“Do you have a business card?” They ask.
“Um, no, but hold on, let me write down my number and email address and give it to you.” You pull out your sweaty Moleskine from your back pocket and quickly scrawl your name and number like a girl giving away her number.
Is this the most professional way to give away your deets? Certainly that client wasn’t so impressed with your hasty chicken scratch. They probably won’t call or email.
If you’ve been procrastinating on getting your own personal business cards, then it’s time to stop. What were you afraid of? That they would cost you money?
Did you know that some places even offer free business cards to new customers? You now have no excuse. Keep scrolling to find out how to make awesome business cards for your business.
1. Figure Out What You Will Put
Are you wondering what to put on a personal business card? You might have received a fair number of different business cards in your time.
I’ve seen some odd ones. An email, no more. A picture of a bird and a hashtag printed on the other side.
How much information is too much? How much is too little?
These are the questions you’re likely asking.
A business card is a tool. A mode of communication. That’s it.
But so is an ad. You want to think of it as the top of one of your marketing funnels.
The question is, who are you? Are you some hireling? Or are you the boss of your own company?
What is the purpose of your business card? Is it to bring people to the company you work for, or is it to give someone a personal way to contact you in order to gain personal business?
If the latter, you definitely want to put your full name or the name you use for business. No nicknames. No silly titles. Just your name.
Your business card is part of your official branding. Thus, don’t forget to include some indication the card is part of your business. If your logo is recognizable include that. If your logo is fairly generic, use your business name instead to avoid using up too much space.
Include a way to contact you. This could be a phone number, email, or both. It could be your Instagram page or your Facebook page if those are your preferred methods of contact.
If you operate from a physical address where people will meet with you, include this information as well. If not, supply your website instead.
2. Design Your Card
Again, I want to reiterate that your business card is part of your branding. You must make it fit within the design scheme of your entire branding operation.
If your logo is recognizable, be sure to include it. Your clients and customers should be able to recognize it by simply glancing down and seeing it in a pile of papers.
Remember, this is your calling card. This represents you when it’s not in your pocket.
Many clients will judge you by your business card. If it’s well-designed, they will figure you’re well-put-together.
Select a Layout
Most business card companies will give you a layout choice. You can often choose from hundreds of templates.
Pick one that fits your brand.
How do you do that? Ask yourself what information should be most visible?
If people know you or your business by your name, then make your name large and in-charge. If they know your business by your logo, then centralize that logo.
You don’t have to design your business card from scratch. If that was keeping you from making business cards for yourself, then you no longer have an excuse.
Look at websites like Canva, PicMonkey or even Google’s Business Card Maker. You don’t have to fret over whether it will be easy to design your business card.
If you worked for Notre Dame, what colors would you expect your business card to feature? Blue and gold, of course.
Colors are the primary indicator when it comes to a business. Ask yourself what colors you’ve chosen for your branding.
If you haven’t chosen colors for your brand, now’s the time. You can use this opportunity to build a consistent brand from the ground up.
Pick two complementary colors and stick with them. If you’re going to print from home (I wouldn’t recommend it because the point is to look professional), you will likely need to stick with black and white. For all other applications use color to your advantage.
You might think you know what a good font looks like. Most decent human beings understand that Comic Sans is out of the question. But even classics can start to look cliche.
A font shouldn’t just be flashy. It needs to be readable. Unless you’re a metal band, you should use a font everyone will read well.
The spacing needs to be far enough apart but not too far. The kearning needs to be just right. And above all, the pixels must be smooth.
Choose the Material
How do you know if someone’s ID is fake? Bend it. Is it substantial? If not, if it seems like it was printed an laminated by a teenager at Copymax, then it probably was.
You don’t want your calling card to seem like it was printed by a teenager at Copymax. That will seem unprofessional.
One guy I met had printed his details on Starbucks gift cards. Now, I’m not suggesting you do that for all your cards. Maybe you could do something like that for your most important clients.
Something useful won’t get thrown in the garbage. I’ve seen several creative suggestions for high-end calling cards. Matchbooks, credit-card-sized multitools, keychains, etc.
These might be cheaper than you think. I once was in charge of a college group and we were able to afford hundreds of promotional items on a meager budget. Look at places like Alibaba or eBay to find bulk items you can have printed.