Make it Personal

14 07 2008

This is your business card. This is a physical representation of you people will look at long after your actual meeting with them is over. This is something people will need to use to remember who you are and will quite likely help to shape their opinion of you when they happen to pick that card back up maybe years after you spoke to them.

So why do so many people put so little thought into their business card? Make it something interesting. Make yourself a personal business card that lets people get a feel for who you are as a person.

There’s no reason not to design your own business card. Any design software will do. Pick up a copy of QuarkXpress, just to name one, and you can start making a business card that says something about who you are.

What do you put on the business card? How am I supposed to tell you what is supposed to be something personal to you? What I can mention are the different areas to think about when making business cards.

The big two are you and your businesses. How exactly you go about representing yourself and your business are for you to decide. You might want to have a quote that fits your company or maybe you want to have a picture of you or the building you work in on the front of the card.

You could put a piece if advice or tidbit of information pertaining to your industry most people wouldn’t know about. I can guarantee that there is something interesting about the market you work in that most people aren’t aware of, and mentioning it on your card can be a way of both showing that you have experience in your field and give people trivia they’ll easily remember.

There are also a number of different styles of business cards for you to peruse if you want something beyond the basic format. Ever tried for a double-sided business card before? Put twice as much information on your card and use it as an effective marketing device.

Maybe you want to have a different kind of material for your card, or maybe you might want to have a card that opens like a small folder. There are so many different styles out there for you to choose from if you just go looking for them.

There aren’t enough people who take a business card seriously. The potential it has if you just put the needed time and energy into it is amazing as a form of powerful marketing. But all too often the business card is regulated to a necessary thing that isn’t focused on much beyond the need to have one.

Make a card unlike anybody else, and you can be sure when you hand it to someone for the first time they’ll notice.

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3 responses

14 07 2008
casualtyofdesign

To quote you…
” There’s no reason not to design your own business card.”

With all due respect I would have to strongly disagree, there are several reasons why a person shouldn’t design their own business card. I couldn’t even begin to name them all but I’ll start with a few reasons.

Number one… economics! Your suggesting for someone to go buy a copy of quarkXpress? Even if you find an older copy you’ll be paying upwards of $500, this doesn’t make sense for the stay at home mom trying to sell hand made jewelry and just wants a business card to hand out at the local art fair or farmers market.

Secondly you need experience designing business cards if you want to be taken seriously. Far too many times have I seen the real estate guy trying to save a buck design his own business card. 4 fonts later he’s put together what he thinks is so cool when in all actuality look terrible and makes no sense.

If people could have it their way they’d design their business card with multiple fonts including (Comic Sans), BOLD everything and put a glamor shot picture from 1982!

As a graphic and website designer I strongly disagree… hire a professional to create your business cards, logos, website and anything else to market yourself. If you want to look professional and be taken serious… get serious and hire a professional.

With respect,

~ Mr Echo
http://www.casualtyofdesign.com

14 07 2008
casualtyofdesign

Sorry… one more thing, QuarkXpress is lame… InDesign is way better.

With respect,

Mr. Echo
http://www.casualtyofdesign.com

15 07 2008
adcreative

Without a doubt, Mr. Echo makes some very valid points in his comment. QuarkXPress is expensive, especially for a small home-based business. And InDesign (which might actually be better, as Mr. Echo points out) is even more costly.

Still, the basic premise remains the same: for most small businesspeople, designing their own card can be a cost effective and profitable strategy.

QuarkXPress and InDesign are not the only programs out there that allow you to create business cards. Almost anyone who uses a Windows computer has a copy of Microsoft Publisher. That program has more than enough features and options to allow most people to create a perfectly usable business card.

For most small businesses, creating their own business card is not a bad idea. The key is to make sure they follow basic business card design principles. Here is a (very) brief rundown of those principles:

1. Make your card unique from the billions of others out there.
2. At the same time, keep your card relatively simple.
3. Make sure to include all of your contact information.

And yes having a professional designer design a business card for you is never a bad idea. That will certainly produce a quality card for you. But if you intend to save a few bucks and design your own, go for it but make sure you know your design skill limits and just keep your design simple at the same time tailored for your business.

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