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Is Your Business Card Working Hard For You?

by Amy Grossman

Your business card is your ambassador when you are not there. It is what you leave behind after you make a connection with a prospective client or referral partner. Is your business card working hard enough for you?

Bulletin board and billboard tests

Use these two tests to assess the impact of your business card.

First, does your card pass the bulletin board test? Collect the business cards of competitors and put them on a bulletin board along with yours. Does your card stand out? It should.

Next, think of your business card as if it were a billboard. When driving by at 60 mph, you have time to read only 5 or 6 of the most prominent words. The “real estate” on your business card should work as hard as that on a highway billboard. Remembering that the more you say, the less they read, what impression can your card make using just a few words?

Read the following tips to increase the effectiveness of your business card.

Build your brand

The weight and finish of the paper, the font style, and the colors all carry a message about you and your business. Your business card plays an important role in building your brand message.

  • Make your name your standout point by using bold font. Use your card to make a personal connection.
  • The font is a graphic element that conveys your brand. The font should send a message that reflects your customers’ expectations of your products or services. If you’re a party planner, Comic Sans may be a good fit. If you are a financial planner, a more serious serif font creates the right image.
  • Include your logo on your business card.
  • Consider including a professional headshot. A photo creates a personal connection and helps people remember who you are after they’ve filed your card away, then at a later date, refer back to it.
  • For a consistent message, use the same font in all your marketing materials: your business card, brochure and website.

Solve a problem for your target market

Use your business card to position yourself as the solution provider for your target market’s problem. List the benefits your product or service will have for the customer.

  • Put some services you provide as bullets. For example:
        * home staging
        * real estate downsizing
        * estate sales
  • Use action verbs. When selecting the right word, think about what you want people to remember about you.

Call to action

Turn your business card from a passive assemblage of information into a catalyst for taking action. The back of the card is a good place for a call to action.

  • Offer an assessment, e-book, special report, white paper, complimentary consultation, or other incentive to register at your website or give you a call.
  • Give people a taste of what you have to offer.

Make it easy for people to contact you

Don’t clutter your card with all of your points of contact. White space allows the information you do include to stand out.

  • Include your website address, email address and phone number.
  • If you don’t have a website yet, establish a LinkedIn account and use your LinkedIn ( address instead.
  • Put your social networking links to LinkedIn, facebook, and Twitter on your website homepage.
  • Only include your street address if people come to your place of business.

For more information about business cards and examples of good ones, I particularly like the book, The Best of Business Cards Design 6 (No. 6), by Blackcoffee Design Inc. available at