Marketing Materials: Installment - 3 Business Cards
1. The Questions
2. Do You Need a Logo?
3. Is Your Business Card Working?
4. The Brochure
5. The Press Kit
6. Cohesion: Why Does It Matter?
7. In Conclusion
Wow. I just learned a great deal about business cards. You think you know a thing, and then you sit down and try to write about it.
The history geek that hides in my soul went looking for the reason we even have these things. The fact that I actually guessed the correct answer makes me think I might spend too much time reading period literature.
So, if you care to read about it...Here is the history of business cards.
"How did a simple card, 3.370 x 2.125 inches come to play such a central role in the business cultural of the world? Depending on the sources consulted, the cards may actually have originated in China in the 15th century."
The number of links I found that gave advice about business cards was extensive. There are lots and lots of things that people suggest about business cards. Some of the advice is contradictory.
So, I've endeavored to collect up what seemed to me like some best practices.
The first thing you should do is go and get your business card. Got it? Great! Now, let's see if your card is working for you.
1.What does this card say about you?
Look at your card. What is the first thing that draws your eye?
1. Is it obvious what you do at a quick glance?
2. if you have a logo, does it convey what you do?
3. Does anything on your card draw your eye?
If it is not clear what you do or what you offer, then your card may not be working for you. If someone has to hunt around your card for some idea of why they have it, that is a problem.
2. Does your card look professional?
There are so many services you could use to get your card printed. These services offer cards at great prices.
You could go to Staples!
You could try Vistaprint!
Go Eco Friendly!
You could even have Vegan Cards!
Do It Yourself All Over The Place!
There are tons of services, and you can get fifty of the things for ten bucks!
You could drop some bank and let someone else take care of designing it.
You have so many options!
Here is one recommendation I've seen all over the place!
Don't do them on your home computer.
If your business card does not look professional, then you won't be taken seriously as a professional.
3. Be creative, but beware
I have seen some really cool business cards. People do what they can to stand out from the crowd. Well, it turns out if you are too creative, your business card might be remembered, but it won't be kept.
Most people have a system for keeping cards that assumes a standard size and shape. If your card doesn't fit into that standard, it will most likely be lost or tossed, according to the experts. Oversize cards are also a no go according to the people who claim to know such things. Better to find a creative way to stay in the standard size and shape...or so I've read. Several musicians I know have guitar pics as their business cards. Pretty cool. How many of you have ever seen a musician misplace a guitar pick during a set?
4. What size is your font?
Do you have teeny tiny writing on your business card? Would someone over fifty struggle to see what is in front of them?
Is your font in a really light color?
Don't miss out on a portion of your business because those who might purchase your services can't read your card.
5. Is your card too wordy?
You need contact info, maybe something graphic, and something to identify what you are offering. If your font is big enough you won't have space to list the twelve things you do on the front of your card.
If your card is cluttered, then nothing draws your eye, and your customers have nothing on which to focus. (psst. this is where a logo would come in handy)
6. Are you using both sides of your card?
If there is nothing on the back of your card you are missing out on marketing space. This can be where you put your tag line, or a picture of yourself or something graphic and grabbing. You could also put info on the back. Again, make sure the font is good sized.
7. What kind of contact info is on your card?
Do you have your street address on the card? Apparently, giving yourself an address that isn't virtual makes you look more legit. Your virtual contact should be there as well. Some sources suggested putting the company blog or a link to a video about the company on the card instead of your website. I suppose that depends on what is on your site and how often it gets updated.
8. Is your card glossy?
This was a tidbit I found that had detractors. Some people like to write on business cards. They record information that helps them remember who they saw, and where. In some cultures, writing on a business card is considered taboo, rude beyond reckoning. Either way, if you get a glossy card or one that has an unusual surface, nobody will be able to take notes on it.
9. Is your card boring?
Your personality ought to be on this card. At least, that is what it is for in our trade, so if you are an artist and your card is boring...
10. Now, look at your card beside the rest of your marketing materials.
Does this card fit with the other bits of your marketing? Does the card reflect the brochure, reflect the marketing sheets, reflect the pictures, reflect the website, reflect the press material? If not, how different is it? Is there any cohesion in your marketing?
So, what do my marketing materials look like?
|Back of Card|
|Front of Card|
When we run out of this batch, I'm going to change the font to black instead of the mustard yellow, despite the fact that it is in keeping with the color scheme!
|Pocket folder for Press Packet|
I have a brochure. I'll discuss what we do with this thing in the next blog post.
This is the front and back cover of my pocket press packet. I will unpack this thing in a future post and show the contents. This is a clever thing that looks really cool.
So, is your business card working for you?
Here are some more links if you want EVEN MORE information about business cards.
Is it time for an upgrade?