Business card best practices

I just organized my 1,011 business cards. I realized that is my most valuable asset from my career so far. The people I’ve met. The cards really don’t matter much anymore in the age of Google, but they do serve a purpose of reminding you about memories of meeting people.

Anyway, I realized that many business cards really sucked, so here’s best practices for making your next business card.

1) A good business card starts a conversation. My last ones at Microsoft, for instance, were imprinted with my info in braille. Now, I’ve actually handed my card to one person who was blind, but I found that always started a conversation when I handed my card to someone. Why? It felt different than any other card. Out of the 1,011 cards, by the way only two were imprinted in Braille (both were from Microsoft which offers that as an option on business cards). Another way to start a conversation? Make your card feel different. One of mine were made out of a rubbery material. I remember that made so much of an impression on people that some asked for two so they could show their boss.

2) Make sure your card can be scanned. I bought a business card scanner so that I could get my computers into computer form. This is probably the most important rule, if you want geeks to get ahold of you sometime in the future.

3) Don’t make non-standard sizes or shapes. Why? They can’t fit into binders. I bought Avery’s Business Card Pages and a binder to hold them all, that makes it easier to look through them and find cards. It’s amazing how many business cards can’t fit into those pages (I folded about 100 and couldn’t use about 10 at all).

4) Make sure the basics are on there. You know, your name, title, company, address, phone and fax numbers, email, URL of both your company’s Web site and your blog. A logo.

5) Include a line about what you do. So many cards don’t have any information about what either the company or you, personally, do. Now, Google can get away with that (its cards are among the worst of the big company cards, by the way, cause many of its employees’ titles don’t tell you a thing about what that person does. At least one Google card, from Jenifer Austin, doesn’t have any title. I guess Jenifer has a really secret job that no one is supposed to figure out) but your small company can’t get away with that. If you want, think about me. How will I remember you two years after meeting you at a geek dinner? Why would I write or call you? If you tell me your business and what you do, that’ll really help.

6) Break the rules, particularly corporate ones (but don’t get fired). I had two cards that weren’t approved by the corporate branding department. They always got conversations started (one had a drawing done by Hugh Macleod — I made those specifically for speaking at Google’s Zeitgeist conference. The cards matched my slides I used at that talk. The business cards were so popular that people came and asked for them cause someone else showed them mine).

7) Be different. One of my favorite cards? Matt Mullenweg’s. It says simply “1. Go to google.com. 2. Type in “Matt.” 3. Press “I’m feeling lucky.” (It also has his phone number on it). Or, Kelly Goto’s card looks like a BART ticket (subway in San Francisco).

8) Put your picture on it. Ben McConnell has one on his and it helped me remember him. It also stood out when I was just paging through the book.

9) Put your corporate tag line on the back. Alan Cooper’s has a logo and says “product design for a digital world.” But also includes lots of space to write notes on.

10) If you do business in two countries, include both languages. Liang Lu, Vice President of Blogchina, has English on one side, Chinese on the other. Ellen K. Pao, partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, has English on one, Japanese on the other.

11) If you don’t put anything on your card other than your name, at least make sure you show up in Google/MSN and Yahoo. I got one from Thomas Michael Winningham that doesn’t have anything other than his name and a picture of a drink on it. I can’t remember anything about him. It definitely is the most interesting card, though, cause it’s so minimalist and breaks all the rules above except for “starts a conversation.”

Do you have any tips for making a great business card?

Update: John Tokash says he carries two of my cards around with him everywhere he goes. Yikes, I wonder what I’ll do for my third card. Hey, Hugh, can you do me another card?

Comments

  1. To be completely honest, they are in my briefcase now. When someone shows me a clever business card at a conference I show them your black one. You’re right – it’s a conversation starter.

  2. To be completely honest, they are in my briefcase now. When someone shows me a clever business card at a conference I show them your black one. You’re right – it’s a conversation starter.

  3. There is a guy who sells metal cards that have dozens of cuts. If you follow directions, the cards can be folded to become a variety of different art pieces for your desk. He has an operating room, and several others. Way too expensive to be a business card, but maybe an adaptation of that idea would work. I’ll see if I can dig up the url.

