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What Do Your Business Cards Say About You?

The design of business cards is always  a hot topic of conversation among start up businesses, we are always asked as a marketing specialists, what is our opinion.  Of course it depends on the type of business and your budget and what your business goals are. At any networking event, encounter of a prospect, you want to make a great impression and lasting impression.  Even in the digital age, despite of all of the technology, business cards will probably be the only tangible evidence of an encounter and the presentation of a card still represents the initial contact for many influential businesses. So don’t cheapen or miss-represent your company, the format, coloring and size of business cards can help to turn a brief encounter into a lasting first impression.

1. Make sure the card is great quality.
Good-quality cards are available on an economy of scale; unlike the long waiting times and expense of pressing traditional cards, the modern digital process is swift, economical and can result in superbly memorable designs. Thick, soft card with rounded corners can make a favorable impression.

2.Contact information should be 100% correct.
The correct name, address, phone numbers, email address and website address are essential to allow your contacts to reconnect with you long after your initial meeting. The important facts should still be prominent and easy to read.

3.Think of a card as a vehicle for your branding.
When spending money on marketing materials, you can get more value of your marketing dollar if you use consistent branding and image. From stationery to your website, to your inside of your business, branding is who your business is, what people remember, and the perception that is created.  Your card should not be limited to just you; it needs to tell people about what makes your company so unique and exciting. It could be that the logo isn’t very exciting, or the purpose of your company isn’t apparent. Take a look at your card and ask; what’s missing?

4. Card sizes vary greatly.
In the United States, business cards are normally set at 3.5″ wide x 2″ tall.  You can consider various sizes, to stand out, but be aware, if it is a functional size for your customer base.  Massage therapist for example can get away with a fun size such as 2.25″ x 2.25″ square, whereas a law firm should stick to the professional size.

5. Font, Spacing, color and style.
The font should be elegant but legible; Gothic script can be difficult to read, and Comic Sans suggests that you don’t take yourself seriously, let alone your business. Think about sizing and spacing of letters to ensure that the script does not conflict with the color pattern of the card.  Non-confrontation colors, can be an indication of the comfortable image that your company is trying to project. Cards in full color with custom logos are great for sticking in people’s memories.

6. Stock & Printing style Choices.
There are oodles of different papers and print methods that can create a card just for you.  Consider a textured paper such as linens, with a foil stamp, or a blind embossing.  Thermography, is a raised lettering technique that was really popular in the 70’s and is finding its way back into the design arena.  We also are creating business cards with different quality of lamination and Ultrakoting processes. If you are trying to convey as much information as possible, you can have a set of CD business cards made, with multimedia content, but ensure that your investment will cover its costs- these are expensive unless you commission a batch of several hundred.

7. Consider your photo or photo of your product on the card.
The new marketing is to create relationships, and people tend to first remember how they look and maybe not their name. So a photo on the card is very important.

8. Consider putting a QR Code and social media icons.
Consider the fact that social media is here to stay, well for the moment anyways. Might as well take advantage of this vehicle for what it is worth! It is not for every business, however, for ways of keeping on top of the mind of your customer, this is a great way to do it. You can create fun games and loyalty with all of the great technology advances social media offers.

9. Water run-resistance.
I have seen so many people try to print their business cards on their home ink jet printers. This ink is not water proof. And it looks very unprofessional – not to mention the sloppy quality of the graphics and fonts it generates.  The print and paper of your card should be crisp and the text unable to be obliterated by just a few rain drops. Accidents happen, and an occasional spilled glass of wine should not ruin an opportunity. Ink jet printers-produced cards do not use waterproof ink and leave a very unprofessional impression, no matter how small your business is and your budget. Business cards are your number one marketing tool in your tool box, do not short change it!

10. And lastly, Keep them in a decent case.
If you regularly produce dog-eared cards from fluff-infested pockets, consider the impression that this gives prospective clients about your business. Produce cards one at a time from a case with a lid and exchange them with care. The care you take over your card shows the concern you have for your business.

Take a look at your card and ask; what’s missing?

 

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