Tim Tyrell Smith reports:
"Some of us have perfect vision. But if that’s what it takes to read the letters and numbers on your [business] card, you are asking for trouble. Because most of us don’t. So today (or before you print your new cards), please walk them around to a variety of people and ask a simple question: 'Can you tell me what this says?'...One way I can make your card more usable and memorable is to make some notes on it before I leave you. But if you have a varnish on top, you make that hard. Will your cards get a little dirty without it? Yes. But I’d rather be able to write on your card. And ask you to keep your cards out of your wallet...[I]f your card uses a font that is too light (grey, for example) or one that is too close to the color of your card, I won’t be able to read it. And if I can’t read it, there’s a good chance I will send an email to the wrong address or call the wrong phone number. Or just give up...[T]here is great value in having a card design that integrates the look and feel of your brand. So if you have a website, a [storefront], a product line look or anything else, shouldn’t the look of your business card be consistent? Few of us have enough money to be driving thousands of people to our site or store [every day]. But you can at least create more recognition of your brand via integration of your marketing materials...If you use Facebook, Twitter or YouTube to attract people to your brand, shouldn’t you include links to those sites on your business card? It’s a great way to encourage more fans and followers. Simply by letting people know how to find you...Amazingly, I found two cards without an email address. And one without a web address. Just a phone number. What if I’m not ready to talk live yet? There’s always a place to send people. Don’t have a website? Use your LinkedIn profile (as long as you aren’t too lazy on LinkedIn). And then there were two cards that had a nice logo and business name combined with a [G]mail address. That lowers your credibility in my eyes. Especially when it is so easy to get an email address with your own custom [URL]...Please don’t 'cheap out' on the paper. Your brand matters to people. And often the first and early impressions are based on things like your business card. Would I pay $10,000 to someone who has a paper-thin business card? Would you?...Some cards are so full of information that you really don’t know where to start. A business card is not a good place for your elevator pitch. It’s a place to entice people. To draw them in and guide them as to how they can learn more about your business or services. Are you [overdelivering] on your card?...Every person, company, organization or nonprofit needs a clear and compelling brand promise...Without a brand promise, your card is simply a contact card – a lot less interesting...I believe in white space (room around the content that makes your card easier to read) so I always recommend you use the back side of the card. If you put your brand promise on the back, you can hand someone your card with that side facing up (and saying the brand promise out loud)."
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