One of the most important marketing tools for your company is your business card. It is a part of networking and it represents the “face” of your company. This rule applies to companies, as well as to professionals that have personal cards and would like to properly advertise their services.
Your business card should be something you would be proud to show off, knowing that your prospective customers will take it and remember it, maybe even keep your card because of its special and creative design. Now the big question is – How? How do you design that card that people would like to keep for a long time and show it off to other people – thus advertise your business? It is tough to do that indeed, but as you know nothing is impossible. With tips from other experienced business card owners and some creativity, you can definitely hit success.
First thing – I will shortly go through the basics for you to make sure you don’t accidentally miss anything; otherwise reprinting would definitely be a burden and an additional stroke to your pocket.
Business Cards Essentials
1. Name of Individual
Even though we are talking about a corporate business card and there is no need for a specific name on it, this would be a nice approach. People might feel more comfortable contacting a certain person and know his/her name from the beginning.
2. Name of your Business
Obviously there has to be name of your business or the organization on the business card. This is a must and you should definitely make sure not to forget it. Be sure to make the text for the name of your business stand out on the background of your card. Even if you place your logo on the card and you think it might emphasize your name, the name of the company is usually an essential piece of information on a business card.
You might want to let people know how to find you. E-mail is usually a must, but if you have a physical address it is also good to include it.
4. Phone number(s)
You can omit numbers that don’t have to be there necessarily, include the phone number where people can actually find you and don’t forget about the code of your country and the area, in case you would do business with foreigners.
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5. Tagline or description of business
This element is not required for businesses that you can easily tell what they offer. This is usually a short description of what the business has to offer. Sometimes taglines convey the companies’ benefits and features.
6. List of services/products
You can extend the usefulness of your business card by including a list of services that your company offers. Be sure not to clutter your space on your card though, because you might screw it up. This element is usually suitable for two-sided or folded business cards.
7. Graphic images
If you still don’t have a logo so that people can recognize you easier, you can still come up with images on your card. For example smaller companies that do not have a logo, include a stock image that represents their business on the business card.
You have to remember that business cards have to be unique if you want to stand out from the crowd. Using the taglines, slogans or any other generic stuff that you find on the Web won’t set you apart so you really have to put some extra effort and money if you want a cool business card. Also, besides the basic information you put in there, the design is crucial for networking purposes. People like to see pretty things and they usually tell other people of they saw something they liked. Choose a design that represents your business and your services and make it appropriate for your style. For example here are five different styles you can consider while choosing the design of your card:
– Basic Cards
If you go for a simple design – where it is clearly stated that you are a company that deals with something and one can easily find your contacts and not get lost in the complicated design that you can sometimes find on business cards, then you should consider the basic cards style. The simpler it is – the easier to read, hence a bigger chance to get a call from a potential customer.
– Picture cards
If you want people to remember and recognize you then you should opt for the picture cards. You can include your photo, a drawing or a caricature. Or you can go for a picture that would represent your product or services. This way, potential clients will have a visual reminiscence of your company and sometimes pictures tell more than words.
– Tactile cards
This has become a trend in business cards design and it is really successful by the way. They are easily distinguished not by their looks but by how they feel. Although it might get a bit expensive to produce them, they increase the chance of your card to be original.
– Multi-purpose cards
A good idea would be to make your card usable. A card can do more than just promote your name – it might provide useful information, depending on the business of course. It might serve like a bonus card or a discount coupon to encourage customers to choose your company instead of other. Any kinds of useful features might be added to your card if you want to make it unique.
Make them creative and memorable
I will further extend the subject with tips that can help you make your cards catchy.
Spend some money – get some success.
Spending a lot of money doesn’t guarantee success but you also don’t have to go all greedy if you want to be successful. When it comes to business cards – you would better consider having them professionally printed. This means good paper and nice looks. It is tempting to have them printed at your office for some nickels a piece, but this is just not right. Your business card is the face of your company so make sure for it to be nice and good looking.
Simple and effective
Don’t overdo the design of your card. We know you want to impress your clients but this doesn’t mean they will like it. Go for a smart design, original but simple – readable letters and big enough to easily read the name of your company and the contacts.
Try to choose a horizontal type of business card. Yes it is true that vertical cards are more original but it might create inconvenience for your clients. People usually organize their cards horizontally and having a vertical card might not be so appealing. For example – if your prospective client has several cards from other companies that offer the same services then it would be a drag to seek your contacts on a vertical card when he can easily contact the company that has an easier to read business card. However this doesn’t have to discourage you from being original, if you think that a vertical card is better and it makes your card unique – then go for it!
Easy with the colors
Although you might think that colors might help you get attention, it is not always true. Use them moderately and smart so that it doesn’t distract the eye from the important stuff written on your card.
One mistake that some companies do with their business cards is the language they use on them. Once you decide to go international, you have to remember that not everyone speaks the language of your country so adding an extra language for your special clients would be a good idea. It would also add up to your image, as prospective international clients might really appreciate your approach to their culture.
In the end it is really up to you how you make your business cards. The important thing is to be creative and go for it. Ideas are infinite and using your imagination will really help you get what you want. One last thing you should do – don’t forget to spread it! Take your creative and unique card everywhere you go, who knows what people you will meet even when you are out for a beer.