Has technology phased out the use of business cards? Not at all - business cards remain a personal, cost-effective way to give your contact information to people you want to connect with. Your card represents your brand. For several years new apps, tools and gadgets have claimed to replace the business card. And some people have stopped using business cards. But if you’ve attended a trade show, a networking event, a professional meeting or any occasion where you meet new people, you’ll see business cards being exchanged.
tip: Savvy networkers always keep a few business cards on hand: you never know when an opportunity will present itself.
Business cards have changed. To say relevant, business cards must be designed to
- be memorable
- share important information
- compel action
Design is king - Just as on your website content is king, for your business card design is king. Your business card is your 1st impression: make it memorable. Consider these ideas to upgrade your business card to make it stand out from competitors and make an impact.
5 Ways to Ramp Up Your Business Cards
1. Quality counts
Use a high quality paper and ink to make sure your business card makes it into the contact management system. A well-designed yet simple business card with a classic font in a readable size using traditional colors makes a statement. Timeless design factors can be updated to include
- front and back colors
Consider your goals: are you using your business card to market your services, or to advertise? Classic design never goes out of style.
2. Be distinct
Your industry may dictate the style of your business card. Some businesses demand conservative, traditionally styled business cards. If you are in a creative, service or skilled field considering using a distinctive shape or material to make your business cards memorable:
- metal, wood, rubber, glass or plastic - even food!
- cutouts, unusual sizes or shapes
- your photo: photos used to be a business card no-no, but can be an important tool to help your contact remember you.
- for authors: your book cover
- magnets, bookmarks or even food
Being unique can make an impact!
3. Be useful
Your business card doesn’t just introduce your brand: it must deliver a message. Your contact information is vital, but a useful business card can also provide
- an industry event calendar
- conversions, tips or quotes
- an incentive: a coupon, free trial period, complimentary consultation or special offer
- map and directions to your location
Give your contacts a reason to keep your business card!
4. Share your social
Business cards must contain more than your name, address and phone number. Let your audience connect with you on your most important channels and consider including your
- social media handles
- LinkedIn profile
- website or web page URL
- QR code with links to a landing page or (No: the QR code is not dead either. Its just changed.)
Many professional’s social handles are not the same as their name or business name, making it difficult to find them on search engines. Make it easy by sharing your digital profiles!
- Double duty with 2-sided cards
Don’t let 50% of your business card go to waste: use both sides of your card to maximize your impact. Side 1 should contain your standard contact information; for ideas on side 2 see #3 above or consider adding
- your elevator speech, mission statement, or value statement
- portfolio work such as design samples, professional advice or photographs
- recipes or tips
- testimonials, references or publications
Business cards aren’t dead: but many are boring! Your business card introduces your brand and should support your marketing goals.