A business card functions as an image of the company it represents. Such an image has potential massive staying power, since a single card can be retained for future reference, placed in a Rolodex, placed on a bulletin board, refrigerator, or under glass on a desk. Business cards are mobile, traveling in wallets and briefcases, and passed along to friends and colleagues of a prospect. Many eyes will likely fall upon each business card you distribute. Consider rethinking your business card by employing the following five attributes: clarity, multi-purpose, positive, eye-catching, and memorable.
Clarity: Busy prospects don’t have time for the subtle, nor do they respond well to a card filled with superfluous clutter. So don’t overwhelm. Incorporate only your essential details on the front side of your business card. Choose a single, readable font for your name, company name, and contact information. Don’t use both a company logo and other graphics. Use keywords and brief taglines to describe what products and services you offer. If you must add more information, print double-sided cards.
Multi-Purpose: Provide your prospects and returning customers with a card that functions both as a consistent reminder of your business as well as a practical tool. Consider printing a calendar, or even better, something that relates to your business but can be useful to customers, too. For instance, a travel agent might print current international exchange rates or a world time zone chart on the back of their card. A grocery or office supply store could offer a handy weights and measures list, or a regular maintenance calendar for an auto repair shop. Use your imagination here, think about what practical information you would find useful, and offer it to your customers. If your business provides estimates for parts and labor, use the other side of your card as a notecard, or turn your card into a coupon, inviting potential customers to take advanrtage of a discount on their first or subsequent visits, or punch the card each time as inventive for future discounts. By making your business cards practical, prospects will come to associate your business with thoughtfulness and convenience, and all they need to do to reach you is flip the card over!
Creativity: Consider the use of non-traditional colors, textures, and format. The right choice will depend upon the type of service you offer. Traditional black ink on white will always be respectable, and in some professions, such as law, the traditional will likely remain the standard.If you feel your profession has the flexibility, try using color and design to create a standout image for your business. A carpenter might choose a wood-grain background, a lace-textured card for a lingerie shop, or crayon-color font for a business specializing in children’s parties.
Eye-catching: Use one side of your card as a billboard, featuring vivid color, a photo or other graphic, and your company’s motto or a brief memorable statement that gets right to the point of what you do and how well you do it. Since your name and details will be on the back, you can use a somewhat larger font on the “billboard” side, and use a font that makes an impact.
Memorable: Here is where you can really develop a business card’s staying power. Create a card that keeps them coming back! Some of the same ideas used in the multi-purpose category apply here, but there are even more ways to make you and your business memorable. Consider printing your business card on a notepad. Just use a lighter weight of paper and you’ve got a pad of sticky notes that not only will be seen and used frequently, but will often wind up in the hands of other potential customers. To maximize your audience, leave a note pad on a waiting room table, at reception, customer service desks, etc. Use your company’s logo, or if you don’t have one, invest in the services of a graphic artist. The human mind more often than not responds to and remembers images more quickly than words. By consistently using a logo on your business cards, your company becomes memorable more quickly. Print some business cards on sticker paper or onto magnetic strips, and your name and image will appear in a wide variety of viewing locations.
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