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Designing Your Business Cards:
When it comes to designing and printing your business cards, there are several things to take into consideration. Your business card is a very important part of your branding, and you’ll want it to reflect your business in the best way possible. Here are some tips and rules for making the most of your business card that I’ve learned after several years in the marketing industry.
What to Do:
-Display your logo prominently and make sure people can read it very well.
-Include all of your contact information including links to your social networks so people can connect.
-Use at least one photo. Whether it’s a professional head shot or a photo of your products, statistics show that people are more likely to hang on to a business card with a photo. In addition, if you do a lot of networking events or craft fairs, you’ll know how easy it can be to end up with handfuls of business cards by the end of the night. Make yours stand out among the rest AND remind people about you and your business.
-Consider it an investment that is worth it. You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get quality, but think twice before going with the “Free” offers from companies that may end up costing you more in the end (with hidden fees or low quality).
-Don’t limit yourself to a cheap, clip-arty template that many other people are using just because it’s cheap. Go with a custom design so that your business stands out.
-Do spell check your business cards before having them printed. There is nothing more unprofessional than handing out a business card where something is crossed out and re-written. That tells people you don’t take yourself very seriously.
What NOT to do:
-Don’t forget to use both sides of the card. The back should NEVER be left blank! Business cards only allow so much space, so use it wisely and to your advantage.
-Don’t make it too cluttered. There is a fine line between boring and overkill. You want to be somewhere in the middle. Information about how to contact you, what you do, and a visual are perfect.
-Don’t use a promo code or coupon code that is short term unless you plan to give away all of your cards within that time frame. Handing out business cards with an expired promo offer will discourage potential customers from doing business with you because they will fail to have their expectations met.
-Don’t use cheap quality paper. This should be obvious, but if you’re new to the business world, you may not realize the difference.
-Designing your own cards? Don’t forget about the bleed area. Make sure your design is within the proper dimensions so that the words or images aren’t cut off when printed.
-Don’t use low-resolution images. This could make the final product show up grainy or blurry.
What kind of business card is best for someone on a budget?
There are three basic types of business cards:
1) Business cards that you print yourself at home on your printer with a kit from a local office supply store (and tear off along the perforated edges).
2) Business cards that you get from one of those mass-suppliers because they are “Free” or super cheap (or so it seems). These often use boring templates.
3) Business cards that you get from a legitimate printing company that tells it like it is and doesn’t try to lure you in with “free” or “cheap.” These are custom designs that are just for you and 100% unique to your business.
Put all three of these types side by side and the third will ALWAYS stand out and look and feel much better. Better business cards mean better branding for your business, which is ultimately the goal. If you take your own business seriously, others will, too.
Still not sure? Ask for samples before you order to see for yourself!
Business Card Q&A (commonly asked questions):
What makes a business card “great”?
- A great business card should have only information about YOUR business. If you have to pay extra to remove the print companies logo, that’s not good.
- A great business card should feel like a good business card, not super thin and flimsy. Those don’t hold up well over time and are the first to be thrown away.
- A great business card should be full-color, double sided. If you have to limit either of these options, you may want to look elsewhere or you’re just wasting your money.
- A great business card should have the cost clearly spelled out for you before you go through the process and find out there are hidden fees. If it’s “free” it means you’re going to pay for something else down the line. Always find out the end cost first and then decide if it’s worth it.
Q. “What if I want to make my own?”
A. Thinking about printing yourself? Did you know the amount of money you spend on a kit of business cards and ink will probably cost you MORE than if you order professional cards from a company? Ask me for details!
10 Best Places to hand out your business cards:
1. Networking events, high school reunions, business meetings, co-workers in the break room, etc.
2. Include them in every order. One for your customer and a couple for their friends! Word of mouth is always a great way to get new customers!
3. Share with family and friends. Someone always knows someone who might want one of your products. If they have your business cards handy, it will be easy to pass your info along!
4. Drop your business cards in those jars at restaurants to “win a free lunch.” You never know, the restaurant may like your products!
5. Keep some in your car, purse, etc. You never know when you’ll need to hand some out.
6. Pass them out to people you meet at the airport, library, grocery store, etc.
7. Leave them at the doctor’s office or hair salon on the magazine tables.
8. Ask local businesses if you can leave a stack behind. Many local businesses support other local businesses and have tables just for this.
9. Pin a few up on bulletin boards at colleges, post offices, community centers, etc.
10. Craft fairs. Trade shows. Have a stack on your table. Mix and mingle with other vendors and share your business card. You can probably keep in touch with one another and keep each other posted about other events coming up.