How to Make Your Business Card Stand Out

If you are re-thinking your business card or just starting out in a new business I offer a service called 3-2-1 Business Card.

1. You receive three concepts
2. Combine the ideas and narrow them down to one
3. We make the final changes and presto; you have a business card.

Generally the design fee is $75 to $150 and the price for 1,000 business cards with color on both sides, in a silk or crystal finish delivered to your door in a week is $ 195.00. We also offer die cut cards in virtually any shape for as little as $100.00. See below for my contact information.

A business card is one of the most effective marketing tools you have so creating a great one should be aHand Holding Blank Business Card priority. Just because your card worked 10 years ago, doesn’t mean it still works. Read on.

Many years ago I owned a small computer business and found myself wearing many different hats. One day I would be making a presentation to a room full of lawyers and the next day I would be crawling under desks installing network cable. I thought I would poke fun at myself and had the title “Big Kahuna” printed on my business cards. Every person who read my title laughed and commented on the title and I am sure most of them kept it nearby to show other people. Over time many customers referred to me as the Big Kahuna and 14 years later I was greeted on the street by an old customer by that name. While the card was not unique, the title was.

An earlier post called Business Card Tricks – How to Make Them Work provides even more information.

So what are the key things to remember when creating a business card?

  • Include all your contact information: name, company, company’s logo, address, e-mail, phone numbers and Web page.
    • Name – If your last name is hard to pronounce, consider putting the phonetic spelling in parentheses so that people won’t hesitate to call you for fear of embarrassing themselves.
    • Email – Keep your email address professional.
    • Phone numbers – Unless you feel it is absolutely necessary a stack of phone numbers is the number one mistake people make on their business cards. Instead of saying “Look how easy I am to reach,” those crowded cards say, “Look how hard you’ll have to work to find me.” Usually a cell number and fax number will suffice.
    • Web page – Depending on the card layout and website name I don’t think you need to put www before your website url any more, but that is my personal opinion. There are exceptions, but leaving the www of the name can enhance the look of your card. Besides you don’t even have to type the www in anymore.
  • Always put your slogan, tag line or unique selling proposition on your business card, but try to keep it to 7 words or less.
  • If people will be coming to your business and it is hard to find put a landmark or cross streets in parentheses to make it easier to find. i.e. 1234 Main Street (behind the Home Depot)
  • Use both sides of the business card. Think of the front of the card as a billboard that people are driving by and only put the most important information on the front. Use the back for the address, professional designations and other non-brand information.
  • Put something of value on the back of the card; feint lines so they are encouraged to write, conversion table, calendar or anything else that will make your card a reference tool.
  • Depending on your business consider using a professional headshot to build trust and remind people what you look like years after they firs met you. Read my post on Head Shot Do’s and Don’ts or More About Head Shots or the much awaited sequel Even More About Headshots for more information about head shots.

One of the most amazing collection of business card designs can be found at this flickr website. While all of the cards copyrights are held by the designer it is a great place for ideas.

What not to do on a business card.

  • DO NOT USE ALL CAPS AS THEY ARE HARD TO READ
  • Do not cross out information and write in correct information. Get new business cards instead when information changes.
  • Avoid fancy type faces that cannot be read.
  • Choose the right size type face for all readers. If your customers are in their 40’s and above many of them will have to pull out reading glasses to read small print so make sure your name and phone number stand out.

One of my more recent posts is called How to Make Your Business Card Unforgettable and it provides many more tips and techniques on business card design.

Mike Blaney Business Card Front
Click for a larger image

Here is my business card.

Mike Blaney Business Card Back
Click for a larger image

As background to the design, I work from a home office so the address was not necessary and I introduce myself as Mike the Marketing Guy. My slogan is “Good ideas are a dime a dozen, but implementation is priceless” so the half full glass is an important visual.

As an aside I would estimate that 80% of people when they see my card comment on whether the glass is half full or half empty so I know it is working. I also have my cards printed in Korea as the price and quality are unmatched. My cards have a smooth, silk finish that people like to feel and they are virtually indestructible because of the lamination. But they can still be written on with any pen.

I use the back of the card to expound on marketing, feature my slogan and have a few lines so people can jot information down.

If you are interested in more general thoughts about business card etiquette, handing out business cards and receiving business cards you can read my post Business Card Stuff.

If you are re-thinking your business card or just starting out I offer a service called 3-2-1 Business Card. You receive three concepts, combine the ideas and narrow them down to one, we make the final changes and presto; you have a business card. Generally the design fee is $75 to $150 and the price for 1,000 business cards with color on both sides, in a silk or crystal finish delivered to your door in a week is $ 195.00.

Click on the images below or click here to see

Click for a large image
Click for a large image

Business Card Designs or here for some of my more recent designs. If you are interested please email me at marketingguy@shaw.ca or call Mike Blaney at 800-568-8338 for a new business card.

Click for a larger image
Click for a larger image
Click for a larger image
Click for a larger image

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Dave says:

    I love the Big Kahuna idea. The more unqiue your card is (as long as you don’t go too over the top) the more likely potential customers will remember you.

  2. Markus says:

    Hey Mike
    Great article and I can’t agree more. Have you seen these? http://www.cardcues.com They’re nifty little business card holders that let you hang up to 40 cards on a bulletin board with a single thumb tack. Great for community bulletin boards at grocery stores, coffee houses, libraries etc. I use them for my landscaping company and it’s a cheap way to get new clients.

  3. Jon says:

    Hey Mike great concept. Check out my website at http://www.mobilebizcard.com maybe we can do a joint venture together and recommend each others product and services?

  4. Victoria says:

    Excellent summary of what-to-do’s for business cards. I’d love to add this as a guest post to my blog (of course with full credit and link back) Shoot me an email if you are interested. Your ideas are gold to my clients.

    Thanks!!

  5. Using the back of the business card is a great idea. I still do not understand why so many people do not do this. How many cards do you get given that do not have anything on the back. Oh love your business card and tag line. You combine design with marketing prowess, which is rare.

  6. TheCardBoard says:

    Great tips. Professionally made business cards are definitely the way to go. If you can, avoid the free paper thin, slightly smaller business cards; especially the ones with perforated edges.

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