On average I attend 5-7 networking events a month (I really believe in networking). One of the hallmark disciplines that occurs at these networking events is the exchanging of business cards. I estimate that at the end of every month I collect 150-200+ business cards. That’s close to 2,400+ business cards a year (some of you collect way more than that I’m sure). What continues to amaze me as I exchange business cards with people is how many bad, I mean really crappy business cards there are out there.
If you grew up where I grew up you were told since you were a little tot “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I have a confession to make: I judge a business by its business card.
When another business person hands me their business card
I immediately judge it on the following four criteria …
- First I give it the ole “flex test” … Is it flimsy or firm? Flimsy does not impress me, nor will it impress a prospective customer. We’re talking pennies per card to get the nice thick card – spend the extra pennies.
- The second thing I look for is a website address (I’m a web guy). No website listed communicates to me one of two things. One, either you have one and were not forward thinking enough to actually consider putting it on your business card. Secondly, you don’t have one, which may mean you have not seriously invested in your branding and marketing budget.
- Thirdly, I look for an email address. If the email address is a consumer email address like “hotmail.com”, “yahoo.com” or even worse “aol.com” (yikes!), then it communicates to others that your business has not taken the fundamental steps to secure its brand. In other words, people may not take you and the services or products you offer seriously.If done right, your email address and website should match. For example, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org – my company website address is – www.crosscreativemarketing.com
- Fourthly, I look at the branding. Does your business card have a look and feel that tells me who you are and most importantly what you do? Does the aesthetic’s (colors, font choices, etc.) of your card match the aesthetic’s of your website? If not, then roll up your marketing sleeves and make them match.
A business card is one of the most affordable and efficient marketing tools you have. You get one chance to make a good impression with prospective clients. Don’t blow that impression by doing things on the cheap. Integrate the fundamentals I listed above. Today, review your current business card. If it violates any of the above, make the decision to hire someone to design you a professional business card. You’ll thank me later.