Business Essentials | Business Cards Still Matter. Here’s How to Make Yours Stand Out
Business Essentials | Why use business cards in this digital age when it seems that everyone, from toddlers to grannies, has a smartphone in their hands or pressed to their ears? Isn’t the traditional business card superfluous or at least old-fashioned? Well, no. Despite its relatively small size, a business card can be critical to the development of your small business. As business cards are often handed to potential and existing clients, they can be a highly personalized form of marketing.
Smartphones may be proliferating, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier or faster to give someone your business contact information. You could email the information to them but that requires getting a person’s email address and typing in the information. How is that faster than just handing someone a business card? They’re never inaccessible because of dead spots or Internet outages. You can use them at a remote fishing camp or at an industry conference in the mid-city hotel – or even in situations where cell phones need to be turned off, such as on airplanes or in hospitals.
Business cards are one of the most basic business essentials in networking, but creating a card that conveys the most important information without irrelevant additions and clutter can be difficult. It’s often the first item potential clients get from you, so it’s your first chance to make a strong, positive impression on them. Try to think about the fact that some people receive hundreds of business cards from various individuals and they rarely remember any of them. In order for the business card to do its job, it must be professional, attractive and memorable. Knowing the key ingredients of a successful business card can help you stand out from the crowd.
Choose the right information | Business Essentials
The main purpose of a business card is to make it easy for people to reach you. It may sound obvious, but the first (and most important!) thing to take into consideration when designing your business card is the information you want it to convey. Include only the contact information that is absolutely necessary. Make sure your name, job title and company name are clearly displayed. Social network contact information for platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can also be included, if your company actively uses the sites to distribute information and promote products and services.
A business card conveys your brand by introducing brand elements, such as logo, colors and fonts. It is imperative that your business card is consistent with your other branded materials. Whether your logo is an image with words or just logotype, add it to your business card in a prominent location.
Keep it simple | Business Essentials
Business cards are typically just 3.5″ x 2″, so you don’t have too much space with which to work. While there may be many things you’d like to put on your business card, too much text will make it look cluttered and unprofessional. White space helps text appear clean and readable. You might also be tempted to use an unusual material for your business card, and while this will certainly be memorable, bear in mind the practicality of your chosen medium. It’s always nice to be able to jot down some additional information on your card if need be. This is much more difficult to do on metal, wood or even glossy finish.
Keep to the standard business card size, unless you’re the adventurous type. There are things you can do to a 3.5″ x 2″ card to differentiate yourself, but going with an unusual shape can be a challenge. A round card, for instance, is quite memorable, but it certainly won’t fit in standard business-card holder devices.
Quality | Business Essentials
First impressions aren’t just for people. Before anyone ever looks at the information on your business card, they begin to form an opinion. Is the card on professional stock? Consider the thickness of your business card. Thicker cards tend to feel more expensive – making your business seem more professional. Try thinking of your card as you would of a a handshake – nobody likes a limp handshake, so why would they like a limp business card?
Color | Business Essentials
Yes, your business card may wind up stuffed in a desk drawer with a stack of other business cards. Make it stand out from the rest by using colors. Keep readability in mind when selecting colors, though. Avoid colors that are too dark, bright or light, as they can make it difficult to read your contact information. It’s smart to keep your business cards in line with the rest of your company’s branding. If you don’t have company colors, select colors that complement your company’s logo.
Think about how you use other people’s business cards when you make decisions regarding your own. Do you get frustrated when you can’t quickly find the information you need? Having a strong, yet simple and easy to read business card design will present you as someone who is professional, savvy and tasteful—someone that is enjoyable to do business with. Make sure it’s a positive reflection of both you and your company, and it mirrors your well-defined brand identity.