Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Anatomy of a Business Card 101

You probably never even give it a second thought. Someone asks for your card, so you smile and hand over a 2x3.5 inch piece of paper that gives them the very first impression of you and your business. Stop and think for a minute; what's on your card?

Generally, a business card contains these 5 very basic pieces of information:           
  1. Your business name
  2. Your name
  3. Your phone number
  4. Your website
  5. Your email address
Simple, right? Apparently not.

At a recent gathering of photography professionals, the speaker collected business cards from those in attendance to use in a drawing for door prizes to be given away that evening. After the meeting ended, the bag of business cards was left on a table. Curious to see what other photographers are using for cardstock, layout and design, I grabbed a handful of these cards. What I found surprised me.

While all of the cards contained the business name, most of them also contained the name of a specific individual. Here's where the surprises came:

Nearly 20% of the cards in the bag were only printed on one side.
            With business cards available inexpensively, why would you not use both sides? Put info about you or your business on the flip side. Use a photograph in conjunction with the contact info. (If it's not a client image, use a headshot of yourself!) Use association logos to let your clients know you're a member. Flaunt the fact you're a Certified Professional Photographer.

Choose a readable font and use it in a size that can be easily read.
            I was amazed at the number of cards where the font was so small, I had a difficult time reading it. Other cards had fonts where the numbers were difficult to discern because of the font style. Be sure to choose a font that reproduces well in different sizes without disappearing, running together or blocking up.

Almost 50% of the cards had a website and phone as the only contact information.
            Electronic media is a staple of our daily lives; include an email contact address so your clients can reach you via this method. Even though you have a contact form on your website, there are a percentage of prospective clients who won't work that hard to find you. Make it easy; include your email address on the business card.

Less is more.
            The cards with the most impact were the ones with fewer, larger images. Some attempted to cram so many tiny images onto the card that they were barely visible. Rather than try to showcase everything you do on a single business card, make up a card for weddings, for seniors, for children, for families . . . whatever you photograph! Labs who press print cards usually allow quantities as few as 50, so you can afford to have the right look for the right prospect. 

Take a peek at your card; is it making a powerful impression?

- David Grupa

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE business cards! Coming from a design background I realize the importance of clean design with strong branding. Its a shame so many miss the mark with something so simple.

    I noticed a few things at a workshop that gathered business cards for a prize recently too. People who put their information on a dollar bill as their entry have a greater chance of winning than those who drop their actual business cards in the box. Also, folding and bending your business card helps it stand out.