Tag Archives: networking event

Does your business card scream “I’m broke, clueless or stuck in 1980??

by Karen Post

Tuesday I attended a networking event. I met many interesting entrepreneurs and business professionals. I was also blown away by the number of butt-ugly, unprofessional and down right cheesy business cards that were passed out.

If you are seven years old and selling lemonade, OK, I’ll cut you some slack. But if you are or expecting to sell at least $10,000 of good or services in year, you need to invest in an effective business card that best reflects your value, quality and expertise. Business cards are often the first impression a new contact gets and the lasting impression that is filed for future connections.

Buying a preprinted template is a big mistake no matter what industry you are in. It implies you the smallest potato you can be and most buyers will not be turned on by this status as most are looking for experts with a history of success.

Even if this means skipping a meal to pay a professional to help you, your business card is one of the most important branding touch points.

4 must do moves to make sure your business card is working with you, and not against you.

1) Think differently How can your card stand out from the pack of totally boring ones? Size of card, material that it’s printed on or does it have a scent?

2) Keep copy concise and compelling A business card is not intended to be a book. In most cases, your company name, your name, a graphic mark, your web site, email and phone is enough. Give them a reason to go to your website to learn more.

3) Use typefaces that are relevant to your brand Society is conditioned to associate type with many brand attributes. A typeface can communicate innovation, creativity or a blue leisure suit from 1980. Select the one that best articulates your brand.

4) Leverage the white space and the back of the card too. Sounds conflicting? Don’t fill every inch of the card with stuff. White space is good. This is the most cost effective way to communicate a quality and upscale image. Think of an old yellow pages add vs. a stark Neiman Marcus ad, I rest my case. Use the of back of the card too. Consider a simple image, a provocative question or your web address.

Investing in a memorable, on-brand business card is not an option. If you are a startup and you can only launch with two tools for your new business, make them a killer business card and a website. Then let your product or service carry the load until you can do more.

If you are interested in other ideas, check out an older blog on the subject of business cards and branding.

About the Author


Business Cards: Are They Just a Waste of Time and Money?

by Stephen Labuda

It’s a funny thing about business cards…they always seem to find their way into the trash! Now, some of you may be thinking, “WHAT?” but follow me for a second…

Let’s start with what happens at a networking event. People are milling about, shaking hands, handing out business cards, etc. You meet new people, establish possible referral relationships, tell others about what you do and above all, you collect business cards…sometimes LOTS of business cards. Now, let’s fast forward to the next day…

There you sit at your desk…a stack of business cards looms before you. You flip through the stack, then put it in your desk. “I’ll get to these later” you say, and you go about your day. A few days later, you open up your desk drawer and BAM…there are those cards again. “I have to make time to get back to these people…” you say, and again shut the drawer. After a few weeks, you don’t even care, and chances are, that stack of cards will make its way into your trash. Well, if this is what YOU are doing, you can imagine that the cards you give out will eventually have the same fate in the offices of folks you have given your cards to. It starts to seem like business cards are just a waste of time and money, but is there a way to change this outcome and make them incredibly valuable tools for business? Absolutely…

First of all, think of your business cards as merely a barter tool to get business cards from others. It is THEIR card that is really valuable to you. When you are at an event and you get a business card, it is what YOU do with THEIRS that matters…follow me on this…

When someone gives me their card, I hold it up at eye level to the side and look at it as I ask them questions. “So, tell me more about ABC company.” Looking at their card while I speak with them helps me to imprint their face along with their information at the same time. This will become extremely valuable as I am looking through the cards I received after the event.

Once our conversation is over, I thank them and tell them I will be following up. Then, I turn over their card and write a few key points of our conversation on the back. This will help me to refer to these points when we speak again.

Finally, after the event (aim for WITHIN 48 hours) I follow up. This could be a phone call, an email, a letter, whatever you decide. Because I have taken the time to imprint the person’s face with their business, and write key points about the conversation on the back of the card, AND follow up, I will make myself stand out from just about anyone else that will contact them after the event. The fact is, most won’t even bother so not only will my competition be light, my technique will ensure that I am the one that makes the most memorable impression on them.

There you have it. The information above can greatly increase the value of business cards and how they can positively impact your business. Remember, business cards are NOT a waste of time and money…you need yours to get theirs and getting theirs and following the tips above is what will set you apart from most of the other business people they come in contact with.

About the Author

Stephen Labuda is an entrepreneur who built his business by networking with other professionals. You can connect with him through his Boston web design website or Boston Professional Networking.