lot about the first impression power of your business card. So, how do you make your card catch someone’s eye?
If someone has a pile of business cards, they should ideally be able to easily pick yours out from the crowd. Try to move away from the simple, white, rectangular business cards. They may look professional, but these cards will simply fade into the stack and fail to be noticed. If you want to try deviating from the norm, here are some suggestions:
Size and shape As long as it makes some sort of connection to your brand, what’s wrong with square, circle, oval, or even triangle shaped business cards? Though this will definitely make your business card stand out, you have to be careful about the size. The reason business cards are traditionally 3.5 by 2 inches is because of common sense—they easily fit into wallets and business card holders. Make sure that whatever the shape, your card’s size is practical enough that it doesn’t get thrown in the trash.
Material Instead of paper, look into leather, blinking, braille, or even chocolate business cards (yes—they actually exist). These options might be expensive, but they are also likely to be pretty memorable as well.
Avoid the common mistake of grey print on a white background—this lacks contrast and will probably be difficult to read as well. Since most cards have a white background, black background will tend to stand out more. Also, intense colors such as red will always naturally draw attention. However, don’t include too many colors, as this will make the card look too busy and will distract from the content.
Layout Cards that are formatted vertically rather than horizontally are more likely to catch interest simply because they are different than the norm.
Images Simple logos can be very boring on a business card. Include images or graphics that will spark conversation by connecting with the viewer. This can also help to add credibility. Show your products, your people, or things you’ve built, designed, painted, eaten, or loved.
Non-cards Finally, don’t be afraid to break the rules. If it would make more sense for your company to have coin cards or a miniature spiral bound notebook, go for it!
Incorporate social media In today’s world, social media is the most readily available tool for business owners to connect and communicate with their customers. It makes sense to include information about your Facebook page, YouTube channel, or Pinterest account on your business card. However, only direct potential customers to social channels where you are actually active and that are the most relevant to your business.
Adopt the “less is more” approach.
In fact, you might consider having just one address to share all your social profiles. One way to do this is to link all of you profiles through a Google+ account or a blog that you can print on the business card. You don’t want your card to come across too cluttered or overwhelming because you’re trying to include a street address, multiple phone numbers, email, LinkedIn URL, and social media IDs.
Think about the most practical and convenient ways for a potential customer to contact you, as well as the best avenues for showcasing your business, and only include that information.
Don’t be cheap.
Even if a card’s design does everything right, if the card itself looks and feels cheap once you are holding it in your hand, this will come across as unprofessional and might actually have the opposite effect. Since customers will associate a poor quality card with poor quality product and services, you might end up repelling rather than enticing customers.
You want to invest in good stock paper, print that doesn’t bleed, an embossed logo, and the card should be generally pleasing to the touch. Some good places to start would be Vistaprint or Moo.com. If your business cards are doing their job right, then the more you hand out, the more business you will generate—meaning a good quality card will usually end up paying for itself.