Being Business Card Savvy
The ritual of exchanging business cards is an imperative first step to introducing your brand to potential contacts. Should you be networking, meeting with your clients or negotiating as the client, your business card should be your statement of who and what your brand is.
A business card is a tool to remind your contact of who you are and invite further communication. When meeting a new contact, often you are in a group situation. How many times have you left a meeting room and flicked through the little bundle of gathered cards to remind yourself of a person’s name? A handy business card also allows your contact to think of you at a later date. Sometime the contact is not useful at the exact time of meeting, but you want your contact to be flicking through cards and remember that you are exactly who they need at a later date.
Designing your business card
Good design and layout of your business card is crucial. It must above all else be concise, legible and functional. No amount of fancy-pants design fluff will make a potential client contact you if they struggle to read your phone number. Always ensure your logo is clear to your client, as this is ultimately who your brand is and keep fonts sharp and easy to read. You want your contact to be able to quickly locate your details, especially when flustered and hoping you can help their cause.
When designing your card’s shape and size keep the ultimate point of the card in mind. Most business card holders, pockets, wallets, compendium pockets etc are all of a standard size. Being too creative could result in your card getting lost amongst the others or not fitting into holders and resulting in them being discarded to clear clutter.
Choosing your business card stock
There are an extraordinary amount of online cheap business card options. Before opting for one of these sites first consider whether the value return is viable. These sites are very economical but you should remember that they are bulk printed prices for a reason. You will have limited choice in stock and embellishments, and run the risk of looking just like the others.
Sometimes choosing a stock and finish that is different from your counterparts will create a memorable first impression. If your business card impresses your contact, impress your contact, opening them up to further conversation and opportunity.
If you are concerned about costs, always chat with your printer. They will know artful ways and tips to get you the best value for your budget.
The ritual of extending your business card
Remember that in extending your business card you are asking your contact to consider you worthy of further communication. With this is mind, you should:
- Ensure your cards are in good condition. Handing over the scrappy and scuffed old card from the bottom of a bag will give your contact the impression you are a little complacent. Keeping them in a card carrier or safe pocket is key.
- Be confident and respectful. Don’t lazily throw your card across a table at people like a dealer in a poker game. This is brash and careless. Alternatively don’t be coy. By hesitating you give the impression that you don’t think yourself worth their later email. Offer your card directly to each contact either handing to them politely at an appropriate time or, if sitting at a board table place neatly and discretely in front of each person. This placement allows them to discretely check your name while you are talking and lock it safely in their memory.
- Always accept another’s card graciously. If a contact offers you a card, accept politely and treat them with the respect that you hope to receive. Most times in business situations all people are present to make connections and so trading business cards is just a part of the course. Should you find yourself feeling uncomfortable trading your information, be polite.
- If you find yourself talking to a potential contact that you believe may be beneficial, request a card. In business situations, most people are more than happy to extend a card and further the communication.
Remember your business card is your first impression. Let it be your best marketing asset and a strong introduction to your new contact.