A business card is a very powerful direct marketing tool for your business. You must always carry some with you wherever you go since you never know when or where you may find potential leads and customers.
Your business card should be able to convey who you are, what you do, where you work, and how to connect with you in a very memorable and meaningful way.
After finalizing the design, it’s time to decide what information you should put on the card. Some leave off information recipients need the most, thereby making their business card a piece of paper that people throw in the bin as soon as they go home.
So it’s important to know what to include in your business card in order to establish powerful connections with potential leads and customers.
Here are the most important pieces of information that you should put on your business card no matter what industry you are in.
Your business card should convey your business’s identity to potential leads and customers through visual elements such as logo, shapes, colors, and fonts.
These visual elements, especially the logo and tagline, must be included in your business card so that recipients can identify your brand and recall it when they see it in the future, be that on your website, newsletter, portfolio or anywhere else.
A unique, professional logo with a short, memorable tagline that summarizes the mission of your business and products/services it offers in a catchy way will definitely impress prospects.
Think of your tagline as an elevator pitch where you share a quick look of your top skills and experiences to make a great first impression and help people remember you.
It’s pretty obvious but you would be surprised to see how many people forget to include it. Let’s say your name is John Doe but you prefer to be called Jhonny. Then you should include Jhonny and not John Doe in your business card.
The card doesn’t necessarily need to contain your real name, although it would be more professional to do so. You can introduce yourself however you like to avoid awkward name corrections later.
Whether it’s a company business card or a personal business card, it doesn’t matter. People expect someone tangible to connect with when they pick up your card so make sure you include your name (Typically after the company tagline).
Below your name should be your job title. People who have your business card will hesitate to contact you if they don’t know what you do since they don’t want to waste their time contacting the wrong person in a company.
If you are a freelancer, entrepreneur, or small business owner you may have many roles when doing business but which one should you include in the business card? It should be the one with the highest authority.
For example, a freelancer who owns a small web design agency will have many roles within the business such as founder, CEO, web designer and etc. But the role with the highest authority is founder so he or she should probably include that.
Showing authority in your job title isn’t always the best choice, especially if the company logo, tagline and design of the card do not illustrate what your business does. In these situations, it’s better to use your functional job title than your authoritative job title.
What do I mean by this? Let’s take the previous example. I mentioned the freelancer is a web designer as well, right?.
Sometimes it’s better to mention that you are a web designer rather than saying you are the founder or CEO because people what to be able to recall what your job was and why they should contact you.
If you still wish to include your authoritative title, do it after mentioning your functional job title like shown below.
Web designer & Founder.
Back in the day, business cards had only one or at most, two phone numbers. Nowadays, business cards often contain more than two numbers including a 800 number, a direct business line, mobile number, and even a home number. This is nuts!
People will be confused as to which number they should call at different times and unless they are really desperate to call you (which won’t be the case most of the time), they won’t waste their time playing a game of telephone roulette.
So why not keep it simple and only include the one or two numbers that will let people reach you anytime, even when you are out of office. Typically this would be your personal cellphone number and business cellphone number.
You can even include a fax number if it’s relevant but make sure you properly label them to avoid confusion.
Today, e-mail has become the most popular way to contact someone for business purposes. Therefore you need to include an easy to read, professional email address right below the phone number.
The entire purpose of using business cards is to create personal connections between you and prospects.
So don’t break those connections by providing prospects with a generic email address that may lead them to believe that you don’t care about them.
If you don’t have a professional email address, just include your personal one hosted @gmail.com or any other email provider (Not recommended).
Almost all business cards these days contain a website URL and yours should too.
Here you are expecting prospects to be so impressed by the look and feel of your business card that they will type in your website URL in their browser and visit it to find out more information about you or your company.
If it’s a career business card and not a company business card, people will visit the website to see examples of your previous work and list of previous clients, before contacting you directly.
This is a great way to establish credibility and get traffic to your website from people who are very likely to be your future customers.
So, in a sense, you can say by including your website URL in your business card, you can get highly targeted traffic to your website.
Don’t just send prospects to the home page of your website. Send them to a page with a welcome message or an intro video where they can get to know about you and your business better and see how they can benefit from connecting with you.
Put a coupon code that prospects can use to get a special discount or put some bonus content they can download such as an important statistical report, as a way of thanking for connecting with you.
Whatever it is that you show them, make sure it deepens the connection you have with prospects.
You also need to pay attention to the length and complexity of the URL. No one will bother to type in a 100 character URL. If the URL is easy to read and memorable, you will have a much higher chance of luring in prospects.
When we talk about contact information, social media accounts are a given. You should include your social handles in your business card but not all of them.
You may need to stay away from including your Facebook handle because Facebook accounts often have too many personal updates than professional ones.
On the other hand, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ handles should be included since they are commonly used for work and people often post professional things in their wall.
Make sure you don’t overwhelm people with your presence and only list the social handles where people can get a good taste of your previous work when visited.
If you are not comfortable with letting prospects and colleagues see the content of your profile, it’s a good idea to not include it in your business card.
The type of work you do will have a direct impact on which social handles you should include. For example, if you are a photographer you probably need to mention your Instagram and Flickr handles.
If you are a graphic designer, Dribbble and Behance would be better choices. If you are a writer, you may need to include your Medium and Reddit handles.
Whatever social handles you may choose, make sure they are your strongest.
This is optional unless there is some reason for customers to visit you. Some people say that including a physical address in your business card helps to evaluate the legitimacy of a business but it’s completely up to you.
If you are doing business from home or if you are only providing online services, there is no reason to include it.
There are many free tools out there which lets you create and embed a QR code to your business card template but is it really needed?
If your website URL is too long and there is no replacement for it, then sure.
If not, a QR code is useless because scanning it is going to take just as much time for them to open their browser in their smartphone or tablet and type in your website URL manually.
It’s totally your decision. If you think a QR code will make your business card look cool, then go for it. There is no downside to it but at the same time, there is no real benefit to it.
In short, a good business card should contain the company logo, company tagline, name, job title, phone number, email address, website URL, social handles, and optionally a physical address and/or QR code.
Be creative with the look and feel of your business card. Some use plastic or metal business cards to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t be afraid to use both sides of your business card to give content more room to breath. Typically the company logo and tagline goes in the back side of the card and everything else comes in the front.