My husband, Randy, brings home piles of business cards every day. By the end of the week, his back pocket is one-inch thick and wearing a hole in his pants. I always tease him about collecting so many cards, but I rarely see him whip one out to share.
Even if he goes to dig through that wallet for a reference number or email address, chances are so many of those plain, white boring cards will be reduced to the pile on the dresser when he finally takes them out.
He works in the world of title software, and he has several meetings a week. When we go out to dinner with contacts from other companies, they express the same thing. It’s become laughable that people think of their cards as just some sort of magic paper that will appear when necessary. So many people keep their contact information on their smartphones and computers that the importance of the right business card is often overlooked.
The thing is, I do see him and others hunt through cards when they look for a contact number. He always looks through his wallet first. (I have tried to get him to organize them, but old dogs and new tricks, right?) The right number is usually buried in a pile of white card stock that looks just like all the other cards in the stack. What if one of his contacts broke away from the deck, and called attention to itself?
Every business community is a little different. In my world, those cards matter a lot. We work with many different companies, and I have various ways I keep track of my contacts. For me, nothing is easier than that card you just gave me, and trust me when I tell you – it needs to stand out. I add that information to everything.
I want you to hand me a good card. One I can count on. One that tells me you’re the go-to company for what I need.
Thin cards tear easy. Many cards lack today’s important information, and if you intend to stay in touch with someone frequently and put their card by the computer, you risk the condensation from your water glass messing up the print of a card that came off a home printer.
You shouldn’t have to over-think a business card, but put some thought into it! I enjoy them, and I believe others do to, as a conversational mannerism that’s friendly and outgoing. In environments where you’ll get to meet several people, going home and going through your pockets is a pleasant reminder of the recent event and the conversations you had.
I want a business card to have:
- Decent paper weight, not too flimsy
- Gloss finish
- Social media name, at least your Twitter and Facebook, but depending on what you do, your YouTube channel, too.
- Vivid colors that are easy to read
- Seriously, don’t forget your website or phone number! (I see this a lot.)
- Tag line
- Use both sides of the card
- Depending on your type of business, QR codes can be tremendously beneficial
If you currently use a plain white, one-sided card that is missing some of these elements, legibly include some of them on the back of your card with a pen. Let them dry before you stack them so they don’t smear. That way your card can be noticed no matter which direction the searcher is coming from. Believe me when I tell you, there’s nothing like going through that exercise to convince you to have them printed better next time!
When it’s time to re-stock your business cards, consider what the receiving end will remember about your company based on that information. It can be the difference between the phone ringing or not.
Do you think business cards are still important? Are you using QR codes? Do you think QR codes are helpful on them? We’d love your feedback, comment below.