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Who thought that a little piece of card stock could hold so much potential? Business cards are, sometimes unfortunately, a very important part of your company’s brand. These rectangular pieces of paper can not only cause intensely painful paper cuts, but huge impacts for the marketing potential of your company.

People love to communicate, and direct marketing is a great way to do that. However, how does one remember important information about the contacts he or she has made after the conversation is over?

This is where business cards come in. They are portable, easy to hand out and a lot cheaper than creating an entirely new marketing campaign. They’re great for corporate branding and even though the digital age is in its prime, it does not replace the clout of face-to-face contact.

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The Benefits of a Good Business Card

Having an effective business card can help you present a concise and to-the-point company image by highlighting they key points of your business. Not only do they enhance the personal image of your company, but, if done right, they can get you implanted into that important customer’s mind with your dazzlingly creative card design. It allows that special someone to hold your contact information, purpose and message all in one hand. However, in order for your business card to do its job, it must be attractive, professional and memorable.

What to Include in a Business Card

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The content of your card is dependent upon whether it is a personal or company-based business card. If it is personal, you should include the ever important email, primary phone to reach you (usually a cell phone is best) and a few social networking links as well (such as Google+ or LinkedIn) as long as they are short URLs.

If the card is for your company, then having a concise description of its services, your title, a company website and the company’s logo are a must.

It is also vital that your card do its best to be attractive and memorable. Some people receive hundreds of business cards from various people and companies, and most of them will barely leave a mark on their memory. If you want your card to be successful in implanting your business or image in the mind of the beholder, making it memorable is a must.

Business Card Design Tips

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Depending on the budget you have for your business cards, you can either utilize the tried and true simple, yet highly personalized, rectangle on card stock.

If your pockets are a bit deeper (and you are more invested in making that leap between ordinary and memorable), you can make a customizable one. These can range from ones that fold into shapes relating to your company, something that carries a little souvenir or one that is a creative cut out shape or stamp. Just make sure it can easily fit in a pocket or wallet!

During my college application process, I handed out and received many business cards from various colleges, tutors, teachers and companies that happened to be on campus. The most interesting ones I’ve received are:

  • A card that folded into a box (for a packaging company).
  • A small envelope that contained contact information on the front and then grass seeds and planting instructions on the inside (for a landscape design company).
  • A mini Rubix cube with testing anxiety solutions (from a tutor).

Business Card Best Practices

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Once you’ve finished your work of art, and it has been delivered to your doorstep, it is time to start handing those gems out. However, it is important that you take stock in who you hand your new creation out to.

Your cards are a tool for successful networking. Just because you handed out “x” number of business cards, does not mean that you successfully connected with that many people. When handing out or receiving business cards, it is important to capitalize on that opportunity.

Write a message on the back of your card when giving it to someone, even if it is just a brief note about what you discussed. It’ll help them remember you, and jog their memory for further contact.

Have any other tips on business cards? Let us know in the comments!