Business Card Dos and Don'ts
In a previous post, we talked about some of the options for creating your business card, including paper types, color, and more. We will now spend a little time talking about what you should do when you actually get your card made, and what you do with it afterward.
- Get them professionally printed. There is an obvious difference between a professionally printed card and one made at home with a kit and an inkjet printer. Making your cards at home isn't as cost effective as it appears, given the price of the paper you need and the ink. Doing them at home also gives an impression of "cheap" and "unprofessional".
- Proofread. Nothing is worse than handing someone a card that has your phone number or email address wrong. This is the item you hand to people to give them the ability to contact you. Make sure it's correct.
- Always give your card out two at a time. This provides the receiver the ability to pass one on to someone else. Think of it as a subtle way to ask for a referral.
- Always keep extra cards handy. Keep a box in the car, in the office, and at home so you're never without. Make sure you never go anywhere without cards in your pocket. Keep a few extras in your wallet. You never know when an opportunity will present itself. Be prepared.
- Update your cards as soon as your information changes. If your phone number or address changes, update them asap. It doesn't matter if you still have 800 left. Get the new ones made. Scratched out information looks unprofessional.
- Include them in all your written correspondence. If you send an invoice, a thank you letter, or anything else via mail, put a card or two in the envelope.
- Get them for free. There are places on the internet that will give you so many cards at no cost. These cards often have the name of the printer on them. In my opinion, this also makes the holder look unprofessional. Business cards are pretty inexpensive. The professional image is worth it.
- Print small quantities. Generally speaking, it's not worth printing less than 1000 of anything. Business cards are no exception. Most of the cost at the printer is in the set up. Therefore, the difference between 500 and 1000 is pretty miniscule. Printed items get progressively less expensive the higher you go.
- Wait until you are out of cards to reorder. It takes time to print new cards. Pay attention to how many are in the box when you take some out. If you have a big event coming up where you think you may meet a lot of people, you will want to get extras if it looks like you may be getting low.
- Make your employees share cards. You're not doing their credibility any favors by making them write their name on it or hand out a card without a name.
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