It’s Not Just a Business Card – It’s a Marketing Tool

When I travel I like to pass out my business card. It's a good way to let others see what you do — and remember to contact you.

What do people do with your business card? Some will toss it into a junk drawer, while others will simply throw it out. If you're lucky, your business card will get scanned into an email account or slipped inside a real or virtual wallet. A business card is often the first chance you get to make a good impression, and it needs to sell you and your services. Is yours helping you stand out? A well-designed, creative card will help you do just that.

business card

Your Business Card Backs You Up

Your business card stands behind you. It should back up the skills or product you're selling, particularly if it involves art (graphic art, design, photography) or writing. It should be of high quality, on a sturdy stock with matte finish (a glossy coating is difficult to write on, and people like to make notes on a business card).

It's not necessary to hire an expensive graphic designer to design the card, however. Online printing service like Printingforless.com offer dozens of design templates for a variety of industries. You can also upload your own creation. Add in something like a clever tagline, and you've got an professional-looking card that previews your work.

Create an Information Card

Forbes suggests you ditch your standard business card and create an “information” card. It can highlight interesting facts about the industry you're in, provide useful references or offer a service, like a measuring tool. The back of the card should serve the business end, with your contact information and a QR code that links to a downloadable PDF with more information.

If You're Creative, Create a Daring Card

If you're an artist or designer, investing a little more in a nonstandard card will help you get noticed. Fun and unconventional business cards are appropriate in the advertising, entertainment and music industries. Look for a printer that will produce business cards in different shapes, including pillar, square, round and round-edged cards.

Take note: These cards won't fit into a standard wallet and could get lost or tossed, and cost more. They are not good options in high turn-over industries like sales and insurance. You can get a different card and still keep costs down by incorporating a metallic finish (again, leave the back blank for notes) or raised print. Or consider a folding business card, which can serve as a mini brochure.

Functional Business Cards

Some businesses have created business cards that echo the actual business. Here is a sample of the ones we found on coolmaterial.com:

  • A steel card from a cheese shop that doubles as a grater
  • A music store's music comb card
  • A tire shop's tread measure card

Top prize goes to the ad agency Clark & Kent, which created a business card that folds into the shape of a phone booth.

4 thoughts on “It’s Not Just a Business Card – It’s a Marketing Tool”

  1. Nick | Millionaires Giving Money

    Very informative. I’ve never really invested into a businesses card however I can see the benefits. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Miranda Marquit

      I find they are nice to pass out when you are at a conference, or networking. I also sometimes give them out to others who ask for my email. I keep a small stock in my purse, so it’s easy to just hand them out when someone wants to know how to contact me for personal reasons, as well as professional reasons.

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