A business card is not just a piece of card with information on to give out to potential clients, but an opportunity to connect with a new client on a personal level. A good business card is an extension of your business and brand, that portrays the right information about who you are and what you do in a memorable, powerful, and meaningful way. Whether you’re starting with an online template or have a graphic designer providing a custom business card design, the content and design need to say the right thing.
So, you now may be asking yourself, what information should be on my business card? In this post, we explore seven business card tips you can use to transform your cards from a colourful piece of paper that people throw in the bin, into a powerful connection tool that draws potential clients to your business like bees to a honeypot!
- Logo and tagline
Before you even think about what information goes on your business cards, you need to make sure you include your logo and tagline/strapline. This is as an extension of your brand, and your business card needs to convey your brand identity (through the shapes, colors, and words it features) to potential clients.
Anyone holding your business card between their fingers should be able to identify your brand instantly. They should also be able to recognise your branding wherever they may see it in the future as well, be that on your website, your portfolio or your newsletter.
- Name and functional job title
Seems pretty obvious this one, right? But, you’ll be surprised how many people get this wrong. First the name. If your name is David but prefer to be called Dave or even Steve (for some odd reason), put the latter on your card, not the former. Introduce yourself as you like to be called to avoid awkward re-introductions later.
What about your job title? As a freelancer, entrepreneur, or small business owner you probably wear many hats in your business. Which one do you want the recipient to remember you as? Use the one that describes your main function in the business.
- Contact information
Contact information is the main purpose to a business card. If you want people to contact you, you have to tell them how. But, which of all your contact details should you include? The keyword to keep in mind here is “direct”. By the very nature of being passed on from hand to hand (preferably while making eye contact), business cards create a personal connection between you and prospects.
Should you include a physical street address? Only if you have a brick-and-mortar shop or studio, when the physical location is crucial to doing business. If you’re a photographer, for example, who offers photo shoots at a studio, your street address is key. If you’re a copywriter, however, who works from wherever there’s internet, there’s no point in giving anyone your registered business address. It’s simply irrelevant.
- Your website
These days, a website (or even just a holding page) is crucial. Websites have become a staple part of brand identities – they are often the first place people will go to for more information. This means, it’s vital you include a link to the web page you want your business card recipient to go to.
You don’t have to just link people to the homepage. You could create a page with a welcoming message or record a short, fun introductory video where people get to know you better and understand how you can help them. Put a special offer on there for them, or have a little bonus they can download as a thank you for connecting with you.
- Social media profiles
Include your social media profiles on your business card. But not all of them. Social media channels have become indispensable parts of both traditional and virtual businesses. It could be argued, if you’re not on social media, you don’t exist in the eyes of your customers.
For example, if you’re a photographer or videographer with an active Instagram account, add this on your business card. If you’re a graphic designer with lots of exposure on Behance, send people there. If you’re a small business owner with a strong textual presence and following on channels like Medium or Pinterest, promote that. List your strongest profiles, not just any of your social profiles.
- White space
Yes, white space. It’s so important, it gets its own tip on the list! How many times have you been handed a business card that was so absolutely overstuffed with information, it made you feel a bit whoozy just looking at it? Remember, the point of business cards is not to overwhelm prospects but to invite them to connect with you. White space doesn’t have to be the colour “white” of course, it could be your brand colour.
This final tip is the be-all and end-all, the holy grail of business card design. All of the above tips fall under the category of practical advice for best results. Yet, even if you follow those to the letter, but form them into the most templated and boring design (that we’ve all seen a thousand times before), no one will be contacting you anytime soon, no matter how many cards you give out. Show people what you do through your business card, rather than simply telling them through your job title.
As you’ll see, business cards aren’t just a place for your name and phone number, they’re a lot more important, forming a crucial part of your extended brand identity. By following these tips, your business card will be ready to help you out in the process of networking and meeting new contacts.