Virtually everyday I hand out my business card to someone. Granted, I’m an admitted networker, see handing out my card as a great opportunity for a connection and I view my card as a strong marketing asset. Today, in the process of two meetings, I collected four new business cards. Three of those four were just embarrassing. Was it the perforated edges? The flimsy card stock? The cheesy, free template? Yes, it was all those aspects and more.
How many times have you come home with a stack of cards from an event and can’t remember the face or conversation? Since these cards are our most common “transaction” at business events, I offer you the top five ways to make your card memorable.
- Buy heavy card stock – A flimsy card not only says I might have printed this on my inkjet printer, but it also doesn’t give a great impression of your business quality. Not to mention if I put it in my coat or pants pocket, it’s easily folded or crushed. Personally, I use OvernightPrints.com for my card printing and they always use great, firm (15 pt) card stock.
- Design matters – If you’ve ever had a card where people compliment your card, you know why design matters. There are oodles of freelance designers who can design your business card for an inexpensive price or you can try an online site where designers compete, such as DesignOutpost or 99Designs. Personally, I use Heigl Creative for my print designs and while some of my businesses haven’t survived, his designs are always great. (Extra tip: never, ever, ever use clip art)
- Info first, pitch later – No one likes a presenter who reads from a presentation or has 50 slides of bullet points and your card should be the same way. If you want to make a quick and positive impression, why fill your card with bullets and sales pitches? Make sure your designer “highlights” your name and preferred number/email. Providing the details to follow up is your card’s purpose, right? Once you get the follow up meeting… THEN give the full pitch. See #5 if you’re dead set on printing your pitch.
- Don’t Use Whiteout - It seems over 80% of all cards I get handed have a white background. An easy trick is to just have something that ISN’T white. If your logo is green, invert it to white and make the card green. When someone hunts through a stack of white, they’ll stop just to see what looks a little different.
- Scratch your own back – A commonly missed opportunity is to leave the back of the card blank. I know some penny pinchers will complain about the extra cost, but the opportunity cost are much higher than the printing. Some of the most memorable cards I’ve ever seen have included testimonials, startling statistics, software screen shots, preferred ways of following up and even the top three ways a person can help ME make more connections (I still have that card). The back of the card is prime real estate and if nothing else, put lines for the recipient to jot some notes (still have that card, as well).
If your company pays for your white, bland, bullet-filled, flimsy cards, then offer to spend $25 at OvernightPrints.com to get your own printed. You wouldn’t let them dress you poorly for a first impression with a prospect, so why let them dictate your most valuable networking asset?
So, I turn to my readers and ask, what’s the most memorable card you’ve received or seen? Leave a comment or a link to a card you liked the most.