Are your Business Cards really helping you?

In case you’re wondering – this is what it looks like…it’s a meatcard, more specifically it’s a business card made out of meat.  I was just in the process of ordering new cards, but decided these weren’t really what I was looking for (although they would generate a lot of attention…).

I’ve needed to order new cards for quite a while and finally last week I managed to get that done.  The actual ordering part isn’t hard, but I knew that I wanted to make some sort of change to my cards and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  The Meatcard is too much for me but it is important for your card to stand out in some way.

If you’re like me, you likely have a stack of business cards somewhere near your desk from past meetings that you’ve had.  If you spread all of those cards out, how many of them actually stand out?

More importantly, if you threw your own in the pile, would it stand out?

So what should you do for your cards?

You don’t need to be Gimmicky!

When I say stand out, you don’t need to go super creative and come up with something really quirky.  Although those that can pull it off deserve a lot of credit, it’s clearly the exception rather than the rule and a tough idea to shoot for – as an example, here’s one that’s clever:

It’s for a divorce lawyer and the card splits apart so both parties have the contact information (handy and clever!).

Does that mean that this lawyer is generating a lot more business than anyone else?  Not necessarily, but I imagine that people tend to remember the card (and therefore the lawyer).

If you’re looking for more gimmicky ideas, I did find a great site that has a lot of different cards that you can check out – I especially like the other divorce mediator cards that were designed to be left at certain types of hotels!  Go to where your target market is hanging out!

It does help to have a point

More important than gimmicky is to use the valuable real estate of the card to give people some idea of what you’re about.

You should only be giving out cards to people that have requested them and have some sort of interest in what you do, but even in those situations, it’s a good idea to reinforce a key point or two on what you really do (as opposed to your company name or profession).

This one is still a little gimmicky, but I really like the emphasis on the tag line.  I know they have something to do with Search and my expectations are set that they are doing something different than everyone else.

Here’s what I ended up with

I decided to not particularly rock the boat with a new design – the front of my cards stayed the same and is fairly traditional, with my logo, name and contact information and website listed with a lot of white space.

The tag line on the front of my cards has been helpful when I’m having introductory meetings – “Work ON your business, not IN your business”.  It’s cliche, but it does resonate with people that are frustrated with not being able to move ahead.

I did change the back of the card – most people tend to leave the back of the card blank (and there is some benefit to giving people a place to write) but I wanted to reinforce one of the themes that I see a lot with business owners, so I went with this as the back of my card:

It’s really difficult to make changes, but the reality is that your results are based on what you’re doing – if you want to change the results, then you’ve got to change the other stuff!  I have a variation of this conversation almost every day with a business owner, so I thought it would be worthwhile to include with my card.

I thought about going with an image or an outline of the process that I use, but with limited space I thought this quote would be more effective.  What do you think of it?

I’d love to hear what you’re doing with your cards (or what you’d like to do).  Share your thoughts below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach