4 Tips for Business Cards that Make a Deeper Connection
This article will help you:
Create an organic connection with your business card when you’re networking in person.
After many months of using Zoom as our primary opportunity to meet, many of us are relishing the opportunity to make personal, face-to-face connections again. To shake a hand, look someone in the eye, and find that spark within an organic connection.
As we step into more human contact, it’s time to step up your biz card game.
Why are business cards important?
If your first thought is that business cards provide contact information, I want to challenge you to think bigger.
Yes, of course, your card tells people how to get a hold of you. But first, they’re an opportunity to create a deeper connection. Because if you don’t connect with someone, that card’s going straight in the recycling bin.
I want you to see your business card as a critical piece of the big picture of connecting – with your prospective clients, with other small business owners in your field, with anyone in your network, and with anyone who you might one day want to network with.
This big picture includes body language, as well as how comfortable you are talking about what you do, what your client’s problems are, and how you can help them.
Your business card can just be another piece of paper in their wallet, or it can touch them in a visual and tactile way that makes an impression and keeps you from fading into the background.
If your business card misses that mark, you’re wasting an opportunity to add nuance by embedding an organic connection and the promise of a future relationship.
Four tips to help your business cards cement a connection
To set your business cards up to be the “connection cherry” on top of the great big ice cream sundae that is all you have to offer, follow these four principles:
- Refine the art of the “ask.”
Giving your card to everyone you meet is a recipe for waste.
Instead, make a beeline for people you want in your professional network, people who will become clients or will refer clients, and people you’re willing to nurture.
Set a foundation for your relationship by finding out more about what they need, and exploring the points of connection your relationship will be built on. Then, at the end of the conversation, ask if you can give them your card.
The simple step of asking and getting permission deepens your connection.
When they’ve got your card, prepare them for continuing your relationship by asking if you can set up a call in a week, or a month. Think of this step like a CTA that lets them know what the next steps are and invites them to join you.
- Invest in a high-quality card.
Yep, a high-quality card is more expensive.
But remember: you’re not going to be handing them out like candy.
With a targeted strategy for nurturing high-value relationships, investing in a card that makes a connection is money well spent. It might have a fun shape or a slight texture that feels unexpected, solid, or special in your hand.
My own card is from the luxe line at Moo.com. It’s nice and thick, with a bit of a light texture to it. Nearly every time I hand it out, I get the reaction: “Ooooh, this is so cool.” The person who receives it reads it, and remembers it.
Even if that doesn’t immediately turn into a project or client, I know that I’ve made an impression.
- Give it visual appeal.
From a design perspective, a visually appealing card does more than just look cool.
It uses solid design principles to make an impact and convey the most important information, while still fitting in everything that needs to be there.
The front of your card should feature your logo and your contact information. Avoid the temptation to make your logo too big.
The key is to convey more than just how to reach you – you want people to instantly understand what you do and why they need it. This is where a visual designer can help you far beyond simply using a template you find online.
- Give the back some bite.
Don’t waste any of that precious space.
The back of your business card is prime real estate. But that doesn’t mean you should just fill it up with more information. Use it to complement the front and reinforce your brand.
- Allow your team members to personalize the back with their favorite quote.
- Personalize the back with photos of your work (if you’re in a visual field). Bonus points for creating multiple versions you can choose from when deciding to give someone your card.
- Feature a fill-in-the-blank or Mad Lib-style quote that allows you to leave a personal compliment or a note about what you could help them with.
- An attention-grabbing one-liner that reinforces how you can help (“If you’re struggling with X, I can help you achieve Y.”)
- A wash of color creating a visually appealing blank space you can leave a note on.
To reinforce your brand, make sure both sides of your card use your brand colors and the same typography. This will ensure the front and back create a beautiful piece that fits together well. In fact, if you do a great job, both sides feel like “the front.”
Human connections bring so much that is tangible and intangible, conscious and subconscious.
When you’re focused on making strong organic connections, a high-impact business card will bring back all the thoughts, images, and emotions of the strong organic connection you made through in-person conversation.
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- Your business card serves an important role in cementing the organic connections made when you meet someone face-to-face.
- Instead of handing it out to everyone, target your business card to more select recipients, and use a softer “give” that builds on the relationship you’ve just begun.
- Invest in a high-quality business card that impresses, and seek out a visual designer who can make the most of a small space to help recipients understand your brand.
- Use the back of your card wisely, and make sure the front and back create a seamless package.
Here’s a summary of 4 key ways to cement an organic connection with your business card.
It's hard to market an unfocused brand.
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