It’s your business: Small but mighty — the business card

While the world of marketing and communications is moving faster and faster towards digitalization and social media, there is one marketing tool that has withstood the test of time — the business card.

The little cardboard or paper card is still one of the most cost-effective and valuable means of communicating availability and contact. Yet even though it is essential, it is often overlooked because it is treated as an expense rather than as the gateway to fostering a good rapport with potential customers.

If you believe that first impressions really count, then taking the time to ensure you are putting your best foot forward by creating something that carries more than your name, address, and phone number will help make you and your card more memorable.

Like every other marketing tool, you need a strategy to work your card to its best advantage. While small in size, it is often your first opportunity to establish a brand identity. With this in mind, like all of your other marketing materials, good design is very important. Although there are thousands of templates that may work for you, if you want your card to convey the uniqueness of your business, you may want to hire a designer who can help you tie all of your materials together.

Here are a few things to consider when you create a new card or re-work the one you are already using:

First of all, try to develop a strategy for using your card and always remember to have them readily available. Think about opportunities you’ll have to distribute your card. Provide a supply to strategically aligned business associates. Pin them to bulletin boards where appropriate. Consider that you’ve likely ordered hundreds of cards and that each one has the potential to generate some business. The whole idea is to get them out there into the marketplace.

When it comes to the actual design, the trend today is to keep it simple. The obvious items to include are your name, address, phone, website, and any social media accounts you are using. Most important, however, is to make the font and letter size you use legible.

Other things to consider are the inclusion of a photo of yourself or product, company logo, corporate slogan or even providing a small blank space to write a brief note. Take advantage of the back of the card for a special offer or to promote your various services.

Of all the marketing tools in business, the card is one item that will be around for years to come. Be sure to make yours one to remember.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca

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