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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Van Derven

Doing It Right – 4 Ways to Design an Effective Business Card

What is your business card? It is literally your calling card. It’s what people associate with you when you are not face-to-face with them. It’s all your information conveniently located in one place for someone (often a complete stranger) to reach you. Aside from your smile and handshake, your business card is your first impression.

And your business card sticks around longer than your smile or your handshake.

What do people do when they receive your card? Do they exclaim that they’ve never seen a card like it before? Do they stuff it away in their wallet to become another forgotten, tattered scrap of paper for them to jot on when needed?

You need a card that’s more than scrap paper. You need a card that distinguishes itself.

Anybody can pass out a business card. It’s not hard. With companies like Vista Print, anyone with $9.99 and some contact information can obtain 500 business cards at the click of a mouse. However, few people can pass out an engaging, effective marketing tool on a standard 3.5 x 2 inch space.

How can YOU make your business card better? Here are four ways to DO IT RIGHT. Turn your business card into an effective tool to market yourself and watch it help your business grow!

1. Represent what your business is. Company name is not enough. With a concise message, your card, whether straightforward or subtle, can describe your business and tell your audience what you do (showcase your skills!) and what kind of service you offer, even if you aren’t there to hand out the card yourself. Your message can be a short sentence or phrase, or it can be completely wordless (A business card shaped like a skateboard doesn’t need to use the word “skateboard” on the card for its recipient to figure out the business just might have something to do with skateboarding). In a world of short attention spans, it is important for your card to make your business type quickly recognizable or people may quickly lose interest.

2. Choose a card style that’s suitable for your business, industry and your personal style. expands on the differences between basic cards, picture cards, tactile cards, multipurpose cards, and cards that are more outside-the-box. It is important to figure out which card design is going to advertise your purpose in a way that is well-received by your target audience while representing who you are. For example, if you are an artist offering creative services in any way, your creativity should be evident with a glance at your business card.

3. Choose a style that captivates your target audience. Determine who you want your audience to be, get to know what they are looking for and model your business card from that information. As a new holistic café that specializes in tasty meat alternatives, would you hand out beef jerky business cards to target an audience of vegans? Hopefully not. But if you’re a savvy bike repair shop, a business card that doubles as a tire patch captures your specific audience and presents a clear message right off the bat: I’ve got what you need.

4. Include all of your contact information. Include at least one phone number, an email address, even a fax number when appropriate. Different people have preferred mediums of communication, and you don’t want to let anyone fall through the cracks because you didn’t offer them the right way to reach you. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest account, put your username URL or a QR reader linked to your account on your business card to build your social following. In this instance, less is not more. More is more. Why?

9 out of 10 times, the recipient of your business card will have one of those social mediums and will take interest in checking out what you have going on. However, if one of your social media pages has not been set up very well, do not advertise it on your business card. Remember, first impressions of your brand are key.

Utilize these four tips to kick start your new business card design and see how effectively marketing through a well-planned business card will drive business for you!

Already have an awesome business card? Snap a pic and share it on our Facebook page… We love to show off examples of people who are doing it right!

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