A resounding Yes!

OK, we live in a digital networking age where everyone can be found online somewhere – a corporate website, a social media channel, a PR piece, Blog post, whatever. But no matter how digitally advanced we are your business card often remains a potential customer’s first contact with you and your company.

The old saying still stands: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. A business card connects with a new prospect on a personal level, encourages them to find out more about you and what you do. A well-designed, simple, impactful business card does this. Here are some of our most practical tips on creating a distinctive and professional card.


1. Logo and tagline

You may think it’s a ‘no-brainer’ but I can’t tell you how many business cards we’ve come across with either no logo at all or, possibly even worse, a really ill-conceived or blurry or smudgy logo.

And what, precisely, is the purpose of knowing your company is XYZ Solutions if you don’t let me know what solutions you could bring me? Think about a four- to five-word company descriptor, that is clear and precise, and hey presto, you’ve got your tagline.

Your logo and tagline are extensions of your brand, and your business card needs to convey your business to your audience in a powerful and memorable way. Your prospects should be able to identify your brand and instantly recognize it wherever they see it in the future – on your website, your portfolio, your email signature, or your premises.


2. Name and job title

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? It’s likely that business cards have the contact’s name on it. But if they do have a job title, then that doesn’t necessarily tell you what role they perform in the organisation.

Let’s start with the name. My name is Andrew, and it’s always Andrew. It’s never Andy. So many times I’ve been given a card from an Andrew / Katherine / Stephen and I’m immediately told that they go by the name Andy / Kate / Steve. If that’s the case, and you want to make a personal connection with the prospective new customer then put the name you want to be known by on the card. But let’s just stick to real names and avoid at all costs nicknames or buddy names.

When I see a job title on a card I want to know what that person actually does. Quite how much help is it (besides finding out how high they sit in the company’s organogram) to find out this person is a Managing Director or Partner or Director? By the time I’m back at the office I’m not sure what the person’s job was or why I should call them. So, Jane Jones, Partner, ABC Financial doesn’t tell me much. But Jane Jones, Corporate tax expert and Partner, ABC Financial does.


3. Contact Information

OK, we’ve come this far. You’ve met someone interesting. You’ve impressed them with your brand, and it’s clear to them what you do and how you can help them. As they are passed from hand to hand, business cards create a personal connection between you and your contact. Now you need them to get in touch following this meeting.

The contact information is the substance of the business card. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to contact you. But which of all your contact details should you include? The key here is that you want this person to contact YOU. You want to make it easy for them. So it would be counter-productive to send them through a labyrinth of gatekeepers and digital dead-ends. Let them have your direct contact details.

Email addresses such as info@ or office@ are generic and impersonal and frustrating, as are switchboard telephone numbers or voicemail hell.

Lots of business cards these days don’t include a physical address on their business cards. Leave this out if you’re struggling for space. But include it if your business model is local, or related to a geographical area. Often, prospective customers may specifically want to do business with a local firm.

Make sure the card doesn’t look cluttered – space is good! Don’t be tempted to overstuff it with detail as this will not have a positive impact.

A good business card is an extension of your brand, and needs to be memorable and impactful, appealing to all the senses.

4. Social media profiles

You should always include your social media profiles on your business card, as they have now become indispensable if you want to connect and engage with your target market. But you don’t have to use all of them. Your social media profile is important as, with a lot of your potential target audience, if you’re not on social media then you don’t have a public profile.

But don’t overwhelm your audience. Remember what we said above about being clear and easy, and that space is good? You don’t need to list all your social media accounts on your business card. Think strategically about your accounts and only list the few channels where contacts can get an overall impression of your business and the ones you’re most active in.

If your business has several social media accounts then a good tip is to ensure that all the handles on your multiple channels are the same, for example @abcfinancial You could then simply display on your card: social @abcfinancial People these days are knowledgeable enough to know to search the various channels using your handle.


5. Use the back of the card

Always use the back of the business card! This is free advertising space. You’ve managed to get your card in you contact’s hand and one of the first things they’ll do is flip it over. I always do, but maybe that’s because I’m a marketer.

This space is free space to highlight your branding or messaging. Whatever you do, use it wisely and make it memorable. You can use your logo and brand, photos, brand statements, a short company descriptor – anything memorable.


6. Production values

Without naming names, we recently designed a fabulous business card for one of our clients which ticked all the boxes above. When it came to printing the cards, some bright spark within the operation thought they would earn brownie points with the boss by sourcing a much cheaper print quote than we supplied. And the boss went with this cheaper quote. Although the business cards were beautifully and effectively designed, when printed they looked exactly what they were – cheap and nasty and, frankly, an embarrassment to the company.

You’ve come all this way, so don’t fall at the last hurdle. Once your design and content are spot on, push the boat out and produce quality cards that have the required, positive impact with your new contact. Engaging more than one sense at a time – in this case, touch and feel – improves recall, so people will be more likely to remember your business, in a positive way, if you have high production values.

Thicker cards feel more expensive and they make your business seem more professional. You should also consider having a good finish, something like a matt or gloss laminate. There are a wide range of finishes available, so speak to your printer (or a good agency) and do the right thing.


A parting word: A good business card is an extension of your brand, and needs to be memorable and impactful, appealing to all the senses. It should convey, clearly and concisely, the right information about who you are, what you do, and the easiest ways possible of contacting you.