In this Internet age, you might think business cards are becoming obsolete; however, while the majority of your business may be done online, it is still important to have business cards when you interface with potential networking contacts.
While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are places for the modern company to do business, so are conferences and conventions, and if you show up with your smartphone asking contacts to add you on Facebook, you may not be as successful simply because it takes longer than handing over a card. Being able to give your contacts a business card that lists all of your information can help them to remember to get in contact with you, and also give you an immediate opportunity to make yourself stand out from the crowd through design.
1. Simplicity and Concision
Although you want to stand out from everyone else, it is important to distinguish yourself in the right ways. Making business cards too ornate or too busy can prevent people from taking you seriously, as well as inhibit them from being able to readily read your information. Find a simple design and stick with it, and make sure that the information your connections really want is available to them quickly and concisely.
Because social media is such an important part of running a successful business, as well as your general contact information (name, business, phone, email) you should also include your social media information. If you have a business or personal Twitter handle that you use for company updates, put it on your card, and the same goes for Facebook. However, don’t just put your Facebook on your card if you never update it, because, again, this will make you look unprofessional. Only include information that is accurate, relevant, and up-to-date.
2. Don’t Scrimp on Materials
As business cards are part of a first impression, be sure to print your information on good quality materials. If your business card is flimsy and cheap-looking, it is going to send a message about you and your business, so be sure to invest the money into printing high-quality cards.
In addition, because people often use business cards to scribble down notes about you and your business, it is important to print cards that don’t have a gloss finish, with a light background. Making business cards functional for note-taking enables any potential clients or contacts to make notes that will distinguish you from the others they meet, leading to more fruitful business contacts for you.
3. Branding Your Business Card
While it’s important to have simple design that makes sense, it is also critical that your design and your product or services match. Be sure to include your business logo, and match the color and design of your card to your industry and website. If your card design and industry don’t match, then potential contacts will question your professionalism, decreasing the card’s functionality. In addition, including a QR code could help you to direct traffic right to your website, allowing potential clients and contacts to have an easy access method to your products and services.
While you may think that the age of the business card is coming to an end, this really doesn’t seem to be the case; in fact, there is probably more pressure to be innovative and up-to-date with your business cards than ever before. While social media networking is crucial for developing business connections, having a physical card to give out at conferences and conventions can give you the edge over your competitors and draw valuable traffic back to your social media pages and websites.
Cutter, Chip. “TED 2013: Here, the Business Card Is Not Dead.” LinkedIn. http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130308001134-13780238-ted-2013-the-business-card-is-not-dead. (20 May, 2013).
Farr, Laurie Jo Miller. “Back to Basics: Why Having a Good Business Card is Still so Important.” Yahoo! Voices. http://voices.yahoo.com/back-basics-why-having-good-business-card-is-8261653.html?cat=31. (20 May, 2013).