What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

In face to face networking a business card is one of the most common ways people will remember you. Beyond the brief introduction, your business card must do the rest of the talking for you. The thing about visuals is that they say a lot whether you want them to or not. A bland business card can come off either chic or boring. A card with your picture on it can look professional or remind people of a glamour shot photo.

So how do you get a card that says YOU? Look for proper and familiar frameworks in your line of business. Connect with other professionals and check out their business cards. What is the standard for your industry? What sticks out? Are the differences good or bad? What paper weight is their card? Does it have a texture? Just a few questions you may want to think about.

Beyond color and font, arrangement of your information is vital. Use something familiar to people and it will immediately set a better tone. Most websites have a top menu bar and a side bar. It’s not a bad idea at all to set your card up like a website or mobile app. Just do a Google search on business cards to get inspired. People are getting used to seeing mobile apps and the layout is familiar. This is important later when they are trying to get a feel for who you are and if you need an example, just attend a large mixer or trade show and collect about 50 cards. Go home, put them in a drawer and come back to them in a week.

How do you feel when looking at the cards after a week? Your memory is hazy, certain people that made a good impression stick out a bit, but the rest are a sea of lost souls with only this piece of paper to get you to take action.

What do you look for first? I look for good organization and pertinent info. Your business card is a prime piece of real estate and only the info necessary needs to be there. For example, if you are an Insurance Agent or a Loan Officer that needs their clients to fax information in to them you may want to add your fax number to your card, if not it is better to just have it on your website and leave the space on your business card for something more important like a call to action.

Spelling and spacing. These are two things that personally annoy me. I understand no one is perfect but once you catch an error on your business card, throw it away. I know it is hard to throw away business cards but do yourself a favor and have another set of eyes check out your business card proof before ordering. Handing out your business card with a typo on it does you more harm than good, believe me.

There are many other elements to consider as well. Round corners or square? Square says logical, rounded says creative. How about size? Do you want to go with a standard size or be more creative and go with a smaller or even larger version? When making this decision, think about the person you will be giving your cards too and where. At a trade show this can be an advantage but at a mixer, your large card may well be the one thing that gets you separated from the pack, and eventually forgotten and thrown away.

Bottom line is that if you love it and you are getting a good response than the card is working for you. If you are not getting the response you are looking for, maybe it is time to hire a professional and get a second opinion. Above all, have fun and remember that just choosing things you like will end up making you different enough. No need to go overboard unless of course that’s just who you are.

Patty Farmer, “The Networking CEO” is a multi-award winning and highly sought after marketing professional, public speaker, radio show host and author. As the CEO of Patty Farmer & Associates, Inc. she has been the Recipient of 2011’s International Women’s Day Business Service Award as well as 2010’s “Best Business Connector in Dallas” award and a 2010 and 2011 “America’s Most Influential Business Connector” nominee. Patty has created a network of over 100,000+ connections while teaching thousands of business owners how to effectively network and market to grow their businesses using a non-competitive and dynamic collaboration strategy.


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Leave A Reply (11 comments so far)

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  1. Angie Ryan
    2537 days ago

    Great info Patty! I didn’t realize that curved corners referred to creativity. I like that! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Paula Barnes
    2537 days ago

    I was so lucky to win Patty’s book and have her autograph it at DFW Social Media Rocks Dallas Day – June 30, 2012 at The Social House in Addison, TX.

    Thanks for this great article on business cards! Will make that investment the right way for sure!!

  3. Ange
    2537 days ago

    Thanks for these great tips! Anyone considering a new business card design should read this first You’ve given just the right amount of supporting commentary.

  4. sarah Wood
    2537 days ago

    Thank you for a great article as I am about to embark on getting new business cards again. It always seems like such an easy thing to do but it truly requires a lot of thought. Do I want it include my social media addresses for instance or will this make it look to cluttered?

    This time i am going to include a Q2 tag and explain to any one what it means. I am going to include in the Q2 tag my name, my email address, my web url, my social media info and my phone number and let them know they can swipe it with any smart phone.

    I think q2 tags will become the way of the future on business cards.

    • PattyFarmer
      2537 days ago

      I have a OR code on my business cards as well as all my social media info. In this day and age of social networking it is imperative to have options for your clients and partners to reach you in their preferred method of communication.

      Thank you for your comment.
      Patty Farmer

  5. Delia
    2537 days ago

    Completely agree, Patty that the business card has to be memorable, otherwise it really does not serve you and your business.

    Bland business cards just don’t do it anymore. Just a while ago I came from a networking meeting with lots of business cards but by looking at them after the fact I was not able to remember the person who it belonged to, because that personal touch was missing.

    And completely agree with having QR codes on the card. You don’t want people to have to enter your info in their system by hand.

  6. Leslie Orolfo- Goodwin
    2534 days ago

    Very informative article Patty! I just went through my collection of cards- you are spot on!

  7. Louise Myers
    2517 days ago

    Great post Patty – very comprehensive list of considerations for business cards.

    Interesting about the corners – I think I should have 2 square and 2 round, and call myself “the logical creative.” LOL, but I am! :)

  8. sandi coryell
    2506 days ago

    Great ideas, Patty. Really makes me rethink aspects of my business card-square vs. rounded edges?-that hadn’t really occurred to me.. Thanks!

  9. Jada
    2488 days ago

    It s actually a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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