HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS CARD TELL A STORY

When you get to that stage of a meeting when the exchange of cards comes around its great to have a little story to go along with your business cards.

This allows you to further engage with the person you’re meeting with and to improve the personal bond you may have or have not yet established.

You can bet that if your business card has a really good story behind it then it’ll be shown to other people when your business associate gets back to the office.

“Hey come and have a look at this business card – its made out of recycled pumpkins” that sort of thing.

But if you’re fresh out of pumpkins to recycle what ideas are there to give your business card a story.

Well you could personalise your business card which makes it very unique to yourself – maybe with a humorous photo of yourself or a funny picture of your favourite pet – something which will endear people towards you.

Don’t make your cards too personal ie putting your kids drawings on them as people may think thats a bit too intrusive. However if its relevant it might work. It’s really up to you and what you think your business associates may enjoy.

You may wish to put a beautiful piece of artwork or photography on the back to show people more about the types of things you wish to be associated with.

Different inspirational people printed on the reverse of your business card works for me because you can often match up the characteristics of the person you’re meeting with the famous person on your cards.

You do have to be careful about using copyright images and there are many sites where you can get copyright free pictures. Your designer or printer will know more about where to get them from.

Creative Commons is a method for you to use a huge range of images for free so long as you credit the creator.

However there are many other ways for you to bring your business card to life.

One client had a fantastic business card which revolved around the name of the business Fireball Sports which sells golf training aids online (www.fireballsports.com).

So these guys had a cut out made in the middle of the business card which looked like a fireball had just burst through the business card. The printer had done a brilliant job with scorch marks around the hole.

It went down really well at exhibitions including the huge PGA Golf conference in Orlando, USA. “You Brits are always so ahead of the game when it comes to marketing ideas” one American guy told my client.

So cut-outs might give you that wow factor – however it does need to be relevant and not just for the sake of it.

Another idea would be a food company have the corner cut out to look like a huge bite had been taken out of the business card. Is this expensive? Talk to your printer.

Your printer will tell you what’s feasible and achievable for whatever budget you may have. But be realistic with both your ideas and your budgets.

I also like really contemporary business cards that take things from the current climate whether it be news, gossip, music. However you need to understand these cards will only have a short shelf life however if you’re doing a huge exhibition then it would work really well.

An example of this may surround the World Cup. If you’re exhibiting during this period you may put all the flags of countries in the football competition on the back telling everyone that if their country wins they’ll get a bottle of wine but they have to get back in touch after the event – this will also create a business opportunity for you.

You may also wish to support a charity by promoting their work on your business card, especially if this charity is important in your particular sector of business. It will show others from your industry that you not only care but you’re also happy to share.

If you’re struggling for a story surrounding your business cards, discuss ideas with your friends and family and other work colleagues. Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone you may meet and who receives your card.

Try to understand what their thought processes will be on receiving your business card and the subsequent story that goes with it.

You may also wish to talk to your designer or printer who may experience or examples they can show you to help you with your decision making.

TOP FIVE BUSINESS CARDS DO'S AND DON'TS

Jim is a prolific networker, small business mentor and a supporter of anything 'community'. He is an ambassador for Young Enterprise on the South Coast and loves to spend his time encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in everyone he meets.

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