Monika Jansen and I sat down to talk about business cards as part of the 5 Business Rules series. Take a peek at our conversation, or read on for the tips!
#1 Your business card is a piece of marketing collateral
When you hand over a business card, you are often providing the first piece of printed material from your company. A business card is most definitely a marketing asset as it not only provides a way to get in touch with you, it gives people an idea of who you are.
Most business cards are a basic white with a logo and contact information, but I’ll bet you’ve received a business card that stood out to you. Maybe it was the color, maybe it was a different size.
My business card is not only colorful it’s small, and I have to tell you that every person I’ve handed it to over the last few years has stopped and looked at it, not just slipped it into a pocket. EVERY PERSON.
On the other hand, Monika chooses to use a traditional size business card, but focuses on the feel of it, with a thicker card stock that doesn’t bend easily.
#2 Have all relevant information
This sounds like a no brainer, but I’ve received business cards that don’t actually include a name! It’s branded for the company, but doesn’t have the name of the individual that gave it to me.
That’s a bummer because if I’ve gone to an event and met a lot of people I’m not likely to remember everyone’s name. If your business card doesn’t remind me, I don’t want to look like an idiot when I contact you, so chances are you won’t hear from me.
Other faux pas:
- Missing phone numbers
- Missing emails or websites
- Non-branded emails (i.e. your Gmail or AOL email instead of a company email) not sure why that’s a problem? Check this out.
#3 No scratched out information
If you’ve ever received a business card where someone scratches out info and writes in a correction it can give you pause.
At minimum it’s a weird impression and can make someone thing that you’re not prepared. Worse, people may wonder if you’re legit – have you left a company, but are still using their business cards? That seems odds.
#4 Your business cards should tell someone what you do
We all love having an impressive title, like president or CEO, but that doesn’t actually tell someone what you do – especially if your company is unfamiliar to them.
Yes, if you’re the president of Nike, I give you a pass here. But if you’re the president of ABC Consulting I probably don’t know what type of consultant you are, or more importantly what you can do for me.
If you want to use the title of president that’s fine. Just make sure there’s a line on your business card that explains what ABC Consulting does, and gives someone a bit of context.
#5 Use a professional printer and designer
If you are using the Avery print-at-home business cards please stop right now. You can get a set of nicely printed cards from sites like Vistaprint or Zazzle very inexpensively. It will make a world of difference in how you present yourself.
As will a professionally designed card. Yes, you can be boring and just pop in your contact info on a white card, but remember this is the piece of marketing collateral you will give out most often. If it doesn’t give someone a strong impression, you are unlikely to get a chance to show off your more impressive marketing materials.
Bottom line: Go take a look at your business card and see what it says about you. Then pull out a stack of business cards you’ve received and see what stands out. If you think you’re business card falls short, it’s time to upgrade!
Have more questions? Give us a shout!