Make A Great First Impression With Great Business Cards
You may have taken for granted the importance of business cards in the business to business or the business to customer relationship. Rightfully so, recently people have neglected how much of an impression you can make starting from your business card.
Showing up for your interview in a suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?
Exchanging a business card is an opportunity to stand out from your competitors and making a lasting impression on your potential customer or client. At conferences, trade shows or events where multiple business cards will be exchanged, this is definitely true. I find when I attend these events, I tend to keep the nice business cards or the ones that are unique in design or exceptional in quality. Not only do I reference them often to generate ideas for my clients but it indicates a level of quality and attention to detail that might reflect on the vendor or company itself. I might not remember the dozen or so vendors I spoke with at a trade show but holding a unique business card might help jog my memory and help me decide on a vendor versus another.
Business Cards Are A Small Investment That Makes A Big Impact!
Compared to the various ways you can promote your business and advertise your services, business cards are affordable and go a very long way when bought in larger quantities.
It’s All In The Details
Look through your Rolodex or your stash of business cards. What do you notice? You’ll most likely find they are all the same thickness, cut and all have the same feel to them. For very little extra, you can add options to your business card that will make them stand out. Have a look at our recent business card. We thought a video would do this card a little more justice. We thickened up this card with a 16 pt thickness over the normal 12 pt which gives it that durable feel. Rounded corners give it an extra unique appearance and also make the cards last longer as straight corners often get dinged and bent. To give a smooth and cozy feeling, we added a silk laminate over the entire card and a “shiny” spot UV coating on the design elements of the card. This livens up the content of the card and again, adds another level of detail.
Business Card Design
I often get asked how much information and design elements you should include in a business card. Although I mentioned a business card is a great sales/marketing opportunity, it should be treated more as a call to action rather than an informational piece. There isn’t a lot of real estate on a business card so choosing the right amount of content is key. Of course it’s important to have your company logo, name, motto or tagline as well as your vital contact details. Since there is a fairly wide acceptance and familiarity with social media, simply putting the social media icons of the sites you participate in (such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter) would suffice. No need to spell out the link.
Put A Face On It?
This is always a contentious topic when it comes to business card design. Is it proper to include your profile picture on your business card? Well the great thing about design and art in general is that there aren’t any rules! Anything goes! We’ve always felt the sales process can sometimes be so distant and impersonal that adding pictures of actual employees, owners and clients/customers helps bridge that “distance” gap between your potential customers and your sales. Keep in mind I’m not talking about adding a selfie you took with your iPhone! A professional photo shoot would most likely be needed to ensure a presentable and high quality photo that would allow for printing. A picture also shows a level of confidence which can reflect in the way you do business.
Double Sided – Double Your Returns
The back of the card is the space that is ideal for a call to action or a piece of information to “draw” the viewer to your website or to your location. I find a promotional offer such as a coupon code or discount is a great way to measure the success of the card and allow the viewer to hold on to the card longer. Using the back of the business card as an educational piece is also a great idea. Conversion charts (for contractors), mortgage payment scale (for real estate/mortgage brokers), common calorie count in foods (for health/foodie bloggers), “next appointment” details for practitioners such as dentists, chiropractors and doctors. All these prolong the shelf life of your business card which means it will increase the potential for repeat customers or referrals.
Business Card Etiquette:
- When exchanging business cards, always take 5-10 seconds to look over both sides of the card. Don’t just stuff it in your pocket! This will give you an opportunity to properly remember your contact’s name and prompt you for additional questions or conversation (for example: Oh cool! You also do search engine optimization?)
- If you have any added value content on your business card like a coupon code or informational piece (see above) mention it to your contact. This is a great chance to seal a deal!
- Never leave home or your office without a couple of business cards. Even though you might be off the clock, you never know when you’ll come across a situation that can generate a lead.
- Anyone who’s ever been to Las Vegas knows about those business card “flickers” or “clickers” who aimlessly hand out business cards to anyone who crosses their path. This is a major faux pas! I quite often get frustrated (and often feel the same as receiving email spam) when someone walks up to me and hands a business card without saying a word. Ensure your approach is justified, qualified and appropriate before handing over your card.
- Keep your business cards current. Sure you had a great glamour shot done in 1985 but do you look like that now? Ensure your contact details are up to date, your discount / coupon codes work and all information is true and accurate. For such a little cost, I recommend clients update their business card once a year.