10 ways to insure your business card gets thrown away.
By: Robert Kennedy
Having been in the printing and design business for most of my life I have seen my share of ‘file it under G’ business cards. That said our printing firm fulfills hundreds of business card orders in Canada and the US each week. So what I am about to share with is a matter of opinion. I am of the opinion that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In life, oh well, if you don’t like it leave. But in business this is not the case, assuming that your goal is to make a good first impression. This is the way I view new contacts in business;
1) Your prospect wants you to WOW them
2) Your prospect wants you to sell them something
3) Your prospect forms an opinion of you in the first 30 seconds
So these are the assumptions that I walk into every business meeting with. Many of us truly believe that a business card is critical to your success and without it you are toast (for lack of a better term). To a certain degree you are correct.
I would like to submit to you that first impressions are always formed from one person to another. Your business card should reflect you and what you represent in the sweetest way. But make no mistake, YOU need to make that first impression and that is not accomplished with a handshake, smile and a business card. So carefully spend time redefining your approach, want you want to sell and how you want to sell it. Try to follow this proven sales formula. We call it the AIDA formula;
Approach Interest Desire Action
OK, so now we have buffed up a little on pre sales psychology, what about that business card? How can I get the design wheels turning? If you are of the creative mind but are not sure how to get started, there are many printing companies online that offer business card templates created by professional graphic designers. A good example of this can be found here http://www.weprintcolor.com/buscardtemplate.htm
You may also be of the creative mind and are well versed in the use of professional desktop publishing programs such as Adobe Photo Shop, Corel Draw, Quark Express, or Adobe Illustrator, why not just send the file for printing? Before you do you should make certain your digital file is optimized for best print result! First learn what is required here http://www.weprintcolor.com/pre-press.htm then you can submit your digital file for free preflight check here http://www.weprintcolor.com/upload.htm . This way you are certain your file will print nicely.
Here are my 10 Tips on how to get your Business Card filed under ‘G’ (garbage);
1) Print type that the size of ant’s feet. Your eyes may be great but mine aren’t
2) Print on perforated 10 up card templates from your ink jet or laser printer. Remember that first impression?
3) Choose colors that clash or do not compliment each other. There is a color wheel that explains 10 colors relating to each other. These colors have 3 basic relationships: Adjacent, Contrasting and Complimentary Adjacent colors share a common side and are similar. Contrasting colors are those which have three other colors between them. Complimentary colors are those on opposite sides of the color wheel.
4) Use a co worker’s business card and hand write your information on it. You might be able to use this once but don’t try it on your second or third meeting.
5) Print your business card with typographically incorrect information then try to patch it up. I will again, suggest that you rely on the resources at hand. For the $49 a company like ours would charge you to completely reproduce 500, professionally printed high quality, full color, aqueous coated business cards it’s a no brainer.
6) Chew bubble gum, wear sun glasses or wear a beard. Although these will not necessarily get your business card discarded, statistical no no’s. Also a good example of how you are first, your business card should serve as a reminder of you. In the real estate sector most real estate agents print a picture of themselves on their business card for this reason.
7) Print your business card in an irregularly large format. Your card looks unique and professional but I can’t file it in my business card file system that I keep all my key suppliers in. Oversized business cards are becoming more popular and given the right circumstances can be delivered effectively. However from an overall perspective I recommend that mainstream business stick with the standard size- 2 X 3 ˝”.
8) Print your critical contact information on the back or on the inside of a fold over business card. For the same reason above. Once I file your business card in my file system all of your contact information should be easily read at a glance…I want to place my order now.
9) Print on thin or flimsy material. This projects a feel of cheapness. Besides if you managed to WOW your prospect and your business card makes it into his /hers wall of fame pouch it will it will likely not survive the test of time.
10) This is the final and most important for the rookie to intermediate graphic designer. Have you ever heard of looktocloseitis? Many graphic designers that develop onscreen work at a highly magnified viewing level while design and editing. Sure everything looks great at 500% magnified view but when the card is printed it is printed 100%. A good practice, before sending your business card file for professional printing is to print your own hardcopy and give it a glace from a 3 foot distance. Make sure your message is being communicated when you do this. If it is not working, back to editing and repeat the process.
Take your time and it will be worth your extra efforts. This will be reflected in the finished product.
We have printed thousands upon thousands of business card orders worldwide. Show here;
You will find a large collection of some of the business cards we have printed for our clients here. http://www.weprintcolor.com/buscard_examples/index.htm . These examples include custom and template style business cards. When you click on each thumbnail the page will tell you if it is ‘custom’ or ‘template’. In the cases where it is template you can click the link and start designing your unique version immediately.
If you would like to view a full business card catalogue of available template designs for business you can visit this page http://www.weprintcolor.ca/ or get tips for creating better business card designs here http://www.weprintcolor.ca/online_design_cat1/index.php
Some clients send files from there computer to ours, others use our online design system. Either way we have developed software and a natural eye for esthetically pleasing graphic design work. The reason I write these articles is to help you make an educated decision with the design and print of your business card. If you end up coming to us with your business we always appreciate that. The last thing I want to happen is you making a regretful purchase online. This hurts all online retailers that offer a quality product.
Robert is regarded as an industry expert is print and design. Online since 1999, Robert was one of the pioneers that brought graphic design tools to the web. For online graphic design solutions visit http://www.weprintcolor.com/
About the Author
Robert is the marketing director of a leading online printing and design firm http://www.weprintcolor.com . Robert believes in an educated customer and has created a personal blog, online to help achieve this goal. Learn commercial printing and design tips from the pros http://www.weprintcolors.com