First impressions are easy to make and hard to break. “With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person’s impression of you is formed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows (MindTools).”
For entrepreneurs, an essential part of making memorable first impressions is the business card. Business cards are a way to differentiate your brand from competitors,” says Mark Stokes of MediaNovak, a creative design agency.
“A person’s business card can be considered one of the most essential marketing tools that [they have]. Any good marketing campaign should combine the best of both print and digital. Business cards fill in the space between…”
“A person’s business card can be considered one of the most essential marketing tools that [they have]. Any good marketing campaign should combine the best of both print and digital. Business cards fill in the space between – increasing the messages of your print collateral while acting as a physical demonstration of your online identity.”
So, we asked entrepreneurs to give us an inside look behind their thinking when it came to creating memorable business cards and here’s what they had to say:
It’s a natural extension of your personal brand.
“A business card is the natural extension of your personal brand – it’s the partner to your style, wardrobe, elevator pitch, and every other personal device you use to communicate your company to another human being. Given that it’s the only lasting physical impression you can leave behind, it is absolutely essential that the card is memorable, communicative, and indicative of the types of clients you want to attract…”
Create a memory trigger.
A business card should help someone “connect with what they saw in person … so your branding should be consistent with what they saw. I include a photo because my pink hair tends to be what folks use as a memory trigger.”
Set yourself apart.
“Hands-down about 90% of the time I [give] my business card to someone, they comment on how unique it is. And that’s exactly my goal: to set my company … apart from the rest. For me, branding is always about consistency across all mediums from web and social to business cards and even an email signature… Business cards should communicate: Who are you? What do you stand for? What makes you different? Otherwise, you¹ll be tossed aside into the business card abyss!”
Make people want to hang onto it.
“It needs to make an impression. If you go to a networking event, and meet 20 other people, your plain business card is going to wind up in a pile with all of the others. But, if you stand out then you have the opportunity to make a lasting impression…” For example, “we use a third party provider to make our business cards double as $5 Starbucks gift cards. That way, people hang on to them for a longer period of time!”
Communicate your values.
A “business card should symbolize professionalism, connectivity and simplicity… Additionally [our] cards are printed on environmentally friendly paper – we don’t write it anywhere, but [you can feel it] when you hold it.”