The Ultimate Guide to Business Cards

The Ultimate Guide to Business Cards


The Ultimate Guide to Personal Business Cards

As long as business is conducted face to face, business cards will have an important role to play. Learn more about everything you will ever need to know about personal business cards.

First impressions are important. Did you know that it takes about 7 seconds to grab someone's attention?

Of course, that is not very many, so those 7 seconds are very crucial to standing out and getting people to form the right judgments about you.

People tend to assume that the outside reflects the inside and they want to be in the hands of people they trust. The very first thing people notice is appearance, which just about fills those 7 seconds of attention.

People are very image and symbol driven, so your company's business cards must be eye-catching, professional, and trustworthy. Design, font, and color must match your company's purpose.

Usually, simplicity is better because attention spans are short. You want to be able to convey your services in the least amount of words possible. It is important to establish consistency in your designs across all stationary because this builds your company's brand.

Consistency means noticeability because something seen multiple times is familiar and people can easily identify with you. Simplicity is also good because you don't want your personal business cards design to distract from the actual information you are conveying.

Work on Building Your Brand

Your business card is about more than just providing your basic contact information; it's also there so that you can begin establishing your brand among potential customers.

If your business card has a generic appearance, then its quite possibly going to blend in with the many other business cards that your audience might get handed on a regular basis.

If it is aligned with the brand that you are working on building, however, it can go further toward helping you establish yourself as a household name.

Show off Your Professional Side

Anyone can order simple business cards from a basic template. The truth is that they just don't look very professional. Regardless of the industry that you are involved in, professionalism is important.

By creating the best and most distinguished business cards that you can, you can show the world that you are a true professional.

Creating a Good Business Card

Whether you are an independent business person or a small company, you want to be sure that your business cards and stationery demonstrate that you pay attention to detail by creating a connected and consistent look.

These are items that will establish your presence with the customer. Show them that you are a professional with a sense of design and style. Here are three tips to get you started as you begin the design process.

1. Create a Cohesive Look and Feel

Be sure that your business card and stationery design are an extension of your branding. If your website has a particular color palette or logo, be sure that these items are reflected here too.
Remember that anything that leaves your office should be consistent in design, look and feel.

This will make it easier for clients and companies to remember you.

2. Keep Your Design Fresh and up to Date

What looked great 10 years ago is probably out of style today. Look at the color combinations that are popular today and see if they reflect your business' brand or identity.

For instance, if your company focuses on eco-travel and tourism, you will want your card to capture the essence of what you promoting.

Think blues and greens or other earth tones or a fun reflection of the areas of the areas you are promoting like using a local animal or plant on your business card.

3. Use Appropriate Fonts and Wording

You may think it is cool to use a funky font or crazy title but remember that many people will only glance at your card for a few moments before moving on. Keep the font easy to read and only use the wording that helps describe you and/or your company.

A catchy phrase or motto will work just fine.

Remember, for consistency, you should think about carrying this into your other products as well.

Your business cards and are important forward facing products that your clients and potential clients see regularly. You want to leave them with a great impression of you and your company.

Who Are You Anyway?

Your imaging shouldn't just answer "Who am I?" It should answer "Who am I to my customer?"
You spend your hard-earned money on marketing and advertising so that should be easy to answer, right?

If that prolonged pause just now is telling you that perhaps you could be stronger in your messaging and how your marketing sets you apart from your competition, it may be time for a marketing checkup.

That, like any important project, begins with research that dreaded long, hard look in the mirror.

Key Areas to Review

Don't forget to analyze your services. What makes you money? What are you good at? Excellent at?

What areas could use further development? What's new? What is your message?

Some message examples include, "We offer quick service at fair prices," "We take pride in every job," "We offer award-winning landscape projects," or "We work till we get it right."

So what is yours? Who are you? Who do you want your customer to think you are? Trusted? Friendly? Dependable? Can you deliver on that?

Identify your key market or customer. Who is your current customer? Has that profile changed over time or stayed the same? Is it geographic?

Is there a new geography in your neighborhood you should be addressing? What changes in your industry have you seen?

What is important to your customer? Think about what objections you get when selling your services, and the reasons given when you lose a client. Is it time to review services offered or pricing to remain profitable or competitive?

