Is Your Business Card Working For You or Against You?

It still amazes me how many times someone gives me a business card that either looks unprofessional or that displays the company's name but doesn't tell me what the company does! Your business card is by far the most inexpensive yet most valuable piece of marketing material you use. It is usually your first opportunity to sell yourself and your brand. What do people think and feel when they see your card? Does it match the image you want to reflect?

Here are 5 common mistakes people make when marketing with their business cards.

  1. An unprofessional look. Business cards that are printed off your own desktop printer on plain or pre-printed paper look like business cards that are printed off your own desktop printer! Nothing turns someone off faster than thinking "They just started and can't even afford business cards." It does not instill any confidence in your company. An investment in professionally designed and printed business cards will come back to you two-fold.
  2. A generic format. Going to a printer and having your name and address centered on the card and printed in black ink because you think it doesn't matter is a mistake. It does matter -- no logo, no brand, no identity, no credibility!
  3. I don't know what you do. Often when a company is named for its owner, we have no idea what kind of a company it is or what the company does! What happens when I look at that card six months from now? Hmm, I wonder what they do. If I can't remember; I throw it out. If your company name is generic use a tagline that tells people what you do.
  4. Failing to use the back of the business card. If you are not using the back of your card you've left half the space blank! The back is a great place to tell us more about your products or services, especially if you can use it to differentiate yourself from your competition. The extra cost to print the back of the card is minimal, so remember to use it!
  5. You don't have them when you need them! I attend many networking events and it astounds me when I ask for a card and someone says, "Oh, I forgot to bring them with me or I only have a couple." You should have business cards on you at all times, lots of them! Always order large quantities of business cards -- the cost difference is minimal and you will always have enough to hand out when networking. You never know when you might meet someone you want to give your card to. I even bring them with me on vacation!

If your business cards fall into any of the categories above, it is time to consider redoing your business card

Your Business Card -- Not Just a Phone Number!

Generally a business card is used for contact information -- but it really is a lot more than that! Treat your business card as one of the most important marketing pieces you create!
Make sure it includes the following:

  • Company name with logo or mark
  • Tagline or position statement
  • Company colors, graphics and typefaces
  • All contact information
  • List of services you provide
  • List of products you sell or represent

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