Downtown St Pete DTSP business card rear

What exactly is your Business Card saying?

Seven tips to creating an excellent effective business card.

How many times have you gone in your wallet and found a business card that you have no idea where it came from?  Glance at it, front, back and still nothing comes to mind, so in the trash it goes.  In this golden age of social networks and contact-filled cell phones, business cards are still proof that you are serious about business. They serve as badges of authenticity, an extension of your brand, and as a reminder to others that they might not need you today but they could tomorrow.  Most of us are aware of the importance of business cards which is the reason why we always want to have the best card, so here are some tips courtesy of the Entrepreneur Social Club.

TEXT

Font size is important, make sure that text is large enough and doesn’t get lost when using colors and backgrounds. We call this the “40 year old eye test”. Give the card to someone over 40 and see if they can easily read it. If YES then you’ve passed test #1.

REAL ESTATE

You only get a 3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ sliver of space to fit everything on.  There are two sides of a business card so use both of them.

PAPER THICKNESS and TEXTURE

Quality paper equates to quality business.  Superficial maybe, but true. Spend a bit more on thick quality paper. No need to go crazy, but in this case too thin is too cheap.

INCLUDE your AREA CODE

You would be surprised how many people overlook this key element.  I think it’s self-explanatory why it is a necessity. Don’t make it difficult for me to call you.  And please NO fax numbers! If you’re still using a fax machine, wrap the cord around your neck and jump off the nearest skyscraper (not really). If you ASK ME to fax you something, rest assured you’ve signed your business death warrant with me. Just saying.

TELL ME EXACTLY WHAT YOU DO. GIVE ME YOUR PITCH

Don’t just put your company name on the card and call it a day.  Explain what it is you do or offer. It is just another way of strengthening your brand. No need to get fancy and use big words that confuse me – if your a barber then say barber, not hair consultant or other such nonsense. We are receiving THOUSANDS of messages a day and our poor brains are shot out by the days end. Tell me exactly what you do and why I should call, it’s called your PITCH, and should be 2 sentences or less.

WEBSITE and EMAIL ADDRESS

Yes, even though you might be old fashioned, the world around you is not. By the time I’m finished typing this the world has propelled even faster into the wild unknown future. So utilize all avenues of communication – phone, email and website. Do NOT make me go to your website BEFORE I can email you. But there is no need to load on every social media, of course you have a Facebook and Google+ account; I’ll find your links on your website. So again, please just make it EASY FOR ME to communicate with you. If not, I’m emailing one of your 1000 competitors.

PROFESSIONAL DESIGN

Here’s probably the most important part of this lesson: unless you are, and odds are you are not, a skilled professional graphic designer, then spend the $200-$500 to have a PRO handle this task. Draw up some mock ideas with your contact info, business name and pitch, and if you need to ask the ESC for a recommendation. You wouldn’t build your own home would you? So let a pro design your card and you go back to doing what YOU are a pro at. Don’t get cheap here because it will show every single time you hand your card to someone. Will they smile and say “WOW GREAT CARD!” or just look at it and say ‘thanks’??

To sum it up,“Make it clean, easy to read, easy to connect with you, use both sides, say what you do,  and have a professional design it. Otherwise the ESC will enjoy ripping it to shreds during our next BUSINESS CARD REVIEW segment. You’re choice! =D

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Michael Novilla

I'm Michael Novilla and I love throwing great parties and weddings. So as I traveled the world, I explored and brought those amazing ideas home to St. Pete and built us a world-class venue, NOVA 535. I wanted to give back to my community so in 2009 I founded the Entrepreneur Social Club, and host it every Thursday 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, right here at NOVA 535 in gorgeous downtown St. Pete, Florida.

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