What does your business card mean to you? The importance of a business card is often overlooked, most only thinking of them as a formality instead of the persuasive marketing and networking tool that ingrains your brand into the customers mind, prompting sales and initiating conversations.

For most, that first handshake, the exchange of business cards between possible partners, seems less important than the actual conversation. They create business cards that are basic, following the templates provided by the company to the tee, adding one more to the batch of bland business cards out in the world.

Odds are, you’re in the same situation. Which is why I have decided to enlighten you on 10 reasons why your business card is lousy and how you can fix it.

1. They Downplay Your Importance

Business is not about the company, it’s about the people. Many business cards tend to accentuate the company instead of the person handing them out. Making sure that your name stands out, along with your contact information, will strengthen your customer relationships. Your photo should always be larger than your company’s logo, along with your name.

2. Your Picture Captures Your “Bad Side”

So you set up your camera for a picture of yourself or you’ve managed to bribe your assistant to take one for you. Finally, you have the picture you’ve been struggling to get, except those dark circles and reflective foreheads are not helping any. If you want to convince customers to work with you, you need a more inviting photo.

Ignore the limitations of small square photos, embrace styles that stand out. Have your photo fill the entire background or take up half of your business card. If you don’t like your photo or you can’t seem to catch the perfect shot, have no photo at all! No photo > bad photo.

3. Lacking A Catchphrase

Maybe not a catchphrase in the conventional sense, but a quick tagline to catch the customers attention while giving them some idea of what you do. It’s a strong hook that you want customers to think of and associate with you.

4. What You Offer… Or Rather What You Don’t

Offering something to your prospective customers (not just that “free consultation”) will encourage them to move forward with the transaction. Include the offer on your business card, whether on the front or back, to let the customers know what they need to do to use your little incentive.

5. What’s Your Value?

People tend to keep the things that have personal value. Potential customers are more likely to hold onto your business card if it has some worth, like a schedule, checklist, a brief guide, or a discount.

These fit nicely on the back of your business card, just remember to make it relevant to your consumer base. Otherwise, assume your business card will face the worst… The trash.

6. Blending In With The Crowd

With so many business cards out there, you want yours to stand out. If yours looks like everyone else’s, it’s time to make some changes. Try something new. Experiment with the different textures, try out those weird cuts, use those bold colors. The more your business card stands out (while still being aesthetically appealing) the more likely it is that someone will look at your card.

7. Too Much Of A Throwback

Keeping a vintage theme is completely different than living in the past. It’s important to incorporate new types of technology and trends into your business cards. Use it to link to your website, highlight a viral video, collect email addresses, and social media. With the increasing use of social media, you don’t want to miss that boat.

8. Quality Is Key

Trying to save some money by printing your business cards at home? Maybe not. After investing in the proper ink and paper, it ends up being more expensive. Going with a professional company will save you money as well as set you up as a professional contact. Poor DIY business cards can lead to the customer as thinking of you as a poor DIY business, quickly shrinking your customer base.

9. Unchanged And Unimportant

If it’s not broke don’t fix it. False. Even when you don’t think your cards are outdated or growing bland, it’s time to change things up. And don’t wait for a decade to pass by before attempting to spice it up, print new cards regularly. Printing in mass quantities is cheap and printing business cards is cheap already.

Permanent changes are not always necessary either, print seasonal cards. Keep up with your customers by staying relevant in their daily lives. When Christmas comes around, embrace some holiday cheer. St. Patrick’s day? Throw in a dash of green.  Maybe do a special offer for a limited time only, or until all those business cards are gone.  Even adapting your card for a certain event you’re attending can gather some increased business.

10. Bland And Boring

Always aim to catch the eye of your customer. Think of creative and unique ways to represent your company. Offer trivia questions when you go to business conferences or add in some fun facts, an interesting story, a little game, or some corny jokes.

Come up with something to engage with the customer and to get them (and other businesses) talking. When you can get the conversation going, they’ll remember you when they get home and are ready to shop.

If you need business cards but haven’t gotten around to making any yet, now is the time. We can’t wait to help you get started!

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