  4. There is a guy who sells metal cards that have dozens of cuts. If you follow directions, the cards can be folded to become a variety of different art pieces for your desk. He has an operating room, and several others. Way too expensive to be a business card, but maybe an adaptation of that idea would work. I’ll see if I can dig up the url.

  5. Triple check for typos. Have someone else triple check for typos. Wait overnight and then check for typos again in the morning.

    Nope, I’ve never had a typo on a business card. (Oops!)

    The other thing I have noticed is to say something about the business card when you hand it to someone. This gets them to look at the card and while talking with you, it helps associate the person with the card.

  6. Triple check for typos. Have someone else triple check for typos. Wait overnight and then check for typos again in the morning.

    Nope, I’ve never had a typo on a business card. (Oops!)

    The other thing I have noticed is to say something about the business card when you hand it to someone. This gets them to look at the card and while talking with you, it helps associate the person with the card.

  7. Michael, I totally disagree. Cards are still the best way to network with other people, particularly if you go to a conference or a party. I have hundreds of cards from IT people and tons of CTOs.

    If you’re a geek and you don’t think networking is important then you probably are making about 60% of what you could make if you were a little more skilled at networking.

  8. Michael, I totally disagree. Cards are still the best way to network with other people, particularly if you go to a conference or a party. I have hundreds of cards from IT people and tons of CTOs.

    If you’re a geek and you don’t think networking is important then you probably are making about 60% of what you could make if you were a little more skilled at networking.

  9. On the topic of typos, if you are printing your own cards, be careful with the software you are using. Avery DesignPro, for instance, always seems to stretch graphics. Print one card at a time until everything is just right.

    Also, self printed cards and cards at Kinkos look and feel like crap, so avoid them unless you are in a rush.

  10. On the topic of typos, if you are printing your own cards, be careful with the software you are using. Avery DesignPro, for instance, always seems to stretch graphics. Print one card at a time until everything is just right.

    Also, self printed cards and cards at Kinkos look and feel like crap, so avoid them unless you are in a rush.

  11. I’ve taken to scanning cards as a standard practice. I store the images on my iPaq and iPod as I always have one of those devices with me so i can look at the cards whereever I am.

    i agree that the tactile aspects of a card are important. Glad you reminded me as I’m in the process of designing new cards for my business (www.gestaltcommunications.com – gratuitous self-promotion). I hadn’t considered Braille – great idea.

  12. I’ve taken to scanning cards as a standard practice. I store the images on my iPaq and iPod as I always have one of those devices with me so i can look at the cards whereever I am.

    i agree that the tactile aspects of a card are important. Glad you reminded me as I’m in the process of designing new cards for my business (www.gestaltcommunications.com – gratuitous self-promotion). I hadn’t considered Braille – great idea.

  13. “If you’re a geek and you don’t think networking is important then you probably are making about 60% of what you could make if you were a little more skilled at networking.”

    Ah, the dollar at the bottom line again? I earn more than I can spend doing a job I like doing. I work to live, not the other way around.

    You are right, if I flexed my networking muscles I’d probably be able to make more, work longer hours, have more stress. Money isn’t everything; in fact, it s not even in my top 5. Hell, if computers weren’t so damned pervasive these days I’d have a serious problem on my hands. What DID geeks do before there were computers? (serious question)

  14. “If you’re a geek and you don’t think networking is important then you probably are making about 60% of what you could make if you were a little more skilled at networking.”

    Ah, the dollar at the bottom line again? I earn more than I can spend doing a job I like doing. I work to live, not the other way around.

    You are right, if I flexed my networking muscles I’d probably be able to make more, work longer hours, have more stress. Money isn’t everything; in fact, it s not even in my top 5. Hell, if computers weren’t so damned pervasive these days I’d have a serious problem on my hands. What DID geeks do before there were computers? (serious question)

  15. Matt: geeks before computers? How far back before? There have been computing machines in our society for hundreds of years.

    I disagree that you’d work more and longer hours too.

    If you are so good that you can earn a decent living now working 40 hours a week, maybe with a bit of marketing skills you could find a job that’d pay the same but would let you work only 30 for the same compensation.

