Like it or not, business cards are still widely used among entrepreneurs and their prospective clients. But if you’ve recently handed out several business cards and never heard back, it may be a sign that you’ve gone wrong somewhere along the way. So, whether you’re looking to improve your current offering or you’re starting from scratch and want to make sure things are right first-time around, read through these 10 business card mistakes – it could mean the difference between success and failure, so get that pen and paper at the ready and start making some notes.
1. Poor quality paper
The first thing you’ll notice about any business card is how it feels. The next time a business card is handed to you, take a minute to assess how it feels in your fingers. Is it flimsy and paper-like? If the answer is yes then it’s likely that very little money has been spent on making these business cards. While I’m not saying you should spend a fortune, it is important to focus on how the business card reflects your company and brand name. By doing everything on the cheap, your prospective clients will assume that this is true of the rest of your products – not exactly the message you want to convey.
2. Glossy paper
Sticking with the paper theme, using glossy paper is another no-no. Why? Well, because many people may decide to make some extra notes on your business card, to remind them of services you offer, or of how well you came across when speaking to them. Print all of your business cards on glossy paper and they won’t be able to do this. That means that you risk people forgetting who you are, and once that happens, the business card is pretty much a moot point.
3. Small font size
Okay so once you’ve assessed the feel of the card, the next thing you’ll notice is the how it looks. You’ll probably start to read it, to check that it contains all of the necessary information. Hang on a minute though – are you squinting to read it? All business cards should be easy to read, simply by glancing at them. You may have 20-20 vision but you can guarantee a lot of your prospective clients won’t. Mistakes like this can lead to people simply putting your card down and leaving it alone; squinting at small writing is far too much effort these days.
4. Light coloured font
Similar to the point above, if you choose a font colour that does not stand out enough against the background then your prospective clients will find it difficult to read. This may result in them sending an enquiry to the wrong email address, or again simply deciding not to bother pursuing the matter further.
5. No tagline
If you want your prospective customers to remember you then you should include a tagline or your brand promise. This will give them a reason to choose your company over the many others who have presented them with business cards. So be sure to include some space on your business card for your tagline. This also reinforces and reminds them of what you actually do as a company.
6. No email address/ web address
One of the purposes of a business card is to display your contact information so that once the client is ready to talk they can easily get hold of you. If you forget to include your email address or the website for your company, your business card becomes nothing more than a small piece of paper, and will likely end up in the bin.
7. No social media links
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has several social media accounts now. How else are we supposed to keep in contact with each other 24/7? So not only should you ensure that your business has each of these accounts, you should also make sure that the links are included underneath the contact information on your business card. That way, your clients can contact you at the touch of the button – everyone likes it when you make their life easier. Make sure your accounts aren’t full of your drunken nights out pictures though, this isn’t going to help you out. Setting up a separate, professional account is always worth it.
8. Design inconsistencies
Any logo or design you use for your business card needs to match everything else. For example, if the main colour themes on your website are white and green, you should carry this on to your business card. Forget to do so, and people will be left confused as to whether the website address you gave them was correct, and may not pursue any business further as a result.
9. Information overload
Woah, hold on a minute; how much information have you put on there? If your business card is indecipherable then people just won’t know where to start. The best thing to do with a business card is to keep things simple and use it to draw customers in to your other means of communication, such as your website or social media channels, where you have a lot more space to use. Try and view your card as something of a ‘teaser’ to get people to want to find out more.
10. One-sided business cards
To help you solve the problem of the point above, you should make the most of both sides of the card. You’d be surprised at how many people forget that a business card has two sides – and how many people, upon receiving a business card, turn it over to quickly check what’s written on the back. You have the space so use it to your advantage, whether it’s for your logo, social media channels, or photo.
Are you making any of these business card mistakes?
The above are only a handful of business card mistakes which can be made. Can you think of any others?
Post contributed by Abigail Clapham and Rachael Pegram in collaboration with 123 Print