In the digital age, you might think that being able to refer someone to your website means you no longer need to carry business cards. You might think that the business card has been rendered obsolete.
But most networking (with decent shelf life) is still done face to face. You have to be able to impress prospective clients and partners and then let them leave with something tangible. You business card is the perfect tool.
Your business card represents you and your business. A good one shows that you’re a professional person and someone who is ready to connect. Making sure your card is well designed, made from quality materials and includes only your most important contact information makes it worth taking and keeping.
Here are six tips to make sure you get your business card right.
1. Your business card deserves great materials and design
Big corporations can afford to buy their employees endless, bland, business cards. Every time their company decides to rebrand, the unused cards get binned; as surely as any sales card you get unwantedly handed.
For small businesses or startups, you need to strike the right balance between design, numbers and quality. London based printing company, The Business Printers, say they’ve “found business customers are ordering fewer cards but are choosing better quality paper for their cards to be printed on.”
2. Your card tells people your business is legitimate
Getting a new batch of beautiful and quality business cards, with a design you love, is still one of the moments when you know you have arrived. Your business is legitimate.
Having your own design, with your own logo or branding, and a few – emphasis on few – contact details tells people that your company is ready to do business: You’re established, readily available and professional.
3. Your card needs to fit most wallets
Keep size in mind when designing your business cards. It may sound obvious but adding a guitar handle off of one side on your music business card may make it stand out, but it would be impractical for someone to keep in their wallet.
The standard size for a business card is 2 by 3.5 inches with a thickness of between 12 and 16 points. The thickness will depend, a little, on your paper choice but you will be able to customise on thickness. Make sure you don’t end up with a card that is too flimsy or papery.
4. Don’t clutter your card with every contact detail you have!
You want the people you hand your card to to be able to contact you whichever way they prefer, but that doesn’t mean you need to give them every. single. option. Remember, your website will have your address and social media information, so do you really need it on your card? Probably not. Compromise by including your website address instead.
Your most important contact details are the ones you use regularly and the ways that you want to be contacted. This will reflect the kind of business you are, for example designers will want to highlight their portfolios and websites, journalists will prefer phone or email.
If you want to market your business, separate to yourself, then have two cards. One with your key business information, such as main contact line, enquiries email and website. On your personal card you can include your direct line, mobile number and personal email. Simple.
5. Use a custom design NOT a template
Templates are great, when you need to whip up a presentation in a few hours but don’t want your work to look too basic. But a template business card comes across as generic. Your card reflects you, so if you have a boring business card, what does that say about your business?
When designing your card, make sure to keep it simple and clean. Have your logo or branding on it, but make sure it’s subtle enough. A good idea might be to have your logo on one side of the card with nothing else and then your contact details on the reverse.
6. Choose quality over quantity
You won’t be handing out business cards to everyone (apart from a few friends and family when you first get them,) so you can afford to make the choice of quality over quantity.
If you have thousands of business cards and then decide to change design, or realise that your clients are asking for different information to what you’re providing, then you could be out of a lot of money. Instead, get a few hundred business cards on matt or sleek paper from a printer who uses inks that’ll last, making your colours bright and your shades the exact tone you want them.
Follow these few, simple tips and your next batch of business cards will not only be your best yet, they’ll make you stand out for all the right reasons.