I’ve got well over 100 printed business cards. And looking them over, I thought I should create some tips from the ones that stand out from the rest. Here’s what the best business cards of the bunch do differently from the others.
1. They have colors or use colored card stock. This isn’t too hard to do. I can see the merit of a black-and-white card – as long as the black overshadows the white. What I mean is that nearly everyone has a white business card with black lettering. The ones that stand out don’t have neon colors – a simple change of cardstock to cream or light gray could do the trick. The one I like the best is black on the front and white on the back. The back is matte, so I can write on it if I choose. The black makes it stand out from the rest.
2. The simple designs win out over the complicated and cluttered. Some have crammed so much text, along with a logo and tagline, that I just gloss over them when I’m looking at them along with the hundred others in my handy business card holder book. The ones with the most white space, or empty space, look the neatest, cleanest and most professional.
3. The best ones are free from typos. Proofread before you print. Please. Just do it. It can’t take more than a few minutes for the longest business card. Give your proof or your contact info to someone else to look over. Typos and spelling errors make the few who do it unprofessional. If these people can’t or won’t take the time to get their business cards right, there’s no way I’m trusting them with my business!
4. Have a professional email address. This is just a small pet peeve of mine. These people took the time to create a business card, but they don’t have a professional email address. My opinion of someone with a Hotmail or Yahoo account, or even Gmail account is that he isn’t professional. He doesn’t have the resources to even get an email account at his Web site address? I think a lot of domain names come with email space as well, so if you have a Web site, you should have an email address at that site. For me, when I’m comparing two real estate agents, the one with the address at her real estate company’s site seems more reliable and long-term than the one with an email address at Yahoo.
5. Write a personal note on your business card as you hand it to someone. Whether this is your cell phone number, a date or a product name, the cards with enough room to jot something down (and that did have something down) stand out to me. Handwriting looks weird on a business card, so those with writing stand out. Writing your cell phone number or some other number that isn’t printed on your business card makes the recipient feel special.