Some people like to collect comic books. Others collect cats. I’ve seen a few episodes of My Strange Addiction that still make my insides squirm–but now we’re getting off topic.
Personally? I collect business cards. I’ve always loved whipping out my wallet and saying “Here–take my card”–to potential business prospects, to new friends, even to guys who were hitting on me when I didn’t have a clue–and later forced me to text them, humiliated, and let them know that I’m engaged and just thought they were looking for a PR agent.
Whatever the occasion, I’ve got a business card made for it. Potential client needs a copywriter? Bam. Take a card. Potential client needs a marketing expert? BAM. In the hand. Potential cop asking why I’m parking handicapped and don’t have any broken bones? BAM! I’m insulted, but prepared.
I’ve also been known to leave cards with my blog’s link on them in women’s bathrooms, bars, and doctor’s offices.
What? I just like the idea of being able to introduce myself when I’m not even there.
So, having created about 47 of my own personal designs and supportting VistaPrint, Moo.com, 123Print, and Zazzle through their infancies and into the grand printing presses they now are…here are some tips for creating a stand-out business card:
1. Size Matters: Oversized Business Cards Annoy the Shit Out of Me
If I can’t fit it in my wallet or my pocket, then what good is it to me? You think you’re being cool by handing me a giant ass piece of cardboard with your phone number on it? Well, you’re not. Do not go big or go home. Go regular sized or smaller. Take these cute little numbers for instance:
I fell in love with the cards at moo.com. They’re just so funky and well… weird. And they’ve always made a splash at every networking event I’ve been to. Real conversation starters! People are all…”What is this?…Oh, wait…I get it. I like that!”
Mince Pies–eyes–King Lears–Ears–They’re words. And I’m helping you to find the right ones because I’m a writer. Ha–Get it? You do get it, right?
3. Show Them Your Pretty Face: Adding a Picture Helps Them To Remember You
As if anyone could forget the girl in the short red cocktail dress at a networking event! But if you find your calls not being returned after an initial meeting–it’s probably because you were nervously checking your wallet to make sure you didn’t hand over the card with your grocery list on the back of it, instead of making eye contact like you should have been doing. Adding a picture to your card helps people make a personal connection.
4. Tease Them
Whether it’s a blank card with a QR code, or just a link–these kind of business tools poke at our inner curiosity. It’s like finding an unscratched lottery ticket in a parking lot. You could go to this website and become a millionaire! Or maybe just find a new blog you’ll like…Or get a discount on lawn mowers. I don’t know. But I want to know.
5. Pick the Right Card for the Right Person
There are lots of kinds of business. There’s funny business. There’s serious business. And there is the business of managing other people’s business. I like to start by stereotyping them and choosing the perfect card to hand them appropriately.
For the serious business types I go with the elegant cursive, raised print cards:
And for the rest, I go with a bright pink and green card they could find at the bottom of their purse–in a dark club–at night.