Just as businesses have evolved from the standard office job to workplace on demand solutions, so have business cards changed right along with it. The days where you would get away with your name, phone and fax number on plain white cardstock are long gone. Creativity is now a highly valued attribute, which means having a card that catches someone’s eye is just as important as doing business well.
The business card is your lasting impression when you make those face-to-face connections with colleagues and potential clients. You need to put enough thought and creativity into your design that people will remember you long after you’ve exited the building.
Here are some suggestions to help you create a compelling business card:
- Make it nice. According to ZoeTennesen, creative services manager and art director for Dallas-based PR firm HCK2 Partners, "You wouldn't go to a meeting at a Fortune 500 company in shorts and flip flops. Make your business card 'dresses appropriately' for the kind of customers you want to attract." This means paying attention to every detail - even paper thickness, which should be at least 120 pound or higher.
- Avoid clip art. This is the number one way to invalidate your company. Clip art tells clients that you are inexperienced and have no marketing savvy. Plus, it just looks cheap and usually confuses people because most of the time the the clip art you choose is not relevant to your company.
- Use a QR code. I’m sure you’ve seen these around – they are matrix barcodes that are readable by smartphones, and link customers to specific information about your business (website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). You can use Google to search for a free QR code creation site if you decide to pursue this option. QR codes provide an opportunity for your company to use very clever marketing gimmicks. One Atlanta-based business owner’s QR code takes customers to a landing page on his website that says, “We’ve met before, haven’t we?” If you're interested, try BarcodeNews for a free QR code generator. Just make sure you test out the code several times before handing out your cards.
- Go simple. There’s a lot of information to include about your business. But really, the two MOST important items are just your phone number and email address. Do you really need the Twitter handle, Skype ID, and LinkedIn account cluttering up your card? It’s best to include only the most pertinent information and introduce the other stuff once a relationship has been established. An oversaturated card will just confuse people and jumble your message.
- Splurge! Everyone knows Vistaprint and the great deals they have on business cards. But to stand out, you’ve got to spend a bit of money. Maybe you need to contract out some creative help, but you’ve got to create a card that will appeal to the kind of customers you want to attract. If this requires outsourcing some help, just go ahead and do it.
Creating your business card should be a fun process. It’s your chance to think outside of the box and stretch your creative muscles. You can include fun things like foil stamping, embossing and die cutting to add elements that stand out. Click on this link to see examples of how people have really pushed the standard when it comes to business cards.