By Stephanie Ciccarelli
June 6, 2007
Ever been in a scenario when someone asked you if you had a business card and you had to write your contact information on a slip of paper or a napkin?
It's not the ideal situation, is it?
Find out how you can make a good first impression with a professional business card at VOX Daily.
Having a business card is integral to running a successful business and networking with other people.
Your business card is a portable and mini version of who you are, what you do, and how to get a hold of you. It's real estate in someone's Rolodex as well as in their mind.
Being able to quickly trade or give a business card to a potential client or business partner is not just convenient, it's a necessity and suggests that you are someone who takes their line of work seriously.
I can still remember various business cards over the years that have made an impact on me visually.
In fact, the card I have in mind at present is one that I received at the VOICE Conference in Las Vegas. It was from Daria M. Dutzmann of Queen Bee Productions. The branding was quite unique, had catchy colors and an obvious, identifiable theme.
Even though I haven't looked at this card for a couple of months (and do not have it in front of me now), it left an impact on me and because of its originality, it still owns a piece of my mental real estate today.
If you are reading this Daria, a job well done!
While it's good to be memorable and to brand effectively, it's also good to make sure that you have all of your bases covered regarding the information that you make available on your business card.
What should be included as mandatory business card information?
- Your business name
- A few words describing what you do (i.e. Professional Voice Talent, Voice Artist, etc.)
- Your first name and last name
- Your business telephone number
- Your business email address
- Your business website
- Your business mailing address
I've seen all kinds of business cards and something I've noticed along the way is that paper quality matters. It's not necessarily about flashy colors all the time or how many of them you have. The difference that the weight of a piece of paper can make is incredible.
My sister-in-law Lisa, a graphic designer who specializes in letterpress, taught me long ago what the difference is between a common piece of paper and one that has rich, strong fibers that give a piece of paper that extra texture and durability.
If your business card selection is being made based purely on cost, don't skimp out on the weight or quality of paper that your cards are printed on. Cards that have a physical weight or robust feel to them are associated with strength, professionalism and are pleasing to touch and examine when held in your hand.
Although business cards are extremely important and for the most part are inexpensive, some people do not purchase them because of printing and shipping costs.
If you are a member of this camp, perhaps a beginner, re-branding, or just about to move locations, there are a couple of options you can consider for more economical business card production.
You could always design the card yourself at home using a template from a software package and print off the cards yourself or explore using services on the Internet that provide printing free of charge if you agree to list their company information on the back of the card.
Printing (ink related) and paper expenses may prove too costly to print up massive quantities of business cards at home, so the second option may be more viable for you to consider.
If you are looking to get some printing done online for next to nothing, if not nothing, one such service you can use is VistaPrint.com.
Why do they offer that option?
Every time you give a card out, they get advertising for their website and printing services. By printing off your cards in a high volume, they are in effect saving money on advertising by supplying you with business cards to give away to numerous contacts. It makes more sense to have your cards bear their information and give you the cards for free than it does to throw more money into advertising on their own.
You have cards, can use them, and are happy. They made you happy, have their name printed on your cards, and may also receive more business because of that fact.
VistaPrint also gives you the option to pay for your cards without printing their information on them. The choice is yours.
Now, those are just the basics.
While you need to have effective branding, clearly communicated contact information, and a paper weight that you are comfortable with, it is possible to add bells and whistles to your business cards if you have budgeted for them.
This past weekend in Albany at the Voice Coaches Advanced Marketing Expo, Mike Massa gave us a very impressive mini package that accompanied his business card which included a compact disc (miniature size) with his voice over samples on it.
The package itself is a plastic sleeve marginally larger than his business card with enough room to slip in the CD housing his commercial and narration demos, complete with his Mike On The Mic branding on the disc and play list, including a breakdown of all the spots in each demo so that when you are listening along, you know what is coming up next.
You could think of it as a miniature jewel case with inserts only this is a soft sleeve. There is still cover art as well as the play list and Mike's contact information. He has a regular business card in addition to this package, so if you are planning to present your prospects with something more tangible, be sure not to overlook the basic business card when marketing your talents.
Key points to remember:
- Brand effectively
- Include your full business contact information
- Be aware of the paper weight
- Do your research
- Always have a stack of business cards on hand wherever you go
Do you have an experience related to a business card that you'd like to share?
Leave a comment!
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