    But, if you don’t care about furthering your career I ain’t gonna do it for you.

  16. Matt: geeks before computers? How far back before? There have been computing machines in our society for hundreds of years.

    I disagree that you’d work more and longer hours too.

    If you are so good that you can earn a decent living now working 40 hours a week, maybe with a bit of marketing skills you could find a job that’d pay the same but would let you work only 30 for the same compensation.

    But, if you don’t care about furthering your career I ain’t gonna do it for you.

  17. Michiel – It’s not just about money, it’s about information exchange and learning new things. People are interesting and you get exposed to new points of view. That is always a good thing! Also making a career change is not about money. You need cotacts to do that too.

    Robert – great tips – it would be neat if you could put up some pictures or scans of some great examples in seperat post. I’m having trouble picturing some of them in my mind.

  18. Michiel – It’s not just about money, it’s about information exchange and learning new things. People are interesting and you get exposed to new points of view. That is always a good thing! Also making a career change is not about money. You need cotacts to do that too.

    Robert – great tips – it would be neat if you could put up some pictures or scans of some great examples in seperat post. I’m having trouble picturing some of them in my mind.

  19. Hey Robert, heres a tip for you too.. I am doin some eval on RCards. I wanted to do some other stuff with it , but it will make an ideal Placer for scan image into it :)-

    check it out.. let me know what you think

  20. Hey Robert, heres a tip for you too.. I am doin some eval on RCards. I wanted to do some other stuff with it , but it will make an ideal Placer for scan image into it :)-

    check it out.. let me know what you think

  21. I went from being a programmer to working in finance. Its a change that taught me a lot of things, including on having my cards on me at all times, even if I wasn’t in a suit.

    Of all the blogs out there, there is a small fraction that can actually monetize themselves and turn into careers. Why? Maybe I’m tired of working for money, maybe I want to write for a living, maybe I’m tired of the rat race I put myself in for the sake of my family.

    There are a lot of reasons, but one that comes to mind is freedom. Being able to do what you want to do and be free.

  22. I went from being a programmer to working in finance. Its a change that taught me a lot of things, including on having my cards on me at all times, even if I wasn’t in a suit.

    Of all the blogs out there, there is a small fraction that can actually monetize themselves and turn into careers. Why? Maybe I’m tired of working for money, maybe I want to write for a living, maybe I’m tired of the rat race I put myself in for the sake of my family.

    There are a lot of reasons, but one that comes to mind is freedom. Being able to do what you want to do and be free.

  23. [...] A couple months ago I had some business cards printed for my freelance photography.  Today, Scoble discusses best practices for business cards, having just sorted over 1,000 of the things. Technorati Tags: business cards, businesscards, bizcards Related Posts: Verizon’s Odd Business ModelPicasa Web Album: Don’t Compare it to FlickrGovernment-Sponsored Terrorist ToleranceSlashdot Isn’t About NewsEleven Celebrities Who Blog [...]

  24. One piece of advice (which I guess is true for all design): know when to stop. A business card I have in front of me right now has:

    A full-colour image on the reverse side.

    A layer of clear transparent text embossed over the image.

    A patch of heat-sensitive liquid crystal ink which displays the company logo when you handle it.

    “Cute” joke job titles.

    The company logo used as a faded-out background image behind the text.

    Any of those might work, used alone. But it also has:

    Light-grey text on a white background.

    A typo.

    It certainly starts conversations, but not in a good way.

  25. One piece of advice (which I guess is true for all design): know when to stop. A business card I have in front of me right now has:

    A full-colour image on the reverse side.

    A layer of clear transparent text embossed over the image.

    A patch of heat-sensitive liquid crystal ink which displays the company logo when you handle it.

    “Cute” joke job titles.

    The company logo used as a faded-out background image behind the text.

    Any of those might work, used alone. But it also has:

    Light-grey text on a white background.

    A typo.

    It certainly starts conversations, but not in a good way.

