A business card is not much bigger than a Tim Tam, yet this humble slip of paper is your most important marketing tool. Given that most people glance at your card for no more than a few seconds, it has to work mighty hard to communicate your brand, skills and ability to do a job. So here are five steps to make potential clients look twice.
Cards printed at home or created using a generic online template sell your business short — they’re amateur and cater for one-size-fits-all, which means you’ll never stand out from the crowd. So choose a graphic designer whose portfolio contains business cards that “speak” to you. Brief them on your desired brand and look, then trust them to come up with the goods.
Clear, clever and a stand-out in the crowd — graphic designer Carolyn Wilkinson’s business card ticks all the boxes for an attention-grabbing business card.
Double Your Space
What’s on the back of most business cards? Vacant space. Turn this into valuable real estate by giving potential clients reasons to remember you. Try:
- A product/service list
- Product shots
- Your tagline
- Relevant facts/information
- Special offers/incentives, or
- Industry recognition/awards.
Colour and Typeface
Colour and typeface carry emotional associations, which means your choices influence how people will perceive you and your business. Ashleigh McIntyre’s article, “Colour Psychology for Business”, is an excellent starting point on colour, while Erik Spiekermann’s short documentary, Typomania, uses plenty of examples to explain typeface. Produced some 25 years ago for the BBC, it’s still spot on, although you’ll probably giggle at the famous typographer’s dinner suit and bow tie!
Business cards date, just like shag pile carpet and lime green kitchens … so review yours as your business grows and changes. Collect other cards that have “wow” factor and ask yourself why they appeal and if those elements might enhance your card.
Even the most beautiful card is useless when left on your desk, so get yourself a business card holder, and keep it topped up and in the side pocket of your handbag (the last thing you want is to be scrabbling among lipstick and tissues for dog-eared cards). And don’t be a business card scrooge … they’re cheap to print, so hand them out liberally, enclose them with invoices or deliveries, and arrange to leave a stack on the counters of complementary businesses.