Even in this digital age there is still a place for business cards. It’s a visual and physical reminder of you, not just a conduit for personal details – although those are important – but also an extension of your brand’s personality. But the giving and receiving of business cards is ritualistic, and many are put into pockets or wallets without much thought, never to be looked at again. That’s why designing and printing great looking cards is so important. You’d be surprised at how many companies and individuals make mistakes when designing and printing business cards. Moreover, they often make the same mistakes. Here are some examples you can avoid.
Forgetting to Include Information
Your card is your point of contact for many people you meet, whether it’s in meetings or at trade shows or any other place you may encounter potential customers. It doesn’t matter how beautifully designed your card is – if it is missing information it doesn’t serve its purpose. Be sure to include your name, any telephone numbers – or fax numbers if you still use them – email address, company website etc. If your postal address is relevant then include that. And if you have a specific job title it may be an idea to put that on as well. Only include social media handles if your content is professional and related to your business.
You’ve seen one business card, you’ve seen them all right? It may seem that way – most cards feature fairly generic design, and even with company logos they fail to leap out of a pile of other cards. Eye popping, unique designs, great material, and colours / logos that reflect your brand are a must. Printed promotional materials are still popular and effective today, and most websites feature sophisticated templates which help you design your perfect business card. There is no excuse for a boring looking card!
It’s worth checking and refreshing your cards once in a while. There is nothing more unprofessional than including outdated information such as obsolete email addresses or phone numbers. Likewise – think about how much of a turn off it would be to find misprints and typos on a business card. Studies show that we are far less likely to contact someone who has a card full of errors. With cards more affordable than ever to print, there is no reason to have any mistakes.
Another turn off is a cheap feeling card. One that flops around like a regular piece of paper will be easily lost and reflects poorly on your business. As mentioned, business cards are more affordable than ever, so there is little point trying to economise further to the detriment of you and your brand’s image. Good stock paper is essential, as is ink that won’t run if wet. A poor quality card makes your business look poor quality too, so dont scrimp on the paper.
Keep it Concise
We spoke about having the correct information on the card. A mistake many companies make is to put too much information on there. When designing try to be as concise as possible. No one wants to read through a copy on a business card, they want to be able to access the information they need, quickly. Therefore the text should be uncluttered and easily legible – if you have more information you absolutely must put on there, you can always print on the back.
When designing your card you have to keep in mind how it will look when it is actually printed. In particular font size. Many people try to squeeze more info onto their cards with tiny fonts, but a potential customer will usually discard the card rather than squint at it. A good guide is to have the font between 8 and 9 points – clearly legible but still small enough to print the information you require. If your card has an image on it, it must be high quality – 300dpi. Unclear or badly pixelated images make you look cheap and unprofessional.
Business cards are still an effective way to market yourself and your business. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll have a card you’ll be proud to give out, and one that will maximise your chances of business success.