  26. Many year ago, I worked for Ticketron — in fact, I had three complete Ticketron outlet in my office! So, one day, I printed up a bunch of business cards on ticket stock. The looked impressive, and were definitely a conversation starter. They also followed most of your rules, with the biggest exception being it’s size (about 6″ x 1″).
    I gave one to Charles Petzold, and he carried it in his wallets for a couple years…..

  27. Many year ago, I worked for Ticketron — in fact, I had three complete Ticketron outlet in my office! So, one day, I printed up a bunch of business cards on ticket stock. The looked impressive, and were definitely a conversation starter. They also followed most of your rules, with the biggest exception being it’s size (about 6″ x 1″).
    I gave one to Charles Petzold, and he carried it in his wallets for a couple years…..

  28. @7 So, can we assume given this advice, that you WERE making what you could make when you were at MS? I mean,you did follow you own advice, right? So, there was no need to whine about your less than $100K salary as if you were properly networking then you were making what you were worth, right?

  29. @7 So, can we assume given this advice, that you WERE making what you could make when you were at MS? I mean,you did follow you own advice, right? So, there was no need to whine about your less than $100K salary as if you were properly networking then you were making what you were worth, right?

  30. Dmad: huh? I got my new job by being visible and networking. Where did I meet John? At a conference. I’ve helped many developers get hired too.

    Networking helps you ensure you are paid what you’re worth, not what your present employer is willing to pay. It’s hard to get hired if no one knows who you are.

  31. Dmad: huh? I got my new job by being visible and networking. Where did I meet John? At a conference. I’ve helped many developers get hired too.

    Networking helps you ensure you are paid what you’re worth, not what your present employer is willing to pay. It’s hard to get hired if no one knows who you are.

  32. On the subject of scanning cards: I have a book called “The Best of Business Card Design”. We use it at scanR for testing the MOST difficult to scan designs for our camera phone business card scanner. Many of the designs in this book are visually interesting but the designers forgot that legibility is most important attribute. After all, the purpose of a business card is to communicate your contact information.

  33. On the subject of scanning cards: I have a book called “The Best of Business Card Design”. We use it at scanR for testing the MOST difficult to scan designs for our camera phone business card scanner. Many of the designs in this book are visually interesting but the designers forgot that legibility is most important attribute. After all, the purpose of a business card is to communicate your contact information.

  34. Scoble, do not waste anymore time on Michiel. He clearly does not “get it”, like a lot of other people in the industry. Perhaps he’s so blinded by the so called “core values” of his lifestyle, it inhibits him to work smarter and enjoy the things he would rather be doing in the first place. The initial comment of not understanding the concept of networking is unfortunate, but maybe he’s just anti-social and prefers not to interact because he doesn’t have anything to contribute.

  35. Scoble, do not waste anymore time on Michiel. He clearly does not “get it”, like a lot of other people in the industry. Perhaps he’s so blinded by the so called “core values” of his lifestyle, it inhibits him to work smarter and enjoy the things he would rather be doing in the first place. The initial comment of not understanding the concept of networking is unfortunate, but maybe he’s just anti-social and prefers not to interact because he doesn’t have anything to contribute.

  36. Another good rule is to print all the information (name, tel, mobile, address, email, etc) on ONE SIDE of the card. Some namecards come “creatively” with the person’s name on one side and the company name+address on the other. So they expect you to use a namecard scanner twice to capture their info. Some namecards are foldable but twice the size of the standard cards. Certainly not effective planning…

  37. Another good rule is to print all the information (name, tel, mobile, address, email, etc) on ONE SIDE of the card. Some namecards come “creatively” with the person’s name on one side and the company name+address on the other. So they expect you to use a namecard scanner twice to capture their info. Some namecards are foldable but twice the size of the standard cards. Certainly not effective planning…

  38. I put my nickname on my card – World Wide Weber. Everyone comments on it. People remember me because of it. Working at a Fortune 20 company, it took an act of congress to get my cards printed like that, but it was definitely worth it.

  39. I put my nickname on my card – World Wide Weber. Everyone comments on it. People remember me because of it. Working at a Fortune 20 company, it took an act of congress to get my cards printed like that, but it was definitely worth it.

