Business Card Basics

Making a great first impression often begins with your business card. Your business card is typically the first of your marketing materials that a new client will see. It should clearly tell your client who you are and what you do at first glance.

A business card is a convenient way to introduce yourself at networking events, and it's key to passing your contact information along when you meet someone.

Important elements to include when designing your business card include:

- Your contact information, including your business mailing address. Including a mailing address greatly increases your credibility and makes you look much more established! If you're concerned about privacy, a Post Office box or mailbox is a great way to go.

- Your logo, as discussed in many of the other articles in our library.

- Strong secondary graphics and design elements, which we refer to as your visual vocabulary.

- A list of your services, which is especially important if you offer multiple services or if your business name doesn't specifically make clear what you do. Be concise when creating this list, so that all of the relevant information will fit on the business card. Combining these elements will result in a business card that does more than just pass along your contact information-it will also build your brand.

The best practices for using your business card include:

- First of all, be sure that you carry your cards with you at all times-keep a stack in your desk, your car, your briefcase or purse, and your wallet. This will ensure that you always have a card available when you meet someone who should have one!

- Take your business cards with you to business meetings, networking events, conferences, trade shows-everywhere you go that's business related. And be sure to take some with you to the gym, the grocery store-you never know where you'll meet a potential client.

- Don't pass business cards out at random-wait until you've made a connection with someone or until you've been asked for it. Making a connection with a prospect will lead to a sale far more often than just "dealing cards" to everyone you meet.

- Include a copy of your card with correspondence or packages-it automatically puts a "business spin" on all of the mail you send out. It also provides a backup return address, in case the envelope has been damaged or thrown away.

- Give stacks of your cards to business partners and other possible sources of referral and business partners, so that they can hand them out when they're telling people about your services-it makes the referral more likely to produce results.

Article Source:

Erin Ferree is a brand identity and marketing design strategist who creates big visibility for small businesses. Through her customized marketing and brand identity packages, Erin helps her clients discover their brand differentiators, then designs logos, business cards, and other marketing materials and websites to reflect that differentiation, as well as to increase credibility and memorability.