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  • Paul Webster

Your business card says a lot about you

Updated: Jan 5

You meet someone interesting at a networking event, conference or exhibition, you exchange cards, get back to your office and file it away – or throw it in a drawer with many others. Three months later, you think who was that person I met a while back? I would like to talk to them. You shuffle through the cards and nothing comes to mind.

Maybe you should be more careful with your filing, but maybe, maybe, your interesting contact could have been more innovative, more creative, more practical with the design and production of his business card.

There are so many mistakes people make with their business cards. They need to stand out, be memorable, have all the right contact information, be readable, have good quality design and paper, be the right size. There are so many issues to consider if they are to be memorable.

The business card is often the first tangible contact you have with a new contact, so laying out the name and contact details yourself rather than spending a few pounds with a good designer is not advisable.

Using an online printer who churns cards out by the thousand without sufficient regard to design or paper quality gives the wrong impression. It’s usually obvious and immediately gives the impression that they were done it ’on the cheap’.

When considering the size of the card, it is best to avoid unusual sizes. They might stand out when you hand them out, but they are not welcome when you come to file them. They might get folded or cut to size just to fit into a pack…or discarded, if you will excuse the pun.

How much information do you put on the card? Personally, I like to know where people live as I prefer to do business locally if possible. I know some small business people don’t like others to know they work from home, but these days, that’s hardly an issue, or maybe it’s just that they like their privacy, but at least a town name would be useful.

I still see too many business cards that have the information printed far too small or in a very pale colour. This makes the wording very difficult to read. Bear in mind the darkness of some rooms where they are handed over and frankly it’s just irritating. I like to be able to see all the contact details clearly.

Why not use both sides of the card? The main contact details can go on the front with a bit more information about what you do on the back. That way, the card becomes more of a promotional tool as well as a simple business card.

One other useful option I feel, is a head shot on the front. I know some people shy away from this, and I resisted it for a while, but I feel it is very useful in helping people you have met just briefly to remember who you are.

So, to sum up, your business card does say a lot about you – by way of its quality, its information and the way the information is displayed. Be memorable and stand out.


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