  40. [...] Scoble – Microsoft ex-employee offers some interesting advice for business card designs, he manage to collect thousands of business cards during his career in Microsoft. According to him, the best or the most creative business card he ever collected is : One of my favorite cards? Matt Mullenweg’s. It says simply “1. Go to google.com. 2. Type in “Matt.” 3. Press “I’m feeling lucky.” (It also has his phone number on it). Or, Kelly Goto’s card looks like a BART ticket (subway in San Francisco). [...]

  41. “Triple check for typos. Have someone else triple check for typos. Wait overnight and then check for typos again in the morning.”

    Then rinse and repeat, twice. Bad experience..

  42. “Triple check for typos. Have someone else triple check for typos. Wait overnight and then check for typos again in the morning.”

    Then rinse and repeat, twice. Bad experience..

  43. I’ve heard it said that content is king, and this should hold true for business cards as well. I think the people you give your card to should be a factor in determining the content of your card. My cards have my name, contact info, website and logo on one side and a tag cloud I created on the other side. I usually give my cards to people who don’t know what a tag cloud is and so that generates conversation. People who don’t know what a tag cloud is might not be clued in to everything that is happening on the Internet. These are the people I’m looking for.

  44. I’ve heard it said that content is king, and this should hold true for business cards as well. I think the people you give your card to should be a factor in determining the content of your card. My cards have my name, contact info, website and logo on one side and a tag cloud I created on the other side. I usually give my cards to people who don’t know what a tag cloud is and so that generates conversation. People who don’t know what a tag cloud is might not be clued in to everything that is happening on the Internet. These are the people I’m looking for.

  45. My old business cards had a rocketship on them, along with my name & contact details. The rocketship was my company logo though, so I guess that’s kinda cheating :)

    The new ones… well, I ran out a couple of years ago and never bothered having more made even though my company is still going strong. I’ve actually found more often than not that giving business cards isn’t much use. I grab those of the people I meet, write my name & number on the back, and give them back, or keep them and email the person that evening to say hello and introduce myself. Helps that my company name is particularly memorable though. :)

    Oh, and on the subject of plastic cards – I had some of those made about 5 years ago, and people used to ask for 2 or 3 of those to show around…

  46. My old business cards had a rocketship on them, along with my name & contact details. The rocketship was my company logo though, so I guess that’s kinda cheating :)

    The new ones… well, I ran out a couple of years ago and never bothered having more made even though my company is still going strong. I’ve actually found more often than not that giving business cards isn’t much use. I grab those of the people I meet, write my name & number on the back, and give them back, or keep them and email the person that evening to say hello and introduce myself. Helps that my company name is particularly memorable though. :)

    Oh, and on the subject of plastic cards – I had some of those made about 5 years ago, and people used to ask for 2 or 3 of those to show around…

  47. Does anyone know where I could buy some rubber business cards?

    Hope you don’t mind me stealing your thunder Robert :)

  48. Does anyone know where I could buy some rubber business cards?

    Hope you don’t mind me stealing your thunder Robert :)

  49. Best cards I ever had were printed on semi-transparent paper vellum and laminated with shiny plastic. Had to make ‘em myself, and I think they cost $0.20 a pop, but I got more calls from those then anything before or after!

  50. Best cards I ever had were printed on semi-transparent paper vellum and laminated with shiny plastic. Had to make ‘em myself, and I think they cost $0.20 a pop, but I got more calls from those then anything before or after!

  51. write something extra on the card, in front of the person. something relevant and important of course. then give it to them.

    they will be far less likely to throw it away and more likely to remember you.

  52. write something extra on the card, in front of the person. something relevant and important of course. then give it to them.

    they will be far less likely to throw it away and more likely to remember you.

  53. Best practices? Here are some of mine:

    1 – Never leave home without a couple of business cards in an accessible pocket. Use this as your conversation starter, and spread it around as a good idea.

    2 – If you keep your wallet in a rear pocket, don’t keep your business cards there. Who wants a card that’s been next to your butt? I certainly don’t.

    3 – If you write notes on the back of your cards, scribble out your name on the front as you do so, otherwise someone else will end up with your notes.

    4 – If you find a card with notes on the back, track down the owner (using the info on the card :-) and get it back to them.

