Small business BIG growth®
Words by Jacqui Hine, Graphic Designer and Owner of No Grey Creative
Surely it’s a no brainer what to put on a business card, right? Then why do so many people get it wrong?
When I meet new business contacts at a networking group or out and about, I’m often asked the question (because I design cards for a living) “so, what’s your expert opinion of my card hey?”. Honestly, 70% of the time that card is not up to scratch. They are either printed on cheap thin paper, do not have enough information on it or old details are scribbled out and replaced with pen.
‘Not me, my cards are fine the way they are…’ I hear you say. From my experiences, I can safely assume that if you took a step away from your business and objectively looked at your card, you would find flaws.
Here are the top 5 mistakes people make with their business cards, starting with number 5…
5. Generic design from Vista Print. Getting free generic cards from Vista Print screams “I’m a tightass and I got free cards from Vista Print” That is all. In no way is this reflecting you in a professional light. Throw them in the recycling bin right now.
4. Having a ‘Hotmail like’ address for professional use. A hotmail for professional use suggests a back room business with limited resources. Not the best image to conjure up of yourself. If you have one these, deactivate it and start using the email address associated with your domain name. If you don’t know how to do this, ask an IT professional.
3. Clogging up the card with useless information. Industry logos, qualifications, work title (ie. Director) and things like fax numbers should only be on there if relevant. If you have a fax machine but you get one fax a year, don’t put it on there. Qualifications are generally only relevant for businesses like Engineering, Lawyers Psychologists etc. If you are the ‘Director’ of a Photography business but you actually take photos for a living, call yourself a Photographer and not a Director. No one cares you have an Arts Degree, they just care what you can do for them.
2. Include social media icons but don’t actually update their accounts. Hello? Anybody there? Social media is a place for you to express opinions, share information and heighten your public credibility. If people go onto your social media sites from your business card and you haven’t updated for 6 months, then you are going to appear pretty uninteresting and disorganised. Credibility destroyed! If you don’t update them, don’t include them.
And the most common and detrimental mistake people make with their business cards…
1. They don’t say what they ACTUALLY DO! Do a test. Next time you go for your morning coffee, hand a stranger your business card and get them to tell YOU what you do. If they can’t explain it after looking at your card then you know you are in trouble. Your message is lost and you are wasting your time.
How many hours and dollars do you spend a year networking? ALOT. If your card is making one or any of these mistakes then you are not getting the best conversion possible for your efforts. You are actually in that 70% of people who’s card is not up to scratch.
A good business card can take you places you never thought of. It’s one of the most powerful tools you have so make sure you are not selling yourself short.
Jacqui is a graphic designer and the owner of the humble design studio – No Grey Creative. A reputable and well respected member of the business community, Jacqui has vast experience in her field of expertise ranging from designing logos, websites, digital content, print media and all things in between.