Ways to Make Your Business Card Bring You More Business
The best business cards tell people four essential facts: who you are, what you do, what you can do for them and how to reach you. Every element of your card should support one those four things. Because business card printing is inexpensive and quick to turn around, with services such as OvernightPrints.com offering packs of 50 cards at less than $5, you might consider more than one card for different purposes. One marketing expert tells Forbes.com he carries nine – yes NINE – versions of his business card. Here’s what to consider including when crafting your own card.
Your Name and Credentials
Don’t clutter up your card with all of your degrees. Unless you have an M.D., Ph.D. or MBA, most people will not know what all of those letters mean. Put your name on your card as you want people to refer to you. If you don’t use your formal given name, don’t put it on the card.
Self-described “expert networker” Shannon Clark, who regularly blogs about networking and marketing, says a business card should be easy to write on, and have enough space to make notes.
What You Do
You might have a clever title such as “Chief Idea Officer,” or a technical one such as “Senior Internal Systems Coordinator,” but the person holding your card has no idea what those titles mean. Put your title in layman’s terms that describe what you do.
What Your Company Does
A good company name and logo communicates what the business does, or it has a short tagline that explains it. If your company’s name is A & Z Partners, the people you meet have no idea if you are a law firm, advertising agency or chiropractic office. Include a two to three-word phrase such as: legal experts, talent recruiters or media buyers.
What Can You Do For Me?
Real estate agents often have the worst business cards. They’re impossible to write on, and they’re stuffed with too much information. Head shots are OK, but omit the images of sunsets, pretty flowers (unless you’re a florist) and buildings. Instead, consider a sentence that sells your business, such as, “Closing homes in 10 days.”
Forbes.com suggests photos help people put faces with names, especially at large events, such as conventions, where attendees come home with dozens of business cards.
Give the holder of the card something for free. “Email me for 25 money-saving tips on how to prepare for tax season,” or “The holder of this card is entitled to a new client 20 percent discount.” Deals will keep recipients at top of mind.
Yes, include your Twitter handle, Google+ name, LinkedIn link and other business-related social account names. Do not include your personal accounts with 300 friends from high school. Set up separate business and personal accounts.
Skip QR Codes
Marketing and social media guru Aaron Strout says quick-read codes are a thing of the past. When was the last time, if ever, you scanned a QR code? Skip it. People want to know who you are, what you do, and what you can do for them.
Look at a proof of your business cards before you print them. If you didn’t know you, would you know what you do and how to reach you? A card with only a name, phone number and email address is not enough.