Without question, face-to-face introductions leave the longest-lasting mark on the successful positioning of you and your brand.
However at times, business cards create the first impression and most often a follow-up reminder to your prospect showcasing why you are the best at what you do.
Need some convincing? I hope this video provides some inspiration (it’s a beauty):
This video may be a bit extreme but it makes a few good points - particularly regarding the choice of paper stock and the potential to create something memorable. Here are 5 ways to develop the perfect business card in LESS than 25 years:
1) A Clear Positioning Statment
What is the one statement that most clearly defines your value and differentiates you from your competitors? Creating a compelling positioning statement that establishes an emotional connection with your brand should be kept as the primary focus in which your business card is built around. Some great examples of clear positioning statements include:
Volvo: For Life.
Harley Davidson: American By Birth. Rebel By Choice.
Lowes: Never Stop Improving.
Red Cross: The Greatest Tragedy Is Indifference.
Disneyland: The Happiest Place On Earth.
And these few slightly edited positioning statements that keep it real.
2) Includes Functional Content
Have you experienced a time when the wants and needs of the organization’s leadership team don’t necessarily align with the design, layout or content functionality of the piece? Unfortunately, 2 pages of content won’t fit in a 3.5” x 2” space.
Editing, editing and then editing again can be one of the biggest challenges with developing a remarkable and memorable business card. Questions to consider during the editing process to ensure you business card features the most functional content possible include:
Are the details included clear, concise and relevant?
Does your message set you apart from your competition?
Do your contact methods make you easy to reach via any pertinent method (phone, email, address, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)?
Does the message on your card encourage another conversation?
3) A Simple Layout
You want to make sure there is some breathing room on your card so that readers can easily find the information they need. Too much content or clutter such as QR codes, which have been known to kill kittens AND give your card a dated look, will prevent important information from standing out and will leave less space for a prospect or client to write a reference note to themselves. Take advantage of both sides of the card for additional space.
4) Caters To Prospective Personas
Small acts of kindness can go a long way and your business card is the perfect opportunity to cater to prospect and client needs. Stand out from every other card on their desk by providing information that directs them to a helpful landing page, web page or other resource that is specific to their business or industry.
For international clients, consider printing business cards in different languages. Can’t afford to print individual card batches for different persona groups? Include an interactive feature or added value that sets you apart such as a link to a YouTube video that explains more about your product or service, includes a coupon code or special offer, calendar, conversion chart, etc.
5) Make it Memorable
The design and feel of your business card is no different than a firm handshake when it comes to setting a good first impression. Printing your card on 60 lb stock is like holding out your hand, and shaking it like a wet noodle.
Durability is also a factor when you consider how quickly they are distributed or how long they sit in your wallet. A professionally designed and printed card will evoke a stronger sense of credibility. If you are looking for printing options, this resource offers a variety of paper qualities and pricing levels.
Be creative with your design and include features that stand out. The design should complement the message. Need some inspiration? Here are a few of our favorites.
Business cards are one of the first and lasting impressions between you and prospective connections and customers. It is interesting to dissect how this little card can be such a powerful marketing tool. Take a close examination of the anatomy of your card. What changes can you make to create a lasting impression with your prospects and clients?
Originally published Feb 27, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017