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Whether you want to admit it or not, once you connect with someone in person, your business card becomes your calling card – the image/note that triggers a receiver’s memory of you.

What does your card say about you? Do you even have one?

If you don’t have one, you NEED one. Yes, NEED! When you network and connect with someone new, how else will they stay connected with you? It is your responsibility to make sure they have the means to reach you, by the most convenient methods, while giving them some eye candy.

Your business card serves as the first line of marketing. How do you market yourself and/or your business?

Are you bland and just run-of-the-mill when it comes to the info on your business card? Is your business card an usual shape and size that you believe is what makes you stand out?

Well, there are always two sides to every coin. Unique cards that stand out are great eye candy, but that round business card or extra tiny card doesn’t necessarily fit in cardholders or folios. Be mindful of how the receiver will store your card. Will it be convenient or get lost as a result of being too unique?

Make the information relevant, not overbearing. You don’t need to include every stitch of info about you and/or your business. Make sure everything there is relevant and necessary. White space can be your friend in making information easily accessible. Trying to find a number or email address in a sea of other information can be a waste of time. Considering the number of business cards you can accumulate at a networking event, it doesn’t take much to cast one-off when there are 20 more to take its place. Making your card impressive and useful is KEY to the success of having such a quick, simple marketing tool.

Is there a unique identifier to make sure you are the one who stands out in the sea of cards?

Does it maybe include your picture, a call to action, or give a quick solution to a problem? If so, great. Does it support your elevator pitch? Even better. Having it support what you share about your business is key to tying it all together. You want it to be a building block to build your business, your relationship, with potential new clients. It also provides them all the means to reach you and obtain the most information about you and your business.

Allow the white space to serve a purpose. It gives new connections a place to take note of where they met you, something that stood out to them or to help them remember you. Having a glossy card is basically commonplace now, but having the back matte can offer an easier writing surface. Not spelling everything out by going into massive detail on both front and back can give new connections the chance to write what mattered to them. Not everyone considers the same information important.

Spending the money on a business card is an expense you CANNOT afford to forego.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to provide your potential clients with a card that can WOW them. There are many companies who provide inexpensive business cards that you can select the card stock, fonts, and colors. So, take advantage of first-time customer specials with companies such as Vistaprint, Moo, or even Staples or OfficeMax. Having a polished, professional business card can make the difference between landing that next client or not.

Don’t skimp. Make the most of this simple, expected marketing piece in your Networking B.O.B!

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