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‘Leave me your business card’ – 5 tips on making the most of this opportunity

You’ll hear it sometimes 20 times in one week. It’s almost as common in business as seeing Coca Cola ads on your daily commute. Your business card is your most valuable marketing tool and considering its size and cost, is likely to be the hardest working member of your team.  As part of a 4 part series, recently featured on Enterprise Nation printed.com explained some key considerations to getting it right.

Stand by your Brand

When brainstorming the design concept of your business card, you’re usually faced with the decision to go bold or keep it simple.  Both these routes, when executed effectively can give great results but if you’re not sure which approach to take. Stand by your brand’s identity and the nature of the service you offer.  Certain industries go hand-in-hand with creative or gimmicky concepts whilst others will benefit from a smart, sleek and understated design. Be sure the design rings true to your business.

Bells and Whistles

If you’re designing your own cards, it’s worth keeping the old adage ‘less is more’ in mind.  Use one or two fonts, favouring legibility and timelessness over those that are experimental or eye-catching.  If you go to networking events regularly then consider that, people may want to write notes about how they met you, so think about going for uncoated. If you travel around a lot and business cards are likely to sit in your wallet, then laminated will ensure that it stays in top condition longer. It’s important to stand out, but the greatest contenders will do this in an understated way. 

Size Matters

Obviously, when you hand over your business card, you want the recipient to hold on to it!  A pretty simple way to increase the probability of this outcome, is to design your card to be a standard, rectangular size - if your card does not fit into a wallet or card holder it’s likely to be misplaced. 

Content - The 85 x 55mm Challenge

By nature, business cards don’t give you an awful lot of room to represent your business.  Obviously, contact details are key: include your name, company name, title, phone number and email address at a minimum. One thing we stress to all customers though is don’t make people guess what you do, use at minimum a strap line about what you offer. Use the rest of the card according to your business.  If your business is particularly creative, visual or design-led, it may be worth including an image or your logo. If you work in digital, your web address or links to social media accounts may be more relevant.  There are two sides to every card though, make use of them both!

Time to Invest

With any start-up or small business, there are certain areas where you can cut corners to save on cost - business cards are not a corner to be cut.  Every time you hand over your card, it’s like handing over a mini-representative of your company and they have the ability to say a great deal about your business ethic.   High quality paper and professional printing are paramount.  If you’re not confident in your design abilities, it’s worth investing in a graphic designer to do the job. You can browse various UK designers and their work on the Facebook Design Central gallery.

Think of first and lasting impressions when it comes to business cards. Everyone has been handed a card that, inside, they think actually drops their opinion of the credibility of that business. It’s harsh, but it happens to us all. The number one item that any new business contact will take away after your first meeting will be this small bit of card, make sure yours gives off the impression you want. 

Originally featured on Enterprise Nation as part of printed.com 4 part series on print marketing. Read the rest of the articles here. 

What's the best businss card you've ever seen and what's the worst? Share your business card experiences with us below.

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Comments

nick anderson
23 Aug 2012 20:07
I will definately be using this advice whilst putting my cards together.
Nick McBurney
31 Aug 2012 17:11
A great example of this is the free business cards from v***aprint.com, ive been handed these before and thrown them away without thinking. Quality really provides a great first impression, whilst cheap/free cards do the opposite. Likewise outdated websites give me no confindence in a company.
Tam
25 Nov 2015 10:59
Great advice, thanks for sharing :)
John
03 Jun 2016 07:14
i'm finding these very useful

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