Today’s blog comes from getting absolutely frustrated with some of the business cards I see. Frustrated, because, I believe that if you want to succeed at your business, you CAN, but you need to change how you’re going about using the tools that can get you business! Do you know what it’s called a business card? Because, the point is, it’s supposed to connect you with BUSINESS! Now, if you think “Heather, duh!” double check your cards. If you really understand that your card is meant to get you business, here are a few things you better double check, and if any of these are YOU, then please, get new cards immediately! This post may seem harsh, but I know you can do better, so it has to be said!
You don’t list your name on your card. Yup, I actually got one of these cards recently, no joke. If you have a business name with your name in it, make sure you put your first and last name separately! Here’s an example. I have a business called Heather’s Handbags. My last name is not Handbag. So, if I don’t put my last name on there, you are going to be pissed! (With good reason.) More importantly, you can’t look me up on social media (if I don’t have my last name on my card, it follows suit that it might not be on my website, or, that my website is under development, and now what do you do?!) If you do not want to just put your last name, why not have fun with it? You can look up your last name meanings and weave that into your business card, it will give people your full name whilst intriguing them. It is even better if your last name relates to the work you are in or has a characteristic that helps your business.
Your email address requires a microscope to see. Seriously, why on earth would you make the most important part of your card so hard to read? How can I do business with you if I cannot read your email address or phone number or website? If you think you will get business from people, you MUST make it easy for them to contact you! If you have limitations for the card, then look for how you can provide alternative solutions like print embellishments, for instance. This could make your contact details stand out! To be honest, if I have to buy magnifying glasses to read your card, then it’s definitely going in the garbage. 🙁 So thoroughly plan your budget, size, font, color, and more, before getting your card printed.
Your email address is confusing. Many of you use a gmail account for business. (By the way, if you want to be taken seriously, buy a domain name, and use that as your email. A gmail address suggests you have a hobby, not a business.) The other problem with using a gmail (or aol, or outlook…) account is that no doubt, you are duplicating someone else’s email address, and so have to put a number someplace in the email address to distinguish yourself. Guess what numbers you all pick? The number 1 and the number 0. You see where I am headed, right? I am already frustrated that I cannot read your email address because it’s so small, and NOW because it is so small, I cannot figure out whether that is a number or a letter! AAARGH! With the tiny fonts you choose, it becomes impossible to tell whether it’s a “1” or the letter “l”. Is that the number 0, or the letter o? Seriously, stop with the numbers and just get a real email address!
You list all 25 of your businesses. I get it, you are multi-talented and have lots of interests, great! But, the same way I don’t go to a Burger King and expect or trust they have good sushi, your exorbitant menu of services on your card completely confuses everyone you give it to, and makes it impossible to understand which business you excel at. I have worked with countless people to help them tie together all the things they do in a way that potential customers can understand, so I know it can be done with a simple business statement! You must make it easy for us to understand what you do, or your card is going in the garbage.
Like a resume, your card will end up in a stack of other cards on somebody’s desk. (Unless they scan your card, and by the way, a lot of scanners cannot read your small fonts either, so again, what a pity if someone scans your card, then chucks it, only to realize, too late, that your email wasn’t captured, bummer for you! And we would have hired you if only we could have figured out how to reach you!) Make sure you stand out, instead of getting chucked.