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Business Cards, 6 simple ways to make the most of them
by Startacus Admin
We’ve all been there. In a fit of creative inspiration one day you spend an exorbitant amount of time creating, destroying and recreating what you hope will be the most perfect business card the world has ever seen. With a smug smile slapped across your face you eagerly await the arrival of your mini masterpieces, imagining how swish you will look passing them out at a business cocktail party or other James Bond worthy event.
A few years ago the people ‘in the know’ were sounding the death knells of the humble old business card ‘Who could need such things in a time of instant messages and Blackberrys?’ But today, go to any business event and they are being tossed at you right, left and centre.
With so many business cards flying around in every direction, we decided to put together a few simple tips on how you can make the most of yours.
Making the most of your business cards
Include social media links - This is one of the best pieces of information that you can include on your business card, because social media platforms facilitate simple instant connections which can be easily built upon later when you have the time.
Make sure your card is aesthetically distinct- This does not mean that you need to cover it in whacky unprofessional designs, but it does mean you should avoid creating anything which looks generic and could get lost in the mix. A very small and simple unique logo or mark can be all it takes to give your business card a distinctiveness, which will be reflected onto you and your business.
Quality really does matter - Remember that when you hand over your business card, that little piece of paper is now your representative until your next contact is made with the recipient. The quality (or lack thereof) will be viewed as a representation of the quality of your business (however inaccurately). Therefore, in order to create as good an impression as possible, you must have a business card which is of good quality and projects a certain pride in your outward appearances.
This is not to say that you need to spend hundreds of pounds just to have a few business cards printed up, there are some great deals out there (including 100 free mini business cards from moo.com for Startacus members) but just be certain of the quality before handing over your hard earned cash.
Don’t include a photo (unless it’s a really professional one)- Here the same rule applies to business cards that does for CVs - generally speaking including a photograph of yourself (or anything else) can make them look cheap and tacky.
Of course this is not a universal rule, we have certainly seen a few business cards where a professional, well placed photograph has served to enhance the overall look of the card, but more often than not they have the opposite effect.
Keep to the point - If you have made enough of a connection with someone to warrant giving them your business card, then they already know who you are and don’t need to be told your life’s story. Nor do they need 101 ways to contact you, so include a couple of options and if they really wish to pursue the business relationship they will get in touch.
Don’t give it out; unless you’re sure it’s coming back - Handing out a business card to someone at the end of a conversation just for the sake of it is pretty pointless. If the recipient has little or no interest in furthering the business relationship it will most likely end up at the bottom of their waste paper basket.
You should place a higher price on your business cards than giving them out willy-nilly, and see it as a way of ensuring that any incoming correspondences you receive after the event will be useful and valuable.
Why not take a look at some of these recent handy tips and advice posts?