Trimming your entire work experience into a one-page resume is pretty tricky. Trying to trim your entire sales pitch into 3.5″ x 2″ business cards is even trickier. People have been trading the rectangular calling cards for decades and probably will for decades to come.
While the world continues to move online and digital clouds seem to form faster than real ones, business cards are still a very important aspect to networking and getting your name out there.
If you’re a resident of the planet Earth chances are you’ve seen your fair share of business cards. Every time you meet a new vendor, go to a conference, interview for a new job you add just a few more cards to add to your junk pile. Do you remember what any of them said? Probably not. Do you even remember what they looked like? Definitely not.
You can change that though. A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number. First impressions are everything and having a stand-out card can ensure that your impression goes a little further than that first meeting.
So how do you make sure to capture your audience just long enough to make that impression?
Don’t shy away from being bold
Be it color, strong images, texture. Anything. Do something different. I once printed a business card with a picture of myself on the back side. The picture was taken during my short stint in radio and while I wasn’t pursuing a career in radio when I had them printed, I wanted to make sure my cards got attention.
My first seminar after I had them printed was a Google 4 Media event. After the day-long event, we all had a chance to network. Maybe it was the fact that I had been serenaded by Google all day or perhaps it was the complimentary cocktails, but I couldn’t pass out my cards fast enough. Each time I approached a new table and handed one out, I’d get compliments which in turn then attracted more people toward us and more cards were being handed out.
Less is more
Here is where things can be a bit tricky. The whole point of a business card is to pass along your contact information. It may be your one chance to pass it along so you want to include any and every method of getting a hold of you, right? Wrong.
Not only will more text make your card less appealing but you want to seem approachable, not desperate. Choose your primary phone number and email address to highlight. Depending on your business, you may or may not need the address on the card. Stick to relevant information only!!!!
Think outside the box
What comes to mind when you picture a business card? A white rectangular card printed on cardstock, usually blank on the back. There is no rule that says you must stick to this. Cards can now be printed in mini form, squares, with rounded edges, with shapes cut out, and even on metal!
Remember, you want to make an impression. Even if you have to pay a little more out-of-pocket, the ROI should be significant enough that it’s more than worth it. One of the last companies I worked for had amazing cards. They had a velvety feel to them and were finished off with a gold foil. Classy. The minute I started, I counted down the days until I could order my own and once I did I handed them out to just about anyone with an outstretched hand.
Unfortunately, they cost quite the pretty penny and we decided to switch vendors. The velvety feel was gone and the once-prestigious gold foil was now rubbing off at the first sight of friction.
While some deals are worth it, remember that you get what you pay for.