What do you want your business card to say about you?
Despite its bijou and compact size, your business card actually says a lot about you – or more importantly, about your business. So, get your current business card out from the dusty box in the corner and take an objective look at it – does it hit or miss some of these common business card mistakes? What is it actually saying about you?
Business cards do tend to be small, but that is no excuse for a font size that you can only read with the Hubble telescope on a bright day. Be realistic about font sizes. A minuscule font, at a size 8 can present a huge readability challenge. Many business cards will easily accommodate font in sizes 10, 11, 12 and sometimes up to 14.
Some people, especially in busy environments, when they meet you may want to make a note or two on your card and some finishes can make this difficult. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst thing ever to happen in the land of business cards, a glossy paper is not the worst by a long shot. But it can make writing on it a tad difficult. If you want glossy, you go for glossy!
Anyone in the world of printed media will sigh when the word ‘colour’ is mentioned. Yes, we know that baby pink is your favourite shade ever- but you cannot read it well on a business card. Just like other printed media, the use of colour is important; it needs to be bold and strong, working with the background of your card. Better still, your business card should be part of your company’s overall brand awareness drive…
A point that brings us very nicely onto consistency. A brand is all about using it – everywhere and, despite being the smallest piece of card in your printed media arsenal, your business card needs to carry this brand flow. Doing this ensures that you are still keeping your brand in the eye of people; recognition is half the battle when it comes to brand awareness.
Love it or hate it, your business really is missing a trick if you are not on some form of social media platform and not encouraging people to like, share or pin you via your business card is, frankly, a missed opportunity.
Email and social media is the prime way that potential new customers will contact you; it is the least frightening way of people to make contact, asking about pricing, services or products. You also get time to think about and make a considered response, opening up the channels of communication. Frankly, if your email address if illegible or, even worse, not on your business card you have wasted your money.
But, let’s sound another cautionary note here. You have a swanky website, a great logo and, to all intents and purposes, a great business. Then at the bottom of your business card, you have a webmail email address. For some potential customers, Gmail, Yahoo or frankly, downright odd email addresses are off-putting. Check out some ways of making your own business email address here.
And then there is the overall feel of the card; poor paper choices when it comes to business cards kind of says that ‘this is an afterthought’ and that business cards are not that important. Your brand matters, so make sure your business card oozes quality; anything less is offputting. Even the thickness and GSM of business cards is overwhelmingly important.
It must have been noted at least twice so far about the compact nature of business cards and lack of information; you do come across some that are simply stuffed full of information. Your eyes have nowhere to rest or find the start of it all. Your business card is not a business pitch; it’s more a tasty morsel as the banqueting table of business that draws people in.
Your tagline is important. What do you do? And how are you better than anyone else? A business card should be a little bit more than just a contact card; you need to tell people what your business name is and what your business does.
Don’t waste space; use it! And don’t forget, you are not standing mute, just flicking cards out at people as they walk past, like a poor magician attempting a complicated shuffle manoeuvre. When you give people your card, tell them who you are and what you do; draw attention to a certain aspect of the card such as “here’s my email and direct number. Call me next week and we’ll talk more…” etc.
James Birch is the sales and marketing manager at Colour Graphics. He is an expert in quality printed marketing materials
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