Five ways to give your business card some bite

A few weeks back we asked Smarta's Twitter followers what they thought of business cards in today's connected society. Have they become worthless scraps of paper, destined for the bin? Are they in fact as important as ever?

The response we received showed no definitive answer. Small business owners were split pretty much fifty-fifty. Many of you said business cards just don't cut it anymore, others said they're still the real cheese.

Here are a few ideas to give your business card some bite.

Be Bold. Be Beautiful
The way to stand out is to be different. A good percentage of business cards are still black text on a white background, great for writing notes on, but doing little for you and your business.

More often then not, with these bland designs, the recipient will forget the person behind it. Your business card needs to be bold, beautiful, and different. Try adding a splash of colour or even a picture or illustration of you. That way, people will match the name with the face. 

Relate
It may sound an obvious one, but you'd be surprised how many people select a generic, completely unrelated, graphic to feature on the front of their cards. It's no use having an image of a mountain or using a woodgrain effect when your card states that you are a children's entertainer. It's just not going to work. Images bring your profession to life on the card, so don't be cheap. Use your logo or find a graphic that really sums up what you do.

Have a little humour
People buy from people, so inject a little personality. It's all about creating that lasting impression. A quick joke or play on words should cut it. For the more adventurous among you, you could even go as far as making your card interactive, Leave puzzles, clues, or riddles for the recipient to work out. But beware over-doing it. Knock knock jokes or crude gags are unlikely to go down well with serious business folk.

Be useful
Create a card that is useful, something that they may in fact rely on. Technical drawer? Include a ruler on the side of your card. Jeweller? Double your card into a ring measurement tool. Landscaper? Include a few seeds for the recipient to plant.

Use the card, the whole card and nothing but the card
Use both sides of the card; this valuable real estate is often neglected. Some would argue that this area can be used for the recipient to make notes but in the age of smartphones and laptops that fit in a carry-round, few people bother scribbling real notes these days. An effective card works as an extension of you and should give a clear picture of your services. Plus when packed in with a number of others, a card that carries a little bit more information and innovation is in much more of a chance of being noticed than a card that doubles as a notepad.

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