When it comes to networking, nothing is more ubiquitous than a well designed business card. Although it does not take a lot of effort to compose a printed card, creating the right one could be the missing ingredient that takes you and your brand to new heights! These quick tips could help you stay a step ahead and be prepared; there's a reason business cards have never gone out of style.
In the corporate world, attention to detail is essential, even more so is making a lasting impression. You will seldom work in any company without hearing about the importance of networking and client growth, and this is unlikely to change amongst fast paced business landscapes that are becoming increasingly digitised; like your work calendar and agenda, or aspects of your free time such as your love life. Still, the one thing that won’t be going digital any-time soon is a business card. Yes, that little strip of paper buried at the bottom of your briefcase remains significant just as it has been around for some time, although back in the 17th century it was commonly referred to as a ‘visiting’ card.
Internationally business cards are often viewed as formal introductions of oneself to encourage auspicious correspondence and respect. Accordingly, it is not uncommon to receive business cards with both hands, just as it can be considered improper etiquette to put a card away upon receiving it or carrying loose cards without a dedicated card holder. Good rule of thumb is to only present business cards that are in pristine condition, to reflect your high level of professionalism and impress all those you conduct business with. For example, you will definitely be doing yourself a favour by briefly googling the correct business etiquette if you’re conducting activities in other countries. Considering this, it is worth investing in a lightweight but sturdy card holder that you can easily carry in your pocket; you never know where your next opportunity will arise and you do not want to miss out on any even if you are caught off guard. it is evident that business cards are not merely just tools to spread your contact information, but rather an opportunity to go beyond the scripted marketing jargon and to connect with like-minded prospects on a deeper level.
As convenient as digital networking can be, you’re better off sharing a physical business card you can be proud of. Honestly speaking, it is more personal and saves time as nothing leaves a staler taste in one’s mouth than hastily scribbling your contact details on a serviette when you find your phone is out of battery. If that scenario seems all too familiar or your main strategy is waiting to receive one’s card, you’re unlikely to entice potential clients and partners of your team's qualities, nor improve your company’s development and market opportunities. Thus, what should your business card include? This will obviously vary depending on your profession, however there are certain elements that are useful to keep in mind.
- Firstly, before concerning yourself with anything else, ensure you have a high definition image of your company logo. This is fundamental since your business card is an extension of your brand, meaning it should not be removed from that context. Furthermore, including a slogan, business promise or website link will help emphasise this notion, which is why some prefer to dedicate one whole side of their card to the logo and slogan.
- Secondly, your full name and functioning title are essential. You may wish to adjust this depending on how you prefer to be addressed; professionals in particular like to know exactly who they could be contacting.
- Thirdly, it is useful to include relevant contact information such as your email, land-line and possibly even your mobile. In some cases, your physical address, social media handles or ‘quick response’ codes may also be applicable. Nevertheless, whatever your preference, ‘bold’ the form of contact you favour and avoid overcrowding your design.
- Lastly, one important detail that is often overlooked is the inclusion of a professional self-picture. Some argue this is not necessary, yet considering demanding situations like events and business meetings where you interact with considerable amounts of people, including a recognisable picture of yourself can make all the difference (especially as many do not think to do this, which will only help you stand out and others remember you).
With a large variety of flexible ways to order business cards online, as well as quality options that can be organised for a cheap price, you have substantial freedom to design your ideal card. However, since business cards can be a means of marketing, it helps to make them consistent with aspects of your company by conveying elements of your service, operations and industry sector within the design of your cards. This can be reflected in the shape, size, paper type and finish of the business cards you organise. You should ask yourself, “how does my profession influence my business card?” This is worth noting because you will be able to make better use of all available options when designing your cards. Such as, should they have square or rounded edges or should it be foldable? If you aim to send out business cards frequently it may be useful to opt for a foldable option, as it could double as a miniature calendar for example that is practical to clients and can keep customers thinking of your brand. Such deliberations will be enhanced by choosing a durable paper type that does not look or feel cheap because this is likely to be unconvincing and will ultimately leave a negative impression. These factors could also influence how you decide on the right finish, since ‘spot UV’ can help emphasise your logo by adding a glossy coating, while keeping your business cards uncoated gives recipients the ability to note down any additional details that come up in conversation. That being said, considering the sizes and styles of your font is a must; colours or a particular finish could diminish the contrast, yet is crucial that your card is legible. With all this mind, scour all the possible printing options available to make sure you get the most out of your purchase. You can save a lot of money when you print in high volumes, but for this to be satisfying you’ll want a suitable card. If well thought out, your business cards can be incredibly effective and will successfully enhance your corporate relations and business prospects.