How many times have you met someone at a networking event, struck up a great conversation, asked to keep in touch, and they didn't have a business card? Or maybe you're the one that came up short. If there is one thing that I'd tell every professional, it's to never leave home without one.
I file away good business cards, and I recently decided to make a project of following up with connections that I've made throughout the years. Over the past few weeks, I have sorted through hundreds of business cards. The vast assortment of styles and colors that I came across brought to mind the question, "What does your business card say about you?"
Your business card is an introduction that speaks to the quality of your brand and what you have to offer. Here are a few tips to make an impactful and lasting impression with your business card.
1. Incorporate your brand's signature colors.
When it comes to your brand image, everything should be signature. Use colors that are consistent with your logo, website, and other branding materials.
2. Include an e-mail address.
Welcome to the age of the multitasker, where cold calling may not be optimal. Include an e-mail address on your business card in addition to your phone number, so as not to discourage someone from contacting you. Also, while it's okay to have a Gmail or other personal e-mail account for backup, a company e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) alludes to your credibility as a professional.
3. Include social media information.
If you think that people aren't researching you before following up, think again! Make it easy for them to connect and learn more about you even if they may not have something in mind for a direct follow-up at the time.
4. Create your own template.
Remember that branding is all about being signature, so stay away from pre-made templates offered by printing sites to avoid looking cliché. Also, if you opt for the free printing deal with companies such as Vistaprint, be sure to invest the few bucks to remove the company's marketing message. Nothing says "cheap brand" like having a message on your business card that says you got them for free.
5. Font matters.
Choose fonts that align with the tone of your brand, and select a text size that is easy to read. Only use 1-2 different fonts and text sizes for the best appeal.
6. Experiment with shapes and textures.
There are so many styles of business cards to choose from – circle-shaped, translucent, glitter, etc. Try something different to make your business card stand out from others. A business card speaks volumes about your brand image. It lingers even when you are long gone. Take the time to make sure that your image is intact at every level.
Aaja Corinne is a Chicago-based image & personal branding strategist, specializing in helping high-potential leaders create game-changing personal brands. For more savvy advice and quick tips, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and sign up for her newsletter at www.aajacorinnethebrand.com.