Business cards. Many have them and if you live in the diaspora they are relatively easy and cheap to produce. We are advised to have them and swap them with business contacts as much as possible. I have to admit that I haven’t always been very good at this; mostly because I always forget to bring my business card. I think the reason for forgetting them however is less my memory and more that I have considered them boring, flat and one-dimensional. Name, title, email, maybe business address, some sort of logo.
However the other day I was at an advanced presentation skills training course and at the end of the training the presenters passed out their business cards. I was taken aback. Their business cards were not boring. And the reason why they were not boring is because it had a lot of descriptive words explaining what their company can do for you in a very bold and striking manner. It was almost too much words but it certainly made me turn around the cards a couple of time and think about these words and what their company can do for me. This experience got me thinking that many of us could do so much more with our business cards than we currently do. Business cards are important, so important that in Japan the culture and etiquette around how business cards are exchanged is referred to as meishi koukan.
Depending on your aim with your business card (i.e. to get more business, get hired for your professional services, or get hired in general) you might want to think about revamping and doing more with your business card.
So here are ways that you can do more with your business card
1) Have an expert tagline that explains quickly what you do and what your business can do for them. This will require you to think deeply about what you want your business card to do for you or your business. You want your tagline to be memorable so that days or weeks later anyone that accesses your business card will know what you can do for them. Also use active not passive language.
2) Have an eye-catching business card. As mentioned previously, business cards can often time feel flat and boring. Depending on your line of work you may not have a tremendous amount of room to “jazz” up your business card but if you’re in a more creative field definitely treat your business card as a piece of art work that should capture the attention of the person you give it to. Your business card should be memorable to not just you but more importantly to the person that you give it to. Your business card can be eye-catching due to your logo, the colors used, the font or even just the quality of the paper you choose to have them printed on. Business cards also don’t have to be the traditional rectangular shape. Again depending on your line of work you might be able to get away with a different shape. And even for some of us in more of the Financial Services/Legal industry we can try to infuse some creativity into our business card. Think of how you can do this!
3) Have a business card that matches your brand. This goes with #2 above which is that your business card should match your brand. Imagine an Accountant giving you a business card shaped in the form of a guitar. Or a guitarist giving you a business card that is rectangular in shape on white cardstock paper that has his name, email and the title guitarist. The first is an extreme but I am sure that you get the point which is that your business card should match your brand/business. This also involves the quality and type of paper that your business card is printed on.
So there you have it…business cards and how you can use them to do more for your business/brand.