Business cards are still a great way to market your business, according to Thomas Ford, who covered the topic recently for Grow Smart Biz.
“A nice-looking business card not only shows professionalism but can also build your level of legitimacy and credibility,” he wrote. “Small and micro businesses rely on referrals more than any other business demographic, and business cards are an effective, inexpensive and long lasting channel for referrals and networking.”
Ford offered the following 10 tips for creating effective business cards:
1. Include the Right Information. “Make sure your website address is included regardless,” he wrote. “When no website is listed on a business card, it communicates one of two things: Either you have a website and were not forward-thinking enough to put it on your business card, or you don’t have a website, which raises serious legitimacy issues.”
2. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words. “It is highly recommended that you put a picture or image on your business card,” Ford wrote. “Studies have shown that people are more likely to keep a business card with a photo on it.”
3. Consistent Branding. “Make sure your business card has a look and feel that tells potential clients who you are and what you do,” he wrote. “Also, don’t forget about the aesthetics (colors, font choices, etc.) of your card. It is very important to ensure that there is consistency between your site’s branding and your card… Mismatched aesthetics can lead customers to believe they are at the wrong site and do not create the type of first impression one should strive for.”
4. Taglines Are Remembered. “A tagline is a one-sentence benefit statement and can prove extremely valuable for your business.” Ford wrote. “Their value builds for years, and over time, a good tagline can be your best and least expensive form of advertising. Make sure you include it on your business card.”
5. Material Matters. “Flimsy business cards do not impress prospective customers,” he wrote. “It shows poor quality, and a low-quality business card creates an impression of low-quality service.”
6. Don’t Be Stingy. “Printing a few hundred business cards has never been easier,” Ford wrote. “Order lots of cards, and give them all away. The more you hand out, the more opportunities you have to grow your business.”
7. Stand Out From the Pack. “This is perhaps your greatest challenge when designing a business card, and it is why I prefer to let the experts do it,” he wrote. “With so many amazing design options available today, there is no reason why you should be giving out a standard white business card.”
8. It’s All About the Plan. “Devise a plan for how you will distribute your cards,” Ford wrote. “You have plenty of opportunities. Take them to trade shows, tuck them inside of presentation folders, drop them in letters, and include them in packages and billing information to customers.”
9. More Is Less. “A business card holds your attention for mere seconds,” Ford wrote. “Not only does your information need to be presented to the reader in a clear and concise matter, but you’d better make sure all of the information can be read and comprehended on the first pass.”
10. Let the Experts Do It. “Your business card should represent the perfect image of your company,” he wrote. “A design that does not reflect what you do could have a negative impact on your business sales. That’s why I strongly believe designing your own business card design is not the right way to go.”
To read the complete Grow Smart Biz article, click here.