Make no mistake about it. Your business card is not a representation of who you are, but rather it is exactly who you are. After all of the handshakes are done and conversations have ended, a client or colleague is left with the lasting impression that is your business card. You can network all you want and be the most engaging person on the planet, but if you don’t have a business card to back up your bravado you just might miss out on reinforcing the relationships you worked so hard to build when it matters most: Back home.
It is after the trade show dust has settled when everyone gets back to business, and when a key decision maker is going through a stack of business cards that likely includes your competitors, it’s important that yours stand out among the pack. A brilliantly designed and professionally printed business card may not completely make or break your relationship, but it’s time to start thinking about your business card like you would a promotional product. Your business card reinforces your brand and because it is on the front lines of communication and reflection, you need to make it count.
Avoid Pitfalls of a Perilous Business Card
Bob Ylinen, Minuteman Press Regional Vice President for Northern California and Nevada, fully understands the power that business cards hold when they are first handed out and when they are being examined by clients: “A business card is a direct reflection of yourself and your business. Don’t let a poorly designed card give your potential customers the wrong impression about your products and services.”
Luckily, there are graphic designers and print professionals that can help business executives and entrepreneurs avoid all of the pitfalls associated with a perilous business card. One such pitfall that should be avoided at all costs is falling into the trap of simply getting a cookie-cutter business card from an online template that does nothing to distinguish you or your business from anyone else. The worst feeling in the world is giving out a business card only to find that yours has the exact same layout and design as others colleagues and competitors. The whole point of brand identity is to have your own identity, and that is why you should consult with experts and get custom business cards designed and printed.
Don’t Forget Your Brand Identity is On the Line
The image of a brand, once unleashed onto the public, is everything that matters to professional success and one’s business card is frequently first to greet potential clients. It is necessary to make sure that in the same way owners and staff dress in attire that fits the professional world and reflects the brand properly, so too should the design and production of their business cards. They should exhibit ideal visual and tactile attributes from appropriate stock thickness, to typography and colors that are selected as a result of a meaningful consultation with designers and marketing specialists who have partnered with their clients.
The right design, marketing and production partners will understand how best to utilize every element that has evolved from printing industry growth to generate expertly produced cards that are precisely on target in terms of quality and clarity. Options for production are impressive and during consultation those options will include die-cut cards, embossed, blind embossed, foil stamping, foil printed, UV coated, spot UV, laminated, matt laminated, gloss laminated, thick or extra thick stock, premium cards and more.
“A business card is a tangible representation of your business that your customer holds in his or her hand,” says Russell Freund, owner of The Minuteman Press Franchise in Arlington Heights, IL. He elaborates, “It sends your customer messages about the quality of your goods or services via both the visual and tactile senses. Make sure those messages are as strong and positive as possible.”
Collaborate with Professionals to Get the Best Custom Business Cards
It is true that the kind of information that is imprinted on business cards today has changed much over the years, replacing things like fax numbers with email addresses and social media identities, yet the card itself maintains supremacy in face-to-face opportunities to develop professional bonds. It continues on as a critical component of a modern networking strategy and just like a blog, Facebook page, Linkedin profile or website, an excellent business card can be the first noticeable representation and impression of your brand. Therefore, a lot depends on how and where it is designed and produced.
Valuable associations that invite additional prospective business can take root and grow simply from the presentation of thoughtfully designed, striking business cards and printing industry growth has brought this traditional but impactful tool into the modern networking era. Mark Calis, owner of Minuteman Press in Washington, DC, has an expert staff with generous experience in the area of superior business card design and production. He said, “Our graphic designers help to give our customers not only a business card, but a true reflection of who they are and what they represent.” Adds Ron Rubin, Minuteman Press Regional Vice President for New England: “Your business card represents you and your company and it is extremely important to have quality design, paper and printing for your card.”
Remember the Power of Tangibility
The medium of print is estimated to be a tangible, more intimate form of communicating information and making lasting connections. Partnering with a team of printing industry professionals better assures that the unique way in which every business needs to broadcast its brand image and message will be identified upon review, delivered in the final product and made even more effective because the partnership will include advice on marketing strategy. Minuteman Press International, the world’s largest and number one-rated digital print, design and marketing franchise continues to be preeminent in this vital arena within the business services industry. Rich Panowitz is the Houston Area Manager for Minuteman Press International and he noted, “With any business large or small, when you hand someone your business card and they say or think, ‘Wow! What a card!’, it makes a potent statement about you and the business the card represents. A high quality card is going to tell someone that you are from a high quality business.”
3 Tips to Reach the Business Card Mountaintop
Take these 3 tips into consideration when it is time to invest in a high-quality business card:
1. Know and reflect your brand: It delivers multiple levels of information and can simply be an easy way to exchange contact information. Foremost, however, a business card that is crafted with perfection is a perfect marketing tool, so before the design stage, consider your brand and what you would like your card to achieve in terms of its message. In this way, you will stand out from the competition and, knowing the mission of your design, will help keep it from being too crammed and will make the meeting with design professionals more productive, which results in a decidedly more memorable business card.
2. Make all points clear: Leaving off pertinent information is a trap that many entrepreneurs fall into when rushing to get their business cards. It is necessary for clients to have all viable ways to get in touch with you, so remember that all channels of communication need to be covered from the obvious ones like name, relevant phone numbers, email and office address to ones that touch on the modern age such as social media information, too. Another consideration is to include a QR code which is a matrix barcode that can be read by smartphones. This is a neat way to connect real-life and online marketing materials and a marketing specialist can assist with obtaining one. The code can link to special, unforgettable features on your website and reward people for reaching out and contacting you. It adds credibility and sophistication to the brand when a card displays more contact information possibilities with elements that reflect the latest technology.
3. Enjoy the creative aspect: When it’s time to meet with a design professional, it is also time to have some fun, knowing that the expert guidance provided will not lead you astray. You may want to consider adding your photo to your card so your face and credentials will be remembered (as well as the conversation that led to the card exchange). The back of the card is valuable marketing real-estate and it should be used to its full potential with, perhaps, promotional discounts or specials. Enjoy using vibrant color and consider varying layouts – anything you can imagine while maintaining the identity of your business will help make the final product unforgettable. Don’t skimp on paper stock quality because your business card is often the first impression people will receive of your brand and everything about it will be noticed. It must be top-notch.
Become Business Card Confident
Whether a business is about to embark on its first meeting with a design professional or it is time for an established business to “level-up” from a scam printing effort into something of highest quality, business card design and production must always be superior for brands to shine with success and rise above the competition with each exchange or meeting.
Sumner Misenheimer, successful owner of The Minuteman Press Franchise in Newburyport, MA, and his staff are seasoned in the area of design and production at the highest level. He assures with confidence, “We know the end presentation we can offer will represent how you want your company to project itself when you distribute your business cards. We have the desire and ability to truly listen and understand the message your brand needs to convey in order to be most successful. It is by this standard that every final printed item – including business cards – is produced.”
Let your local Minuteman Press help you win the business cards battle today.
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