88% of business cards get thrown in the trash less than a week after you hand them out. You need to make sure your cards are part of the 12% that are cherished for longer.
An attractive business card is likely to stick around. Being creative with the card will make you more memorable – and hopefully bring the clients rolling in.
Here are 10 tips to grab their attention and secure their custom with a great business card.
1. Contact details need to be easy to read
Building a business is hard – just ask Philip Williams. Above all else, you need your clients to know exactly who you are and how to reach you.
This means that business cards should always have prominent contact details. Don’t let your great design ideas allow you to stray too far from this path.
If a client can’t see or read your telephone number right away, you may lose out on valuable business.
2. Make sure it’s the right size
A business card can be made of different materials. It can be in different shapes, and cards can feature lots of different designs.
However, if it’s too large to fit in someone’s pocket or too small to handle comfortably, it’s not fit for purpose.
There are standardized sizes for a good reason – while cards actually do vary in size a little, you need to hit the sweet spot. Don’t lose attention for the sake of an unnecessary experiment in size.
3. Use color
Good use of a monochrome palette can look very stylish. But it requires a lot of skill to pull off successfully. In general, it’s good to use at least some color.
Color helps to grab people’s attention, and the best ones to do this are warm colors like yellow, red, and orange.
Of course, not everyone can or will use these colors – but you might consider using them subtly to draw readers’ attention to key information.
4. Use graphics and images
Awesome graphics can make people not only want to keep your card but to frame it. Where better to look for inspiration than the cards of professional graphic designers?
The other thing to consider is photos. You probably shouldn’t use a photo on the same side as your contact details, as it may obscure them.
But a great photo can make a fantastic impression when printed on the other side of the card. Photographers should be particularly interested in this tip, as it’s a chance to pitch your skills to lots of people at a low cost.
5. Font choices
Choosing the right font is a tricky decision. We’re not all typographers. While you’re looking through font libraries, think about how each font would reflect on your business.
Casual-looking fonts might suit an artist. They probably wouldn’t work so well for an attorney.
At the end of the day, so long as your business matches up the expectations set by the font, you’re OK.
And fonts definitely don’t have to be plain, but they do have to be readable.
6. Paper quality matters
If you’re a small business, cutting your costs by using cheaper paper for your business cards might be tempting.
Unless it’s absolutely unaffordable, don’t shoot so low. What would you think of a business who handed you a cheap-feeling business card? Right.
Don’t skimp on the basics.
7. What about thickness?
Some people will take a card, forget about it, and find it in their jacket pocket a few weeks later.
You want your card to be in one piece at that point!
Investing in a thicker, more robust card means that it’s likely to last longer when carried around for a while. There are cost considerations here, but it might be worth it.
8. Different materials
You can get your business cards made up in hundreds of different materials, including cotton, leather, cork – and even chocolate.
Experimenting with the different textures might reveal something that really works for your business, especially if you’re a craftsperson looking to give clients a literal ‘feel’ for your work.
Using materials other than a simple card will be far more expensive, but the return on your investment may well be worth it.
Alternatively, you can be creative using a regular card. Embossing, for example, might suit a luxury brand or law firm looking to make an unmatched first impression on clients.
9. Custom cut shapes
Custom cuts can help your card stand out. For example, a car dealership might cut its business cards in a simplified car shape. Or a swiss cheese specialist might poke holes in a wedge-shaped design.
Whatever shape you go for should accurately reflect the nature of your business.
It’s not a good idea to go with a random shape just to be different – people will just wonder why you’ve done it that way.
If you think a full custom-cut wouldn’t suit you, you may consider some more subtle adjustments like rounded edges, which can still make your card more attractive.
10. Landscape layout is not the only option!
It’s more common to set out information over a landscape spread when it comes to business cards, but portrait is certainly possible.
Whether this works for you will really depend on the type of business you run. Framing companies might get excited. Accountants might not.
But if you’ve got an idea that will work well in portrait orientation, this is a cost-effective way of being a bit different.
Experiment – you’ll get it right
We’ve talked briefly about cost, but unless you’ve chosen an unusual material and are using lots of color, business cards are a fairly affordable business asset. Prices go as low as a few cents per card.
You can probably afford to make a few different options and see which gets the best reaction. You might even find a printer willing to produce some cheap paper test runs of your card designs. Show them to friends and family to gauge reaction.
Don’t be afraid to be different! We’re sure you’ll make an amazing set of cards and get business flowing in no time at all.