Like I mentioned before, business cards are the mini billboard of your business which you can hand out to your potential clients. They are the first impression of your business and as such, will last longer in the minds of your customers. The more professional your cards are, the better the impression of your business, and this helps establish a strong brand.
I was at a business marketing workshop a few months ago in Cape Town, South Africa, which was being hosted by the world’s number one wealth and success coach JT Foxx, an American serial entrepreneur who owns at least 50 businesses. He and his team were imparting their business knowledge to help South African entrepreneurs improve their businesses. One of the speakers was Andrew Smith, who is a South African entrepreneur turned international serial entrepreneur, and he was giving some tips on how to make business cards look more professional.
I am not copying and pasting what he said, but actually merging what I learned there with what I have noticed about the business cards which we have done for most of our high value clients. Besides, I don’t agree fully with everything he said, like when he said “Your overall objective is not to give out business cards but to ask someone to look you up”. That may work for some businesses, but not for those that are not well branded. At least if I have a piece of paper with the your company name I can go ahead and look you up. Not when being told verbally, then when I want to use your service or buy your product, I would have to scratch my head trying to remember the name of your company or how it is spelled. That is assuming your company has a web presence that is.
Of all the points he mentioned, here is what I concur about business cards:
- It should be clean and professional
- Should have your name, email address, telephone number and physical address
- It should sell your business
- Should not have your cellphone number
As for the last point, according to Andrew, it entices someone to hold on to your card if you write your “personal” number on the card while giving them the card, as opposed to every one else who gets your business cards. It makes you appear less accessible and, as we well know, scarcity makes some thing / one more valuable.
Just to wrap up, according to Andrew Smith, an unprofessional card has too many fonts, too many logos and too much information.
In one of the following posts, I will give my own tips about what a professional card should contain as well as what it should not.