We’ve all seen them. Business cards that fall flat or just give the wrong first impression. Business cards are an important step when starting a business, as they can say a great deal about you, your work and your brand. Cathy Berman, director of marketing (international) at digital print company MOO, says keeping these pitfalls in mind should put you on your way to making a great first impression.
Piling on the design elements: While business cards should be memorable, it’s also important not to go overboard. One strong design element, like a powerful photo or an intricate logo, is enough for one side of the card (and sometimes both). The other elements should be simple and clean, to ensure your card looks slick and polished as opposed to looking cluttered. Less is more. If you need inspiration, MOO has many great business card templates that can be customised to feel unique.
Choosing colours at random: Unless you have a keen eye for design, the chances are you should not be picking out a colour scheme at random. Luckily, there are great resources that can take the guesswork out of it and generate a great colour palette with a click of the mouse.
Skipping the proof: This should go without saying but you can’t imagine how many people have mistakes on their cards! From not following brand guidelines, to misspellings or phone numbers missing a digit, not only will these make it harder for people to contact you but they will also reflect poorly on your business overall. The easiest way to avoid this is to have two or three people look at the card design before having them printed. Easy as that!
Going in blind: If, like most people, you’re ordering business cards online, you should always request paper samples. Something can look great on the screen, but feel very different to the touch and a long way from the effect you were aiming for. Remove the variable by requesting a sample pack before placing the order to ensure you can see and touch your preferred paper type.
Assuming the business card will do all the work: Business cards can be very helpful in making a strong first impression, but you should never let the exchange end there. Sending a quick email or handwritten note can go a long way towards establishing a stronger connection. I personally like to jot down a few notes about the exchange on the back of each business card I receive, to ensure I remember the conversation so I can reference it in my follow up if relevant. If a note is not suitable, connecting with the person on LinkedIn can be another way to keep the exchange going beyond that first meeting.
Cathy is the director of marketing (international) and global ecommerce at MOO, where she is responsible for all MOO markets outside the US and Canada. Her career path has given her the edge in delivering breakthrough marketing leadership for a number of design-influenced premium online brands. Her focus is on driving growth via search, performance marketing and display, while Cathy also places a huge emphasis on relationship-building marketing activities.