What to include on a Business Card (part 3 of 4)

What to include on a Business Card (part 3 of 4)

Regardless of what you decide your card should look like (design) or what format works best for you (traditional hand-held or electronic), the next big hurdle is choosing what information actually needs to appear on your business card.

Remember, business cards are meant as an introduction and record for future contact. So be sure to:

·         Have your name printed clearly. Some letters are harder to read than others in some fonts, (“V” looks like a “U” for example).

·         Don’t include unnecessary text. If you don’t use a middle name for business, there’s really no need for it on your card. A tag line is great; adding a mission statement might be a bit much for a 2x3 card.

·         The question of using personal titles or professional titles is a little more complex. Many people feel that using professional titles or university degrees on business cards is a form of bragging.  Some companies take pride in a more egalitarian approach. Know that there are countries in which ones titles, university degrees, and intra-company ranking is extremely important to acknowledge. One suggestion is to know where you’ll do business and have different and separate sets of business cards to use in various countries only.

·         Speaking of other countries: in some countries, having your business card translated into the local language (at least on one side of the card) is appreciated. In some countries it’s all but mandatory if you actually want to close deals and do business. Look into the necessity of having your card translated before traveling abroad.

·         Be sure all methods of contacting you are clear and easy to read. Include: your name, your business’ name, email, phone number(s). If you have a “store front” or office where you receive clients, be sure to include that address, too.

·         Don’t forget that a business card is part of the overall branding of your company. Be sure to create a logo and a look that reflects your business and be sure to include your logo on your business card.

·         Choose a suitable font. Cursive, flowery fonts are pretty but might be hard to read by non-native speakers. Additionally, if you work in a formal, no-nonsense industry, be sure your business card is straight forward and somber. The more creative your industry is, the more creative and decorative your business card can – and should – be.

·         Include your company’s URL; include your company's contact information if it’s different from your own (maybe you don’t work out of the head office). 

·         Exclude personal contact information. If you don’t want business contacts calling you at home, don’t include your home phone number. 

·         Include your social media (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook) links, but ONLY if you use social media for business networking. Do not include any personal social media accounts.

·         Consider using QR codes - which are a good way to provide additional information about your company or yourself – but only if you work in an industry where it’s assumed ‘everybody’ is familiar with QR codes and has a scanner on their phones. Otherwise, it’s just pretentious.

If you are still in doubt what your card should look like, take a look at the business cards from people who you respect and who are successful in your field. Follow their cues.



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