2 Things I Did Wrong with my Business Cards (And What I’ll do Different Next Time)
I was sitting at a large, round table eating lunch. Ashley and I were taking a break from walking the conference floor, and chatting about our morning. While quietly minding our own business, it happened.
We got business card bombed.
Business cards are dead.
Has anyone ever told you that?
If you've heard that business cards are dead, old-fashioned, or a waste of time, you've been lied too.
While at New Media Expo the first week of January, I learned a lot about the power of a business card. I've had the same cards for about eight months now, but NMX was the first large meeting where I've been able to give them to anyone.
In the four days we were in Las Vegas, I learned what I did wrong when designing my cards, what I did right, and what I'll do next time to make them better.
What I Did Wrong:
The text on my cards is way too small. To test your card to see if the text is big enough, do the following.
A: Leave your office or house
B: Go to a night club or another extremely loud place
C: Pull out your card
D: As you flail your arms wildly, ask a complete stranger if they can read your card
It doesn't really matter what your card says. It doesn't. What matters is that you've made a connection and that the person you've met knows how to contact you. (Tweet that!)
People need to be able to read it.
At the bottom of my card, I have the words,
What kind of team could you lead if you could embolden, excite and empower your eighty percent?”
Cool stuff, huh!?
No one cared. Even I barely care at this point (Sorry Ellory of 9 months ago). That will be gone from the next batch.
The words that come out of my mouth are more important the words on my business card. (Tweet that!)
I also don't have information about my podcast. While I hadn't started my show when I got the cards, it's a glaring gap when I'm talking to people about all of the things I'm doing now.
What I Did Right:
I'm so glad I have my logo on my card. Logos create brand recognition across various forms of media. They're also a great way to tell people they've found the right website after meeting you in person.
However, on my next round of cards, I'll update my logo to what you see at the top of this page. It's been polished and cleaned up by my friend Paul Martin.
I got my cards from Moo.com. (Use that link and get 10% off your order!)
They're made of heavier card-stock and really stand out. A quality card shows you care about your business and your brand.
One of my friends had an issue with his card maker and had to get a quick and dirty print from a local office mega-store. The resolution was poor, the QR code wasn't scan-able, and the card-stock was barely better than paper.
Your business card carries your brand with it. Make it a good one!
My name is a much larger font than the rest of the card. Make your name easy to read. To test this, see the process above.
I have my phone number, my email, and my website. What I'm missing is Twitter.
Twitter has quickly become my social platform of choice. Instead of calling, texting or emailing, my new connections and I would send tweets to each other to meet up and connect.
From coffee breaks to breakfast meetups, Twitter facilitated nearly 100% of my communication while at New Media Expo.
Make sure it's easy for friends, colleagues and potential clients to get in touch with you.
What I'll Do Next Time:
I'm still debating this, but my next business cards may have my face on it.
Not out of vanity, but because it's everywhere else; it's part of my brand. Also, it's a great help for people trying to remember just who the heck I am.
Pro tip: when you're following up with your new connections, include a picture of yourself taken at the location where you met them. Context helps.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about business cards with faces on them. I know it's a fine-line between cheesy and useful and would love some tips from you.
2: QR Codes
My current card has a QR code on it. QR codes are those square bar codes you can scan with your phone.
When scanning the QR, you're taken to my home page, empoweringthe80percent.com. While there's nothing terrible about that, I've learned of a better way to use the QR code if I decide keep it.
On my next card, (if I keep the QR) my code will take you to a custom landing page on my site which will have a special video.
What a cool way to do something special!
Big thanks to Dave Delaney for that tip.
Are business cards dead?
Question: Anything I missed? What are your “must-have” elements of a great business card?