I’m going to start this blog with a hypothetical, yet totally plausible and realistic scenario:
You’re at a networking event for your industry. You’re making connections and reveling in the fact that you’re getting paid to spend time at a party.
You’ve got a stack of business cards in your pocket and you’re exchanging cards with everyone you meet like you’re trading rare action figures at a comic book convention.
You feel pretty good about your efforts until you arrive back home and check your pockets. You have approximately 253 business cards and they all. Look. The. Same.
To add to the confusion, a large majority of the business cards you acquired look almost identical to the ones you were passing out.
So how are the people you met going to remember who you are by your almost indistinguishable business card?
Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Not many people put very much time or effort into designing unique business cards, which in turn creates the problem of “same business cards, different people” that we outlined above. However, business cards are still extremely important assets to have when it comes to networking.
So, what’s a business card holder to do?
First and foremost, you need to stand out. And that begins by understanding your industry and who you are ultimately trying to connect with. If you are interested in reaching an older demographic, a great way to stand out would be to use bigger type sizes on your cards for easier readability.
Or, if you’re looking to appeal to environmentally conscious individuals, consider combining form and function with a business card that uses recyclable material and contains seeds that can be planted. When you design with your ideal prospect in mind, everyone wins.
With that said, remember that, more often than not, less is more. You have very limited real estate on your business cards, which means you don’t need to fill up all of the available space with graphics or content. Do you really need a full resume and fax number on your business card? Probably not.
Have a clear hierarchy that distinguishes important information (such as your name and contact information) from secondary information (such as your company’s website or social media accounts). This allows your business card to clearly communicate what you want your prospect to do, without him/her having to guess which channel you’d prefer to be contacted through (the answer is never “fax.” Unless it is. In which case…you go, Glenn Coco!)
Finally, if you want to make an impressive first impression, invest in yourself. Don’t simply print off business cards on flimsy 8×10 printer paper (and yes, we have seen someone do this before). Using solid card stock can elevate your business card and show that you take yourself seriously.
That doesn’t mean you still can’t have a little fun with it though. Feel free to play around with different finishes (glossy, matte, etc.) or materials (transparent plastic, metals, wood, etc.), but always keep your main message in mind. One of the worst things you can do is get too excited about being creative and forget to put your contact information on your business card. A business card without contact information? The horror!
So, what do you think? Is it time to reimagine your business cards? Let us reimagine with you! A fresh look can be a refreshing change from the usual business card design your prospects typically get — and it can make all the difference.