We live in a linked-in world. We connect digitally through Email, blogs, or Linked-In. Despite the power of the digital world, nothing can replace the face-to-face meeting. To this day, the best way to introduce your business is the ubiquitous business card. The challenge, then, is to make your business card stand out from the rest.
A well-designed business card can be a great personalized tool to introduce your company to prospective clients. Richard Moross, CEO of Moo.com, sees the business card as an extension of the executive. In a 2007 interview in the Guardian, he said of the business card; “It’s 300 years old; and despite wireless and Bluetooth and mobile phones, it’s still here, because it’s the single most successful networking tool of all time.”
In Person Introductions
When used as part of your self-introduction, your business card can create a stellar first impression. With so much marketing noise bombarding us constantly, a business card can add a stamp of credibility, and enhance a prospect’s impression of your company. According to Richard Moross, “We want to stand out, and nothing has yet matched the power and simplicity of handing over a well-designed card–it starts a conversation.”
In order to stand out from the crowd, your card should be unforgettable. Before you begin, it’s important to understand what elements can set your card apart. In a recent experiment, Scott Ginsberg laid several business cards on a table, closed his eyes and noted what stood out. He found the following attributes made a business card pop:
- Every Card that “popped” had red in the design.
- Pictures of the cardholders helped connect the card to the company
- Some stellar cards were designed vertically
- Most cards had white backgrounds, so a dark background stood out.
- A colorful image, covering at least a fourth of the surface area, popped out.
The Small Business Administration recommends some common sense ideas to make your business card stand out, such as:
Don’t underestimate the importance of including your contact information. It might seem obvious, but making sure the customer can reach you, surf your website, or read your blog is vital to attracting new, and maintaining existing, customers. Include the following to make sure your customers can easily find you:
- Your name and title
- Business name
- Email address
- URL- Consider what part of your web presence might be the best introduction to potential customers, such as a blog, a landing page with an informative video, or an active resource page.
- Social media moniker, such as a Twitter handle
Quality vs Quantity
Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on your card. Generic business cards are just that, generic. If you want yours to stand out, consider spending little more on high-quality elements, such as embossed print, textured paper, or unique edges to make your card memorable.
Incorporate QR codes.
A QR code can be an interactive lead generation tool. To take full-advantage of a QR code, point it to a special landing page on your website. For instance, consider using an about-page with a video, highlighting your business and a click-to-call button, or a form to fill out.
Your logo should be prominently placed to convey your brand at a glance. In addition, your card should be consistent with the rest of your marketing. The best card in the world will fail if the customer can’t connect your card with your company.
What the Font!
The SBA recommends using sans-serif fonts. They look modern and are easy to read. Use a font that is 12 point or larger. Also, consider how your font stands out against the card color. If they are too similar, the card will be hard to read. A current trend is fonts that look handwritten, and can give a business card a quirky or artisanal feel.
It’s Not One Sided Anymore
In today’s world, the business card is no longer one-sided. Consider keeping the front side clean with your logo, or other image, your name, and business name. The back of the card can then be used to cinch your marketing message.
Keeping it Local
Choose a local printer for your business cards. From Santa Cruz to Houston, there are many fine local print shops that can offer personalized service. If you choose a local print shop you can work with the designers and do test runs to perfect the card. Plus you can touch, feel, and smell your paper to get a feel for how your card will look to your customers.
In today’s busy world, your business card has one chance to stand out. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and create something unique. With an unforgettable business card, you can grow your business exponentially.
Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.