First impressions—they are everything in business. In that first interaction with you, a potential customer will decide if it’s worth it to move forward with discussing business with you and potentially working with you. In that first impression, they will either remember you and go back to your name later or they won’t. It could really go either way, and it’s up to you to make sure it goes the right way.
A large part of your first impression when it comes to meeting people in the grocery store, bumping into an old friend who asks about your business, or meeting potential customers at trade shows and networking events is your business card. It’s not uncommon for business owners to think, “Oh, as long as I have SOME sort of business card, I’ll be fine. It doesn’t matter what it looks like; it just has to have my contact information on it, right?” Wrong.
If your business card is cheap, has errors, isn’t eye-catching, or doesn’t have the right information on it, your prospective customer or contact is probably just going to toss it aside and never look at it again. This wastes your money AND loses you a potential customer that may have called you otherwise. It may seem like a business card can be done in absolutely any way and it doesn’t matter, but it’s just not true.
- Your business card shows who you (and your business) are. Make sure it captures your personality well. Perception is reality, and that’s really important to remember when you’re making a business card. It has to really tell potential clients the message that you want to get across.
- You are your brand. It starts and ends with you. An error-free business card shows that you’re detail-oriented and think details are important, high-quality paper shows you value quality, the right branding shows that you’re loyal to your brand, and your brand should be shown for what it is—not what you say it is.
- Your business card should stand out and be remembered—just like you. We put so much work into our elevator pitches and trying to make sure people remember us when we talk to them, but our business cards should accomplish this for us too. You want people to think later, “I talked to a guy at this networking event, and he had these really awesome business cards and had a cleaning business. I’ll call him.” And if your business card was good enough, they know exactly where they saved it and can go right back to it when they end up needing your services down the road (or someone else does).
But what are important qualities to have in a business card that will make the right first impression and say that you are the business owner people should want to hire?
- NO ERRORS (Did I say this already? Because it’s REALLY important.)
- Follows the color, fonts, and design of your brand
- Feels good in your hand (like a strong handshake: sturdy and with substance)
- Not faded or worn (Replace any old, faded cards that are in your wallet or briefcase regularly so you’re not handing out cards that look like they’ve been there forever.)
- It’s easy to read (good fonts, colors that contrast in the right way, a big enough size that’s easy to read, not too much information that it’s overwhelming, etc.)
- It shows who you are!
If you take away nothing from this article, at least take away the fact that business cards are incredibly important, so make sure you’re doing them right. Put in the extra money to get high-quality cards (especially if you’re going to regular networking events or tradeshows), and hire a good printing company who has a strong understanding of the final project and can help you make sure you’re marketing your business the right way.