“Here’s my card, let’s keep in touch.”
We’ve all said it and had it said to us … or something along those lines. But how often have you tossed someone’s business card after a networking event because you can’t remember who they are and their card doesn’t tell you what they do? Do you ever wonder if your card gets similar treatment?
The reality is, we have a very short time to make an impression. At networking events, or a chance meeting, you can be lucky to get 5 minutes of quality conversation time. (There’s a reason the “elevator speech” is supposed to be short and to the point!) The idea of exchanging business cards is so that you can follow up and continue the conversation and/or establish legit ways to stay in touch and foster a relationship.
I’ve attended a decent number of networking events since I started my business and I notice issues with business cards right away because (obviously) it’s my business to do so. BUT, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been thwarted in an attempt to connect on a social platform, refer someone, or simply follow up by lack of info on a business card … and that means someone’s losing potential clients/customers which means lost money.
Make Your Business Card Work Smarter & Harder
As entrepreneurs, business owners, and even those who may be in the market for a new job, we can’t afford to have our cards thrown in the recycling bin. Here are some tips to help your business card work harder and smarter for you.
Please make sure the basic info is actually CORRECT and ON your cards before you print them:
- Business name
- Tagline (if you use one)
- Contact Info: Email/phone/mobile/website url.
You’d be surprised how many times I receive a card that’s missing contact info OR I find out it’s incorrect!
- TIP: Make sure that the name you use on your is the name you use in your email and LinkedIn accounts. If someone wants to connect on LinkedIn, they need to have the exact same name as on your card or they might not be able to find you. For example, if you use “Deb Goeschel” on your card, don’t make your LinkedIn name “Debra Goeschel.” Make it consistent across all your points of contact.
Ensure your logo — if you have one — is a clear and dominant item on your card. I recently encountered a card designed in a way that the social icons took center stage because they were bigger and above the name of the company and the logo! If you don’t yet have a logo, then make sure your name rules in the hierarchy.
Use a Photo
Yes, I know plenty of you don’t want your photo on your card … but give it some serious consideration. People who network meet a LOT of new people; it’s simply impossible to remember everyone clearly — and matching names to faces post-event can sometimes be tough. Photos go a long way toward helping them remember you.
- TIP: If you use a photo, invest in yourself and your business and get your headshot professionally taken!
What You Do
Believe it or not, the name of your business and/or your five minute conversation at a networking event doesn’t always convey clearly what it is you do! (If you find yourself struggling with this more often than not, contact me and we will get your brand messaging where it needs to be.) I’m a big advocate of using the back of your card for a few key bullet points that encapsulate your main reason for being as a business, what you’re seeking in a job search, etc — it’s open space, make it work for you!
If you use these it’s to let folks know they can connect with you on a particular social platform. Do NOT use them if you’re not active on the social platform! And as I mentioned above, make sure they can find you, and the icons should NOT be more important than your company name and other key information.
If you think your business cards aren’t working hard enough for you, contact me and let’s make sure you and your business are memorable! Know some folks who could use this advise? Please share this post with them! 🙂