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These days, it’s tough to remember a time before all of our documents went digital. Before we had online portfolios and LinkedIn profiles, we had business cards.
This marketing practice may seem old-school, but for some small business owners, business cards are just as useful today as they were decades ago.
Let’s take a look at whether you really need business cards. Are there business card design tips to help you stand out from the pack and bring new connections back to your business and your website?
The answer depends on your industry and your objectives.
Forbes asked more than a dozen experts to weigh in on whether business cards are dead, and many agreed: Business cards are still good to have if you work in a very traditional industry, or if you’re looking for a personal way to connect and make a tangible impression.
“I believe business cards should always be handy,” Alex Quin of Miami-based investment marketing firm UADV told Forbes. “Especially for audiences that tend to keep it old-school and aren’t on the social media wave.”
Another expert, Dan Golden of digital marketing agency Be Found Online, agreed. “Collect a business card, but take immediate notes. Back at the office, scan the card. There are a lot of scanner apps. Input the info gathered, and let it prompt a useful and valuable follow-up.”
Even if your work happens entirely online — think graphic design or web development — your business card is an opportunity to showcase your unique style and your brand’s personality.
Think of your business card as a blank canvas for your creativity. Forget the stodgy, boring business cards that are ubiquitous in corporate offices. Your business card should reflect your brand’s character, whether that’s playful, formal, abstract, or something else altogether.
Whether you create your cards through a site like Moo or Vistaprint, or work with a local print shop, there are endless ways to personalize your business card design so that it stands out in a crowd. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Play with texture and paper weight. A card on sturdier stock or a card with an interesting texture is a tactile way to make your business card stand out.
- Try an unusual shape, but not too unusual, since you still want your card to fit into a standard wallet.
- Make your text pop with foil accents. Metallic foil adds shimmer and pizzazz to plain old business cards. Use it to highlight your business name or to bring your logo to life.
- Use something other than a card. Is there a different small item you could personalize with your contact information and use in lieu of business cards? Ideally, this is something that relates back to your business, like a coaster to promote your bar or a smartphone pop socket to promote a tech business.
Even if you embrace the business card as a marketing tool in 2019, you’ll want to be sure that your business card connects back to your online presence, which is where most people will go to learn more about you and follow up.
You can do this by creating a short, custom URL that you feature on your business card. The URL should lead to a landing page that includes all the info you want people to easily access: your email address, portfolio, or a specific call to action. The card should also complement your site’s design, too, to create a strong visual identity.
By thinking outside of the box with your business cards, you may find that this marketing technique is just as useful today as it was decades ago. A memorable business card can pique interest in your small business and ultimately help you reach your goals.
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