Despite what some may think, the business card has not become a vestigial part of the business world, rather it has evolved. It’s a defining way to advertise yourself, to let people know exactly who you are, what you do, and how they can contact you. The major difference between the business card of today and the business card of 20 years ago isn’t huge, but it is significant enough to note.
An Evolving Form
That significant difference is the integration of social media. No longer is there only a simple contact number and address. You can give clients, potential clients, and others tons of options to communicate directly with you. You can include your business web address and direct them to more information or a professional portfolio, you can direct them to your social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter, or you can include a QR code that when scanned takes them directly to the sites you want them to see. My writing portfolio – which I posted on a personal website – always receives views after I hand out my card.
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More important than what is on the card is the presentation of the card itself. Though the idea of business card remains relevant, old-fashioned rectangles of white cardboard do not. What does remain relevant however is creativity and originality. You want something that defines you or your business as soon as you offer it to someone. You want to make an impression before the words on the card are ever read.
Do You Really Need a Business Card?
Well, if you’re anything like me, it’s a very important question to ask. When I was younger and fresh into one of my first jobs after getting my undergraduate degree, I decided I wanted a business card. I went with a trendy, transparent plastic look. The text featuring everything you’d expect was printed in a silvery foil. I designed the card to look like something out of a sci-fi movie and guess what? I succeeded and for the 50 I ordered, the process only required an entire paycheck (and a half). Although they were expensive it was one of these cards that helped me land a better job a few months later!
Things to Keep in Mind:
- Don’t spend your money (if your employer isn’t ponying up for cards) until you know they’ll be a worthwhile investment. You don’t want them printed only to be outdated in two months.
- Keep it clean. Don’t overdesign it and create confusion. You want to capture attention and ensure the person you give the card to doesn’t throw it away.
- Point customers in the right direction. Maximize the space and direct them to where their eyes or action will be the most effective, whether it’s a business website or Facebook.
- Be creative. Take what you do and distill it down to that tiny space. Have a surf shop? Make your business cards tiny surfboards. Run a computer repair shop? Print your contact info on a little circuit board. A writer? Make it a miniscule book. And on and on.
This article was provided by Annie Harrington – a small business owner, writer, and amateur photographer. In her free time she enjoys writing about ways other business owners can positively impact their brand image with unique poster printing and car decals.