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By Sharon Housley
Networking is an invaluable opportunity,
and one that should not be wasted. In order to maximize
networking, it is strongly suggested that all business
professionals carry business cards. The business cards
can be exchanged during introductions, both as a convenience
and as a memory aid. In other words, business cards
allow networkers to further the relationship through
Business cards may include one or more
aspects of striking visual design, but should also contain
important contact information. Use this guide to make
the most of your business cards:
1. What to Include
All of this information should be included on a professional
business card: Name - This does not have to be your
given name, but should be what you expect people in
business to refer to you as.
Position - This is really
optional; many small business owners find themselves
wearing many hats, and may find it beneficial and/or
less confusing to leave their official title off the
Address - Physical office location and/or
Website - Adding a website address to
business cards is now very common and expected.
Email - Email is also now a very common
and popular communication channel.
Phone - Include your business phone number.
Instant Messaging/ICQ Address - Internet
2. Double Sided Cards
If your company is global, or your sales territory focus
is in a region where your spoken language is not the
predominant language, you might wish to consider using
the backside of your business card to include your information
in an alternate language. You can also use the back
of the card to provide more extensive information and
details about your products and services. Or, if you
do a lot of local business, you might want to include
a small street map to your office on the back of your
card. There are lots of things you might be able to
do with all that blank space on the back of your cards.
3. Conversation Starters
Savvy sales people often use their business cards as
a conversation starter. Of course, the card needs to
be unique or unusual in order to generate a dialogue.
Some of the more interesting cards I've seen recently
were printed on micro-CDs, on magnets, on translucent
4. Standard Size
Even if you are aiming for something unique, you should
still not diverge from the standard business card size.
For managing their contacts, many people will create
a business card rolodex, or may have a hand scanner
specifically sized for business cards. So stick with
the standard size -- otherwise you may be excluded from
their contact databases simply because your card didn't
5. Order Quantity
Quantity discounts apply to business cards. When pricing
printed business cards, check to see where the price
breaks occur; sometimes you can significantly increase
the quantity of business cards for very little additional
6. Quality Matters
Flimsy cards that are paper thin, and cards with ragged
perforated edges, just scream amateur. If you are going
to print cards yourself, be sure to use heavy business
card stock, and use stock that has clean-edge micro-perforations.
And glossy finished stock can also help boost the quality
perception of self-printed cards, especially if lots
of color is used in the card design.
7. Brand Cards
Your business cards should be similar to all of your
other printed promotional material. Business cards should
contain your business or product logo. Double-check
the colors with the printer to make sure the correct
pantone colors are used. This will ensure that the logo
is printed using the correct and matching color scheme.
8. Keep Current
Information contained on the business card should always
be kept current. Business cards with obsolete information
crossed out are very unprofessional. If any information
on the card changes or becomes obsolete, have new cards
printed to reflect the change, and throw the old ones
9. Change It Up
Textured business cards, or cards with scalloped edges,
stand out. Consider a wide variety of ways to make your
card jump out of the pack. The texture or color of the
card can also be utilized to ensure your card stands
Use a legible font that makes the text on the business
card easy to read. Avoid making the fonts too small.
Use contrasting colors, and avoid using porous paper
that will allow the ink to bleed and the text to blend
into the card.
There is little more embarrassing than business cards
that contain typographical errors. Proofread the cards
multiple times. Let me say that again -- proofread your
business cards! And have other people proofread them
too, as they will often be able to spot mistakes that
Maximize the power of your business cards.
Whether you are networking, or just being personable,
business cards are a must in the professional world,
and crucial to business marketing.
Great source for Business Cards - http://www.business-card-store.com
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
audio recording and editing software.
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