If you own a business or are embarking on a new venture you’ll ask yourself: Do companies still use business cards? Are business cards even necessary?
The answer to: Are business cards worth the cost? YES!!
Despite living in a digital age with e-mails, websites, mobile advertising, social, etc. there are times when conventional tools work best.
Let’s cover why your business needs business cards, and how to use them effectively.
What’s a business card?
Typically, they’re a 2 ½ x 3-inch stock card displaying contact information for
an employee of a company (even if you’re the only one in the business currently).
- Your Name
- Title/Area of Expertise
- Contact Info
- Phone Number
- Business Address
- Social Platforms
Why do you need a business card?
1. Provide Contact Details
The purpose of business cards is to provide businesses with a way to share their contact details easily. This is a more professional way to share contact information than scribbling or reciting details.
2. Create Brand Awareness
Everything you do for your business should raise brand awareness. Business cards are a cost-effective way for businesses to do so. A well-designed card representing your business creates a physical reminder of who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
3. Establish Credibility
Business cards, typically, have tons of information about your business and immediately inform the viewer how to reach you, and where you can be found online (or in-person). This immediately tells clients, prospects, and potential employers that you are a professional and recognized in your market.
Benefits of presenting a business card
1. Shows you are prepared
Carrying business cards on you means you’ll always be prepared to network and exchange information no matter where you are!
2. Looks professional
Handing out a well-designed card at socials, gatherings, events and business conventions sets the tone of professionalism, which is always a great way to start potential business relationships.
3. Distinguish yourself
The right card will represent you in a way that is unique only to you.
4. Promote your brand
Every time you create anything for your business you have a chance to promote (advertise) your brand.
5. Increase chances they’ll remember you
Your business card should be distinct and help you stand out.
Are business cards worth the cost?
“However, traditional methods should not be overlooked: I believe business cards should always be handy, especially for audiences that tend to keep it old school and aren’t on the social media wave.” – Alex Quin, UADV
“Business cards can still make a powerful impression on prospective clients. I don’t believe email is too informal, but business cards are far more professional to bring to a face-to-face meeting. An email can be lost in a sea of spam and contact folders; a business card will remain in a client’s wallet for years…” Kristopher Jones, LSEO
What’s an effective business card?
1. Brand Name
What’s in a name? A distinct brand name goes a long way to distinguish a business in the marketplace. Take some time to consider what you are trying to achieve (your why) and create the most memorable name for your company.
These should be the same colors used in your logo and your brand identity.
Your choice of font also represents your business. Don’t go choosing a font that’s not part of your brand identity just because it “stands out” on your business card. The font you use for your card should represent your company’s brand.
4. Shape & Orientation
The most common business cards are rectangular and use a landscape or portrait orientation. However, they come in other shapes such as circles, ovals, squares and custom shapes. The shape should also reflect your brand.
5. Card Stock/Paper
Often overlooked, the type of material your card is printed on matters. High-quality cards are often printed on 14- or 16-pint card stock with glossy or matte surfaces. Glossy makes colors pop, while matte adds an air of sophistication.
6. Negative Space
Don’t add all the bells and whistles. Leave some space, and focus on only the most important contact details.
**Bonus: Out of the box designs!! Pop-ups, fold-outs, coins, ornaments and anything else you can think of. Don’t be afraid to try something new (as long as it’s in your budget).
Best practices for 2020
1. Simple and Clean
No-one wants a sweaty business card that’s been folded into the crevices of your blue jeans pocket for the last eternity. The easiest way to keep your business cards in great shape is to store them in a protective case. A good place for backups is in your car and inside your desk.
2. Keep them on you
Networking is essential for business. Make sure you always have your cards when you leave home (and a few backups as well) so you never miss an opportunity to share your business information.
3. Exchange Cards
Look for opportunities to share your cards. Always keep it in the back of your mind. Some great places to start are one-on-one meetings with a new client or lead, social events, conventions, work parties, etc. More unconventional places are when running errands, attending classes, or even at your child’s school.
4. Give them away (to everyone)
Don’t worry about whether someone will think you odd when you try to hand them a business card. Networking is natural and we connect with people all the time. You’ll seem even more professional (and memorable) when you have a business card to share.
5. Don’t be weird
Again, networking is natural. Don’t force a connection. Make steady eye-contact (no don’t glare), have a firm handshake and a slight smile (a natural one, don’t grimace). Hold your business card at the corners with the info facing the recipient so your fingers don’t cover the details. You’ve got this.
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