How to make your business card work for you
What does your business card really tell everybody? Recently I have expanded my network contacts and it is interesting to observe the wide variety of information that is stored on different business cards in my collection. Some have strong colours, others have huge logos on them, lots of data on the back and front, and the usual assortment of telephone numbers, websites, email addresses and personal information.
So let’s just take a step back and look at the purpose of giving someone your business card. I believe the main purpose is to remind the person you give it to that you provide a product or service and that you are somebody worth contacting in the event that they need somebody in your field of expertise. So here is my take on a few rules surrounding the design of a business card.
1. The important information needs to be easily read. There is nothing worse than picking up a business card and having to squint and even get a magnifying glass to read the information you want from it. So make sure that it is designed so that the essential information (see point 2) is easily read and understood.
2. Design the card around the essential information and not the other way around. Too many cards I see scream at you so much that the information you require is hard to find. This is what I believe is the essential information:
Your phone number
It can be argued that phone, fax, web and email addresses are important as well, but you just cannot highlight everything on one small card without making a mess of it. So decide for yourself which you think are the three most important things and make sure that they stand out.
3. Use a title for yourself that will grab the reader (that is your prospect or customer) and impress him or her as being somebody different. I have used the term “Profit Strategist” as my title for 20 years, and as far as I am aware, I am the only profit strategist in New Zealand. So when I was running a full time accounting practice that helped to differentiate me from the others. The title is still relevant in my current role as a business consultant and professional speaker and provokes interest from the recipient of the card.
4. Your message is probably the next most important thing. In my case it is “Helping you to discover your hidden areas of profit.” In general I would say logos should be secondary on a business card unless they are telling the customer something unique about your business. And if your message is not incorporated in your logo, then that message needs to be more prominent in size and position on the card – because what do you want to achieve? You want to remind the readers of the card that you are the person above anybody else, who is best equipped to meet their needs.
5. Don’t forget the back. The back of the card is often overlooked and is left blank. It can be used to enhance your message, or used for some of the other information you wanted to put on the front, but didn’t have room for.
Those are my thoughts and it’s a formula that has worked for me over the years. So in closing I have given you with this article a great example of a business card from none other than my friend from across the ditch, Australian marketing guru, Winston Marsh. If you can think of a way to emulate that in some form without actually copying the idea, then your customers and prospects will pick up that card and say, “Wow”.