Improving your first impression with a quality business card

Improving your first impression with a quality business card

Michael Janes


Friday, December 11, 2020

Those who know me understand the importance I place upon networking. Networking is a crucial part of being in business. People buy from people and I guarantee that if you take on board the basic principles of first impressions, you will improve your chances of closing the sale.

The first part of any good first impression is the outward appearance, but what some people forget is in order to make a lasting impression you need to accompany your outward appearance with a business card that reflects you as a person but also reflects your brand. Many times I have been in a networking environment and people have poor quality business cards. I believe you need to reflect more than what you do, but also reflect the quality of the products and services.

Mistakes to avoid on your business cards:

  • Only have details on one side of the business card – you have two sides on your business card, make sure you use it all to its full potential
  • Have a generic card in which you hand write your name and email on it – this will look unprofessional; it is worth investing in a pack of decent printed business cards to hand out
  • Use less than 400gsm card – thin card feels cheap and may give off the impression you aren’t willing to spend the money to properly market your business
  • Have outdated information on the card – if the information you provide is outdated or incorrect, how will your potential clients/customers contact you?
  • Have a QR code on the card – not everybody will know what QR codes do and not everybody will want to install a reader on their device in order to scan it
  • Your picture on a card – it is more professional to feature your company logo or iconography, you’re selling your business, not yourself

The best business card practices: Have the following minimum contact details on the card

  • Name
  • Job Title
  • Company branding and logo
  • Company strapline
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address (Personal company, not info@ or similar)
  • Full postal address or PO Box address
  • Web address
  • Additional options include: Other phone numbers, i.e. mobile number and office number
  • Fax number
  • List of services,
  • Social media URLs (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.)
  • Quality standards
  • Partnerships’ logos
  • If you export or have dealings in other countries, make sure you internationalise your cards. This may mean having multiple cards in different languages or one side dedicated to a different language.

Remember that this is the one thing that means somebody has your details to strike up that important conversation with you. It allows for a second meeting, or by giving multiple cards to people you meet, they can introduce your services to people they know. The best way of creating a lasting impression is to ensure your cards are appropriate and unique from the huge array of sameness which plagues many networking events. In order to create something different you’ll need to hire an experienced graphic designer or creative agency that can help you adopt a clear brand message across all your communications, that is both consistent and creative.

What does it cost to print good quality cards?

Quality doesn’t always mean expensive. However, quality counts and can impress your potential new clients. I like Spot UV with a subtle mark on the card. I have noticed so many times the body language of a person as they’ve looked at my business card and noticed the shine of the spot UV logo. They then begin to tilt the card to see the light revealing the varnished area. This means they are concentrating on your card and that means they will remember who you are and what you do. Dress to impress with quality business cards.

However, the best practice is to make the business cards part of your everyday life. Always carry around your card in a little wallet even when you are not at work as you never know who you might meet. Be sure to look after your business cards because if they are creased or scratched, they detract from the company image.

But when is a business card not a card but an advert or leaflet?

This is a fine line to draw. Should you use a folding business card to have more space on it for information or refer them to your website? I have seen many cards that become a promotion for the goods and services. Understanding the core principles for a business card is to reflect who you are and your corporate image in the marketplace. If you think they should have an advert, hand out leaflets instead.

I hope that these hints and tips will resonate with you and help you do more business through quality networking.