What Do Your Business Cards Say About You And Your Business?
Business cards, for many, are seen as a throw away commodity, to be handed out to all and sundry. The fact is, however, that business cards are an essential tool for both effective branding and successful networking. They can tell your potential clients and partners a lot about you and your business. These small pieces of card, literally, have the power to either attract or deter people from working with you.
So, in today’s blog article, I thought I’d focus on 3 things to consider, before you get your next batch of business cards printed, that will help you to give the right impression to your prospective customers and business partners.
1) Why You Should Avoid Pre-Designed Business Card Templates
A pre-designed business card template, such as what you’d see on Vistaprint, for example, is easy to spot. And they tell a lot about your business, as follows:
- You have no brand identity: This can, potentially, raise question marks in the minds of your prospects as to the quality of your service. If your business card is based on a same-as-everyone-else’s template design, is your service going to be the same as everyone else? Am I going to get a mediocre service, instead of the outstanding service I desire?
- You don’t care about your image: If you cannot (or, perhaps more accurately, will not) invest the time and money to get your business card professionally designed, then this will give the impression that your business image isn’t important to you. And if you don’t care about your image, do you care about your service?
Conversely, when you invest time and money to get your business card professionally designed – and especially if it matches or compliments your branding across your other marketing media – it makes you stand out as a true professional. The receiver of your card will sit up and take note of you.
2) Why You Should Avoid Cheap Or Free Business Cards
Cheap or free business cards give the impression that you don’t value your brand. They tell the person receiving your card that you’re not prepared to invest in your marketing materials and, thus, your business. And if you’re not willing to invest into your own business, then why should they?
It’s reasonably easy to tell a cheap or free business card by the weight of the paper and the quality of the print. Also, free cards will often have something printed on the back such as, “Printed by Vistaprint.”
Now, I know I’ve mentioned Vistaprint twice. I’m not having a dig at them. They do, actually, print some very good stuff. I’m just saying, if you do decided to get your cards done online, invest in the higher end ones, instead of the cheap or free offerings.
One more point on this: Next time you hand your business cards out at a networking or other business event, just notice how many people rub their finger and thumb across your card to feel the quality; you’ll notice that more people do this than you, perhaps, realised. Then watch the expression on their face. It’s tells a lot about their first impression of you.
3) Is Your Business Card Too Busy Or Unreadable?
If your card is too busy, perhaps as you try to cram all your services, contact details, etc. on it this shows that you’ve not invested the time to think about your message. It can give the impression of lack of focus.
Remember, you don’t have to put everything on your card. It’s an introduction to you, not a sales brochure. Also of note, your card has two sides too, and you should use them both if you need.
if your business card is too busy or the text is too small, people won’t want to read it and you’ll end up repelling more people than you attract.
Ideally, you want to include your name, job title, company, phone, email and website; plus your company logo or a professionally done portrait photo of yourself. You can spread this across both sides quite easily without it being too busy. If designed well, you might even have space for a very short benefits sentence or tagline that puts you front of mind.
There are many more things to consider when designing your business card. These, however, I believe are the most poignant to bear in mind.
We’ll continue on this theme of business cards in our next article, “How To Use And Present Your Business Card Professionally,” where we will discuss choosing when, where and to whom you should give your cards to, rather than handing them out to everyone; the benefits to your business of being choosy as to whom to give them to; and techniques for presenting your card in such a manner as to make you stand out.
Until then, if you want to receive free even more great branding and business tips that I don’t share anywhere else, then fill in the form below.
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