Purchasing traditional business cards used to be one of the first official things you did when you started your own business. Today, with everything from file storage to forms being offered electronically, many business startups are abandoning the traditional business card altogether. But should they? Is it possible this paper dinosaur could be a powerful tool to grow your business? Is it possible to make traditional business cards work for you in the digital age?
Done the right way, you can.
Here are some things to keep in mind :
Don’t order too many at a time.
It used to be a wise thing to order hundreds of business cards at a time. You could easily hand out a hundred cards at a good sized event. These days, ordering that many usually means you end up with stacks of business cards collecting dust. We just don’t hand them out as often anymore, which isn’t necessarily bad. I’ve found that when I hand out a business card to someone these days they are more likely to use it than in the ‘old’ days.
Ordering small batches also gives you the flexibility to make changes to your design or information more often. I usually order 50 at time. Not only does this keep them from collecting dust, it makes me a little more choosy about when and to whom I pass them out.
Keep them simple.
For many years the more elaborate your business card design, the more attention you felt it got. And while that may still be true, it won’t necessarily mean it will increase contact with those you hand them out to. Those busy designs can make it hard to find information quickly and easily. Keeping your design clean and simple allows people to find the information they need with a quick glance. And keep the back side of your card blank. This allows you to jot notes on them for others, sharing information and your business contact info at the same time.
Let the materials set them apart.
Instead of using photos or elaborate designs, consider the materials your cards are created with as a way to set them apart. Think things like small foil accents and thicker card stock. Foil accents, especially gold foil accents, automatically give the impression of richness and value. No need to go overboard either, just a simple foil line does the trick perfectly. Thicker cardstock also sets your card apart and just the fact that it feels heavier and thicker to the fingers can get it all the attention it needs. Ever wondered why the Apple Card is thicker than your other credit cards? Because the added thickness and weight implies higher quality as well as getting your tactile attention.
Always have a few with you.
Even if you follow all of my tips, they aren’t going to work for your business if you don’t always have some with you to hand out. You never know when an opportunity will arise for you to share. Make it a habit to keep a small stack in your wallet or purse.
Create a digital version.
You should always create a digital version of your business card as well. This allows you to share your information electronically with those who prefer that format. It also insures you never completely run out of cards. Keep the digital version on your phone for easy sharing.
There is no denying that businesses today must embrace the digital way of doing things. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still find value in doing things the old-fashioned way as well. Usually all it takes is to think outside the box a little and find a way to integrate traditional with digital. Business cards are the perfect example of how to do that successfully.