How are you protecting your coveted customers from being enticed away by the competition? Do you need to add a measure of value to current clients to keep them loyal? Are you keeping in contact with them so they know you're still around and all the things you offer?

Current Marketing

What are you doing? Does it accurately list all your current products and services, awards and current customer reviews?

When was it last updated? Does it excite you? Could it be better?

How are you protecting your coveted customer from being enticed away by the competition? Do you need to add a measure of value to current clients to keep them loyal? Are you keeping in contact with them so they know you're still around and all the things you offer?

What Is the Competition Doing?

Look around and see what your customer is seeing. You may come away feeling like you are very much on top of the game and that is certainly a good feeling.

If you don't, what are competitors doing that you seem to be missing? Do they list services that you also provide but don't include in your marketing? Are they addressing current trends that you are not?

What the Design Says About You

Your business card and stationery design represent your company through the mental impressions it leaves with your clients while establishing your company's identity.

Establishes Identity

Your customer makes a subconscious connection every time they see your logo. These logos are symbols that carry a lot of power. They project a lot of information without saying anything.

Have you heard the old phrase, "A picture is worth a thousand words"?

Let's show you an example.

Take a breath and close your eyes for a moment. When you see McDonald's Golden Arches, how does it make you feel? Hungry? Maybe you need to go get a Big Mac right now!

Now, close your eyes and envision the Nazi Swastika. How does that make you feel? When you Choose your logo, you want to make sure your project the right image. The logo along with the overall stationary design is going to leave an impression on your client.

Impressions

Your business card is your first impression. It reveals many little details about how you operate.

Your Attention to Detail

A business card that looks sloppy, subconsciously reveals that you run a sloppy business. Perhaps it's hard to read; or maybe, important information is missing.

Did you accidentally misspell a title? Is your contact information up-to-date?

Are You Cheap or Generous?

The answer to this question is shown not only by the quality of the paper but the overall quality of the design. If you re stingy with the cost of your card, you'll be stingy with your client.

Are You Creative or Dull?

If your company's business cards and stationary is dull than you are too.

The last impression is made through the heading on your billing statement. It is essential to consider how it makes your client feel. Consider the GEICO commercial. That Gecko projects an image of happiness. That Gecko inspires payment.

Important Points to Ponder Regarding Business Cards Design

Take a moment to consider the business cards that you have collected from your various shopping trips, doctor visits, and vacation tours.

Are there any that stand out in your mind? Which ones do you keep? The website Wallet Gear suggests some ways to keep and carry cards. Do you put cards in a file that fits in a briefcase, or maybe a purse?

A business card file could be, a small metal box, a plastic folder with card-sized segments, or a box under the bed.

There are advantages to your business card being put in a card file. That potential customer who uses a file is more likely to know where your card is when it is time to call a furniture salesman or a landscape artist; so maybe you don't want to deviate too much from a standard size, just in case he has a standard-sized card file.

A card that is too big might be more likely to be lost because your potential customer has to remember where she put it, and you know how way goes onto way. Your card ends up on the road less traveled.

Other Things to Consider

You want your card to be remembered. You want your card to remind your potential customer of you, not the other plumber, writer, doctor, or Congressional candidate, but

Utilize color, font, or unusual materials to evoke your image and your message.

The colors can be emotional or vibrant while the font and use of space should be professional, concise, and readable.

Depending on your line of work, graphics that use humor can make your card more memorable.

A card with big spaces on it gives you room to write something very important, which is a great reason for your potential customer to keep the card in the best possible place, a wallet that is always on his person.

An important thing to write could be a recipe for a great martini; it doesn't have to be relative to your business, it just has to be important to your customer. It's an opportunity to "customize" the card to that customer.

Your company design should summon an image compatible with your type of business. It should make a strong subliminal suggestion of professionalism.

Your card speaks for you after your customer has gone home. Keep these goals in mind, the card and design should make people remember you, and make sure that your phone number is easy to see and read.

Design Effective Personal Business Cards

If your personal business cards have unnecessary flair, potential clients are going to be looking at that rather than paying attention to what you do.

You've probably come across the many websites that allow you to customize a template and order your own business cards online.

Even though this can be a better choice than not having business cards at all, you're generally going to be much better off opting for a nice, distinguished business card versus a generic one.

Contact us to learn more about business cards.