Top 7 Business Card Fails
If you are in business you have received probably hundreds if not thousands of business cards over the years. Are they important? Yes…and no. For the purpose of using them to find information about someone you have met and attempting to reconnect with, the card has a purpose. Unfortunately, the way to utilize the card has never really been defined. So I am going to help those of us out who are slapping a card together and thinking it’s just fine. It’s probably lacking and therefore basically useless.
Recently I was featured in the Wall Street Journal about what to put on a business card. The link is at the bottom if you want to read it. Who knew it was important enough that I could get a call from a reporter from the Wall Street Journal about an article?
There are a few things that I see when it comes to business cards that cause me to scratch my head! Here are a few;
- One of the most important things about having a business card is having your email address clearly legible. Please make your email address something an average person can see easily without trying to decipher it. Let’s use say 12 pt font??….larger is better. One hard-to-read letter will throw off the entire address.
- A Fax number? Really? Will this document fax to 1993? Stop putting that on there. If someone really needs your fax number they will ask you at the time they need it. They will not go back to your business card to look it up. Promise.
- If you are a business person and want to be seen as legitimate, use your website address for your email. If you don’t have that, go immediately to whoever hosts your website and get a FREE email address associated with your site. Don’t use @comcast, @gmail, or God-for-bid @AOL! Come on!
- Don’t buy the cheapest business card paper you can find. That is a mistake. No, the business card doesn’t sell for you but it will tell a story, and “I am really cheap so I use flimsy paper” is not the story you want to tell.
- Make sure it can be easily scanned. Today most people are scanning cards into a smartphone and if your font is fancy and illegible, it will not scan well. Keep it clean.
- Use both sides of the card. That is real estate that should be used to help identify what you do. Not a dissertation but a few bullets. Quick and easy.
- Don’t laminate the card or go with a slick surface. It’s just not necessary and some people like to take notes on your card. Let them.
Remember something else. Your business card is good to help give out information but it is not a quantity game at a networking event of giving away lots of cards and hoping the phone will ring. One more tip. Please don’t collect cards and start spamming that person just because you have their card. If you have a newsletter, blog, or something they might get find useful then ask them if they would be interested in receiving it.
Of course, as everything becomes more digital, we want to be prepared to use digital tools to save and use contact information. There are several ways to do that. Try to move in that direction or everyone will move beyond ‘paper’ but you!