Business cards used to be an important symbol of one’s importance. There was a time when only senior execs had cards to give out but, over time, they’ve become less exclusive. However, that doesn’t mean they’re no longer useful.
Despite the multitude of information sharing tools available in the electronic age, business cards remain the easiest way to exchange contact information. In some cultures, particularly throughout Asia, the exchanging of business cards remains an important tradition and show of mutual respect. I remember that on my first trip to Asia, business cards were considered to be an important form of personal identification – almost akin to a driver’s license or other official document.
Great design matters
Choosing a nice design for your business cards that stands out is important. Given that most cards look very similar, having something that stands out can help people remember you and find you later.
My suggestion is to spend a little extra and have your cards printed on high quality stock. Even better, consider alternatives to paper/cardboard such as vinyl or plastic.
Think about colours, typefaces and orientation. This is a chance for you to show the world that you’re creative. There’s no rule that says the card needs to be laid out in landscape orientation using Times New Roman.
If you’re looking for some ideas, take a look at some of these for inspiration.
Where do you get them?
There are dozens of places both online and in the real world that will hale you design and print business cards.
I’ve used Vitasprint a few times as they allow me to upload my own design, choose the stock and receive delivery promptly. The only thing that I found really annoying was that you’ll be inundated with “special offers” once you’re a customer. However, you can easily unsubscribe from those emails.
Don’t forget your online profile
If you’re not already on LinkedIn, I suggest you really need to be. If nothing else, it’s a great place to retain a live curriculum vitae that can be easily found and shared. I use an app called Evernote Hello on my iPhone that scans business cards, reads the details and sends my details to them.
If you have a blog, make sure that the address is listed as well as your business’ address. If you have a public Facebook presence or Twitter account – put those on as well. In this day and age, communications are multi-channel. Make it easy for your contacts to find you.
Check before printing
Always get your business cards proof-read before sending them to the printer. There’s nothing worse than getting them back from the printers and finding an embarrassing tpyo!