Business cards are still a valuable marketing tool, even in these days of LinkedIn and social media. When you’re designing your business card, put some thought into it. You want to be sure that the cards are working for you. Are your cards different than the norm? Do they channel your website or brand guideline? Do your business card answer questions, or raise them? Here are three ways to make sure you create fabulous business cards.
1. Make the Conscious Effort to be Different
You should know what the industry standard is for your profession. Some professions favor the effortless business look. Others, like artists or entertainment industry cards, need something eye-catching and experimental. Look through the cards you’ve collected (you have been networking, haven’t you?) and see what’s the same about them. Maybe they all have similar color schemes, rounded edges, or similar fonts. Find what seems to be very common. Then, make the conscious choice to step outside of those boundaries.
You should make sure that you’re not taking things to the point where they damage your card. You shouldn’t use a font that’s hard to read, even though it would be different. If it seems that most cards use a formal, serifed font, something sans serif could be a break for the eyes. If black and white dominate, consider a pop of color on your card. Take the expectations for your industry and tweak them until you have something that fits your vision and stands out from the crowd.
2. Channel Your Website
If you love your website, why not take it a step further? Typically, when you’re drafting a website, you finalize things like your brand style guide. Take that same branding and apply it to your card. Keep everything consistent with your online branding, including the font. Even using the same brand colors works to connect your business cards to your website. As a result, it enforces your brand and clearly links your work with your online and in-person presence.
3. Give Them Almost Everything They Want
When someone looks at your business cards, they want to know who you are, what you do, and how to get a hold of you. These are straightforward goals. You should definitely make sure that you include all of that information. After all, if they have to do any extra work to find your phone number or email address, it would be easier for them to reach for someone else’s card. However, is there room on your card to raise a little more curiosity? A link to something important that you’ve done, for example, a gallery of your photographs, can create a little more interest in who you are and what you’re doing. Assuming your attention-getter is related to the business you do, it can drive someone’s interest in working with you.
Amazing business cards aren’t one size fits all. You have to know your industry, and how you can stand out in a crowd. That’s the most important thing to do. Once you have that, make sure that your card is doing more to get someone’s attention. If you’re stuck, just look at your branding as a style guide. You should find great inspiration there.