I’ve had a few emails in from readers about business cards since my tips for holiday networking post- while I don’t promise to be an expert I can share my own experiences. From ordering the cards to giving them out, there are a few different things that need to be considered and thought about. Your business card represents you (and your blog/ business), and you shouldn’t just throw out the first card you find because it is convenient!
If you work for a larger company, you probably have standard business cards that your department admin assistant will order for you with your title and name. While it is a little boring, it is also nice to know that everything is taken care of and you don’t have any decisions to make. However, if you have a blog or any sort of business of your own, you will probably need a business card. While it is quite exciting to hold your own card, it also feels slightly unnerving to actually order them!
1) Think About the Size and Shape of Your Business Card
I am going to be 100% honest- if you have rounded corners on your business card, or it isn’t in the standard shape, I am not keeping it. It is as simple as that. I don’t care if you think it is creative and fun and shows how whimsical you are, it doesn’t fit into a standard business card holder. (Rounded corners make it a right pain when you are looking through a stack of cards.) Think about how important to you it is to be creative with your business card shape and size. If it is quite important to you, and you are okay with some people not keeping it (or taking it), go for it! You can get creative with the design, colours, finish and card stock, so you have options there but it is something to think on.
2) What Info Needs to Be Included
With a million different forms of social media, there are 14 different places online to find any of us at any given moment. Depending on the type of business that you have, you will need to decide what information you want to include on your business card. If you have a physical location, obviously your address and telephone number should be listed, as well as your website. After that, I would choose your top 2-3 online profiles to feature. These would be the places that you answer the fastest and are the most active. Don’t dump 7 different profiles on them, because nothing will stand out!
3) What is Your Current Branding?
It can be tempting to take the first design that catches your eye on Vistaprint or Moo, but keep your current branding in mind. What colours are featured in your marketing materials and website? What style of fonts do you use? Do you have a tagline? What is always featured? For me, I specifically wanted “An Historian About Town” featured several times on my business card. Because I have a slightly longer blog name, I wanted it to repeated to put it their head. It had to have red, as that is my main colour in my theme. I do have a tagline which I also wanted featured (History in the Making). Spend a few days playing around with designs, and comparing it to all of your current materials!
4) Pay Attention to When People Give Them Out
Giving out your business card is something of an art form. If someone’s arms are clearly full or they are obviously distracted, it isn’t a good time to give them one. If someone is discussing something entirely different, it isn’t the time. Pay attention to when other people give out their cards, and how they are doing it. If you are at a networking event, make sure that their hands aren’t busy with glasses and plates (because they may not have anywhere to put it). If you are out in public, make sure that you have properly introduced yourself before giving the card. Don’t just push them into hands to hope that something sticks, be smart about it!