Your business card represents what is possibly one of the first impressions someone gets of you. It is an extension of yourself both personally and professionally. A seemingly simple piece of paper can have a great influence over future interactions.
Business cards are a great marketing tool that carries a lot of value and every serious business owner has several on his person at all times.
Even today where we are living in a predominantly online world, business cards are the initial foot through the door and they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
You can have an impeccable online presence with a portfolio that has everything clearly laid out for everyone to see, but if you don’t have a professionally-designed business card, there is little to interest people to check you out online.
A business card is there for a reason as it conveys a more personal message in the form of design and style choices. It says a lot about who we are as well as what we do.
There are plenty of aspects that go into making a memorable and meaningful business card, one that does not end up in the bin after a lengthy meeting.
With that in mind, let’s cover all of the key point of making the best business card that will open as many doors for you and your business as possible.
Your business card needs to fulfil a purpose. Now, a purpose can be dictated by many factors. The most important one is the type of job you’re doing. For a freelancer, a business card would have to ensure new projects and clients. For an established business, it would serve the purpose of drawing in more customers and creating quality leads.
Whatever your profession, you need to figure out what is it that you are trying to accomplish and design accordingly. Other than design, the type of information that needs to be conveyed changes based on these factors. Unlike most online tools, a business card has a rather limited real estate that can be used for written information. That room is, therefore, very precious and should be used in a concise and clear manner.
There are certain pieces of information that all business cards need to have. Your name in big, bold but tasteful fonts is a given. There is also plenty of other information one might need to incorporate into a business card. Your business name is also a must. The only example where this can be skipped is if you are a freelancer and/or do not have a physical business.
Small but essential details need to be present like the email address, physical address (if there is one), telephone number, etc. Do not allow the design to hamper your ability to convey all the necessary information for others to effortlessly contact you in the future. People often forget that there are two sides to a piece of cardboard, so make sure you use them both as efficiently and aesthetically pleasing as possible.
If you have a certain style that is recognizable with your audience, like a business logo or a colour scheme or pattern, it is important to be consistent.
If your marketing campaign is banking heavily on your visual identity, you should keep up the tradition by promoting the initial design choice. Maybe you do not have a characteristic design scheme attached to your business, and in that case, you can incorporate an example of your work on the card itself.
For example, an artist would use his best work of art on their card in order to promote their expertise. A tagline can achieve the same purpose as well. It will help anyone holding your business card to recognize your brand, business, or persona.
A proper tagline is something that describes but also praises your niche and your unique way of navigating through it.
4) Being creative
When you have the basics of what you want to do and how you want to portray yourself, the design process can begin. This is the process where you can let your creative juices flow freely. Modern business cards are not constrained by old rules and do not have to be little bland rectangles anymore.
Shapes, colour, and different designs are all available for you to experiment with and implement freely in order to capture the attention of the observer and spark engagement.
The only roadblock you might encounter is your own imagination. Some niches might even allow some very out-there designs like three-dimensional pop-up cards or cartoon sketches. Materials used are also a dimension that you can considered. Using recyclable and renewable materials can send a very strong message as well, so don’t dismiss alternative designs either.
If you find yourself expand into the global market, having business cards in multiple relevant languages is a very good and thought-through idea. These are just some of the ideas to get you going, and while they work fine on their own, you really should let your imagination run free and combine these elements for maximum effect.
5) Mixing the conventional with the modern
It is clear that the biggest audience in the world is, of course, your online audience. While physical business cards certainly don’t have a greater reach than the online platforms, it’s important to recognize their unique purpose. By adding your website address to your business card, you can bridge the gap between personal and online interaction.
This way potential clients, business partners and customers can learn more about our company. Instead of it pointing to your homepage, make a separate landing or informative page for that welcomes new clients.
Social media platforms can be a great source of traffic for your business and brand as well. However, the sheer number of SM platforms in the online world make it almost impossible to list every social media on your business card, so instead list the most relevant ones for your business and industry.
For example, a professional photographer would almost certainly use Instagram as a prime tool for showcasing their work, while an established digital agency could connect with potential clients through LinkedIn.
6) Quality of implementation
When you have it all dialled in, you can start the printing process. Business cards are already pretty cheap. It doesn’t make much sense to go cheap and skimp on the quality. A buck spent is a buck earned so do not go to the cheapest printing facility, because it’s simply not worth it in the long term.
The feel, quality and finishing touches all add to the overall experience the potential customer or client receives when being handed a business card. It is all about that first impression which is a demonstration that you are not new in the game but are an experienced player worth their time and interest.
When coming up with an idea, learn from the best. Try to remember some of the most stand-out business cards you have received in the past year. Try and incorporate those particulars into your design, but be sure to put your unique twist on the design. Large logos, fonts or contrasting colours, whatever it may be, make sure that it is memorable and that people know what you are all about.
Creating an engaging business card is a delicate process that requires plenty of planning and meticulous preparation. That being said, do not linger too long in the design phase, because you don’t want to miss the opportunity to get your name through the proverbial door.
With these tips in mind, you’ll have no problem creating the perfect business card that will get you and your business noticed.