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Let’s start this post with a couple questions.
1. How many networking events do you go to?
2. How many business cards do you get at each event?
3. How many business cards do you remember?
Most business cards are generic and it most likely gets shuffled into other hundreds of cards that person may have or it may even got tossed away. Yes, your business card is a mean of advertising and is there to assist you in getting your name and your company’s name out there. Business cards should be your best friend. It is their most valuable marketing tool and an element to becoming unforgettable.
Here are three branding tips you could use to better your business card:
TIP #1: Use both sides
Why not use both sides of the business card? If you try to fit all the information on one side of the card, the reader will become overwhelmed and not read all the information, and then your card becoming tossed away and useless like most cards. There is no law stating that you need to use only one side. It is important to have all the information you want to give to a potential client or colleague on the card, so why not use both sides? Our suggestion would be having your logo, slogan and website on one side, and then your information on the other (photo, email, phone number, website [advertise your website as much as possible], social sites and mailing address). Now what I am suggesting isn’t the perfect business card to some, but it is one that has been successful in design, and remembrance. I’ve heard “wow” and/or “I love your card” each time I’ve handed my card out. So if you aren’t a skilled artist, or want that extra zing for your business card, find someone who will design one for you. Again, you want people to remember you, remember your business card, and more importantly, remember what you do.
If you want to put all your contact information on the front side of the card, give people a reason to hold on to your card. Print something unique on the back of it, i.e. a calendar, a list of your services, important measurements or anything relevant to your industry. Another great idea is to put “This is where we met” followed by a blank space, “This is what you thought of me” followed by a blank space and “when our next meeting is” followed by a blank space for people to fill out on the back of your card. If gives them an opportunity to jot down key words to remember you. Again, it is about using the back of your card, but make sure you do use the back of the card smart! You wan’t them to check out the back just as much as the front.
Tip # 2: Logo, Slogan, Description
If we need to describe to you what a logo is, stop reading this post, Google it and then come back. If you don’t have a logo, have a professional designer create your business logo. If you provide products or services that can be represented with a symbol (i.e., house painter, home builder, floral shop, restaurant, lawyer, dog grooming service, etc), the logo should symbolize that product or service in some way. Do not use clipart as your logo. Period. It should also be scalable for use on your business cards, as well as: letterhead, brochures, and your website. The logo is suppose to symbolize your company, so that the population will know your business that minute that they see your logo.
Print your slogan on your business card that answers the question “Why should I hire you” or “What makes you different from everyone else”. A catchy phrase or slogan insures people always associate a company name with their product or services. That’s called branding. The catchier the slogan, the easier it is to remember you. If what you do already isn’t immediately seem apparent from your business name, you should create a one-line slogan that will help people remember what you sell.
Finally, include a line about what you do. You’re slogan doesn’t necessarily say what you actually do. So many business cards don’t have any information about what either the company or the employee does. Big corporations can get away with doing that, well because they are well known. Small companies can’t. If there is no line to describe what you do, or someone else in the company, or what even what your business offers, how will they know what you offer? If you tell them your business and what you do, it’ll really help. Last thing you want to do is run into someone you gave your card to, and them ask “What is it that you do again?”
Tip # 3: The Shape
Yes that’s right, I said shape. If you are looking to stand out against your competitors, who says you have to have a boring, rectangle business card? For example, Lego has their business cards in the shape of…guess… a lego! Here are some examples of shapes of business cards for certain businesses: Furniture Store: Couch; Billiards Pool Hall: Pool Table; Framer: Picture Frame; Artists: Pallet; and etc. Thinking outside the box is the way to go when you are thinking about the design of your business card. If you have a logo, use the shape of the logo as the shape of your card. There are so many possibilities that can set your card aside from the competitors, so that when you hand someone a card, they will say “very cool!”. The only tip with this is to make sure that it will still fit in the person’s wallet!