Your business card is one of the most important, cost-effective and versatile marketing tools you have. How come? Because they’re inexpensive, easy to carry with you and easy to get in front of people. Especially for businesses just starting out.
However, your card needs to make a great impression. A well-designed business card can effectively promote your business, but there’s a good chance that if your card looks unprofessional, it may be thrown in the dustbin or just lie in a drawer, collecting dust. Your business card needs to tell people what you and your business is about, instead of only telling people who you are and where to contact you.
Planning, designing and having your cards printed.
For your business card to be the marketing tool it should be, there are a few things you must take into consideration when planning and designing your cards.
Get professional quality business cards printed for you. Sure, you could print them on your laser jet and cut them with scissors. You’ll get what you pay for and worse than that, people will question whether they can trust you with their business if it seems you can’t afford to print full colour business cards.
Pay attention to the finer details on your card. A logo is important, so invest some time and effort in the design of your logo to make it stand out in the crowd.
A thin, flimsy card, pre-made, off the shelf design and small or unreadable text makes a bad impression. Use colour and images for impact and good design principles to make your business card pleasing and easy to read.
Be proactive and keep your information up to date. If any of your contact or other information has changed, you will appear to be disorganized when you have to scratch out and write new information on your card, so throw away those cards and have new, up to date ones printed.
If possible hire a graphic designer to help you. They are professional and know what works and what does’nt.
Maximize the usability of your card. You’re not limited to only the front of your business cards. Use the back of your card for more information. Keep in mind that people often write on business cards, so leaving some white space on the back is generally a good idea.
Your company name or your title tells someone what you have to offer. If it does’nt, add some words to explain what you do. Showing what you do makes you stand out. Let everyone who sees your card know what services you provide.
Avoid making the following mistakes when you have your cards made. It can cost you dearly.
Having a card that doesn’t stand out in the crowd.
Your card must look great, feel sturdy and clearly define what your business does – and you and your card will be remembered.
Technology makes it easier and more affordable than ever to have cards designed and printed that will get someone’s attention and at the same time look businesslike and appealing.
Don’t have a card that’s a mystery to everybody.
You are not going to get many calls if someone looks at your business card and can’t tell immediately what your business does.
A card with information overload.
Too much information printed on your card will make it look too busy and totally unprofessional. Keeping it simple is best. It’s necessary to have your name, your company, what you do, and why you should be used – but supply all your contact details; you want to be easy to reach.
Using too small text.
Using a small font, you may be able to supply more information, but what good is it if people can’t read it? A good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Make your company name the largest and your name and maybe your cell number a bit larger than the rest.
Not using colour properly.
Use colour in your cards to brighten them up and make them appealing. Avoid printing a dark colour on a darkish background or a light colour on a light background, for instance printing grey on white to make it look like silver. It just does’nt work.
Strategically distributing your cards to help your marketing campaign.What does it help you to have a box full of business cards if they’re not being used to market and promote your business?
Always keep some of your cards on you wherever you go. Hand a card to someone when appropriate, and while you’re at it, don’t hesitate to give out more than one. Invite people to pass the extras along to others who might need your service. You might be surprised at how often this can result in a referral.
Don’t be afraid to post them on public bulletin boards, stick them in doors or leave them in bowls for free drawings where your target audience might see them.
Ask affiliated businesses to allow you to display your cards, such as a hardware store if you’re a building contractor or a plumber.
Capitalize on natural opportunities to hand them out when you’re talking about your business or someone asks how to contact you.
Keeping in mind all of the above ideas and information, your business card will definitely work for you and attract business – and still at a very affordable price.