You’re at a conference or networking event and chatting with someone who could be the perfect potential client.
Suddenly, there’s a pause in the conversation, and out of nowhere, she asks for your business card. What do you do?
A) Pull out a stack of sleekly designed and cleverly-worded cards from your purse/portfolio/back pocket
B) Write your name, phone number and website on a Post-It note/napkin/back of her hand
C) Pull out your phone and ask if you could connect with her online via email, LinkedIn or another platform
D) Say you have to use the restroom and hide there until she forgets what you look like
If you answered A or C, it seems like you know exactly where you stand on the issue of business cards. However, the business card debate is never-ending, clients are constantly changing their minds and your marketing strategy needs to be flexible enough to go with the flow.
Did you answer B or D? Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at how you can attract new clients. As a creative professional, without a traditional job, your business card can truly take on a life of its own. You can say goodbye to the boring business card of old and use these creative business card ideas to make something that’ll truly stand out from the crowd.
Like a cover letter and resume (remember those?), the more attractive and memorable it is, the more you’ll stand out in the crowd from your competition when a client is seeking to hire someone. Forget the card format—you could just hand out small, cute, yet practical items that replace the traditional business card (it’s sort of like SWAG): try a pen, bookmark or magnet that features the business name, website, logo, slogan, your photo, or other relevant info.
You’re basically giving someone a souvenir of their time with you, and who wouldn’t want that? Not only will you be more memorable if you’re offering free gifts, but your practical souvenir, unlike a business card, will also probably be used and seen by plenty of other people.
These days, VistaPrint, Zazzle and Moo are popular sites for ordering business cards, but you can also go to Staples or your local office supply store.
Or, you can even make your own cards (see below). But before you print out a couple thousand cards based on your cool new business card idea, remember that your business card is a blank slate and needs to be filled with something that can leave a lasting impression long after you’ve left the building.
What do you usually do with all the business cards that you get? Yeah, exactly. Make your business card something seriously interesting and attractive, and it’ll be more difficult for anyone to throw it away.
Of course, another increasingly popular option (and, admittedly, eco-friendly) that also does away with the traditional business card is to simply whip out your smartphone and connect via LinkedIn, Twitter, email or other online platform. For this strategy, it helps to really know your target market well enough to realize that, in general, they prefer digital over analog.
So you want to jazz up your business card a little bit? How about:
– A color photo of yourself on the front next to your info or fill up the entire back of the card with your beautiful smiling face to help put the name together with the face
– Humorous tag-lines, slogan, cartoon or graphic, because making people laugh never hurts
– Wild, flashy and dazzling colors or designs that will mark you as a unique, creative, daring and unforgettable personality
Or do you want to jazz up your business card a LOT? Try this: Clever shapes always catch the eye like this cassette tape shaped business card from Koji Sueyoshi:
Pop-up cards will certainly stand out and also give your potential clients something to play with when they’re bored at the office:
Kartu Nama Pop Up – Art Carton Hubungi Kami A photo posted by Create The Art Of You (@idea.art_design) on
Handmade cards will get instant attention and show off your craftiness and creativity at the same time:
Making handmade business cards for my handmade business 🎨 A photo posted by Alison Roberge (@alison_ave) on
Clear plastic cards offer a sleek twist on the classic paper card:
#clearbusinesscards A photo posted by Cole Canedy (@colecanedy) on
Give a little gift related to your business to make sure you aren’t forgotten anytime soon:
A photo posted by @mymetalbusinesscard on
Add some texture to play up the creative, whimsical side of your business.
And for a real doozy of a business card idea, mix and match any of these suggestions. Your creative genius will be remembered (and hopefully hired) for years to come.
Just keep in mind: your title, contact info, and love for business cards could change at anytime, so it’s best to do a test run with a small batch and see how it goes.
If you’re ready to get started, then check out Graphic Design Fundamentals and learn how to take the best business card ideas and turn them into something real.