    5 – Learn and respect the business card customs of the places that you visit. In Japan and Korea, make sure that you take care to do the little bit of gesturing and examination that takes place as cards are exchanged.

  54. Best practices? Here are some of mine:

    1 – Never leave home without a couple of business cards in an accessible pocket. Use this as your conversation starter, and spread it around as a good idea.

    2 – If you keep your wallet in a rear pocket, don’t keep your business cards there. Who wants a card that’s been next to your butt? I certainly don’t.

    3 – If you write notes on the back of your cards, scribble out your name on the front as you do so, otherwise someone else will end up with your notes.

    4 – If you find a card with notes on the back, track down the owner (using the info on the card :-) and get it back to them.

    5 – Learn and respect the business card customs of the places that you visit. In Japan and Korea, make sure that you take care to do the little bit of gesturing and examination that takes place as cards are exchanged.

  55. if you want to leave a totally unique and lasting first professional impression you should be using capture business cards. The addition of removable labels to the back of the card allows you to distribute appointment reminders or rolodex information without loosing the regular business card functions. Check them out at http://www.capturecard.com

  56. if you want to leave a totally unique and lasting first professional impression you should be using capture business cards. The addition of removable labels to the back of the card allows you to distribute appointment reminders or rolodex information without loosing the regular business card functions. Check them out at http://www.capturecard.com

  57. Thanks for the business card mention Robert! Funny – but we’re in the process of redoing our collateral and cards now and these comments will be very helpful. They are very ‘right on’ – however I’ve found in the ‘design’ community nearly anything goes!

    I have a pile of cards from when I was 10 (I had my first business card at a pretty early age… used them for affirmations!) and can be viewed here: http://www.gotomedia.com/goto/timeline

  58. Thanks for the business card mention Robert! Funny – but we’re in the process of redoing our collateral and cards now and these comments will be very helpful. They are very ‘right on’ – however I’ve found in the ‘design’ community nearly anything goes!

    I have a pile of cards from when I was 10 (I had my first business card at a pretty early age… used them for affirmations!) and can be viewed here: http://www.gotomedia.com/goto/timeline

  59. Scoble, it was nice to meet you at the ValleySchwag HoeDown party. Having read your business card practices, I was quite curious to check out your business card, but you were out of the same. Hope to check out your business card next time.

    Anyway, thanks for the pleasure of meeting & chatting with you.

  60. Scoble, it was nice to meet you at the ValleySchwag HoeDown party. Having read your business card practices, I was quite curious to check out your business card, but you were out of the same. Hope to check out your business card next time.

    Anyway, thanks for the pleasure of meeting & chatting with you.

  61. Sunday Thought: Masturbating to Business Cards

    I was going through a pile of old business cards today and realized a few things:

    1) I did not follow up with these people right after meeting them (

  62. Very thought provoking – the company I work for has some of our key messages on the back which is nice – we had a major brand overhaul in 2003 which meant much better brand visibilty and continuity, including business cards!

  63. Very thought provoking – the company I work for has some of our key messages on the back which is nice – we had a major brand overhaul in 2003 which meant much better brand visibilty and continuity, including business cards!

  64. hi i have just finished counting my business cards and the final figure was 1660 cards collected from 2001

  65. [...] Leider finde ich den FTD-Artikel auch nicht mehr im Archiv, denn dort waren auch ein paar Kontaktadressen angegeben, soweit ich mich erinnere. Aber ein paar Tipps worauf bei der Auswahl der Karte geachtet sollte sind bei Scobleizer nachzulesen. Das ist doch schonmal ein Anfang. [...]

  66. I collect business cards. So if you have a card and are willing to send it to me. Please do John Puckett 2841 N.E 13th. Dr. Gainesville FL. 32609

  67. I collect business cards. So if you have a card and are willing to send it to me. Please do John Puckett 2841 N.E 13th. Dr. Gainesville FL. 32609

  68. Business Cards….the price points now allow people to have cards for different audiences, messages and themes. Some with cell phone, some with out, some that emphasize certain services,…the key is to target your message/card to a particular audience. A business card is marketing and targeting your message is effective marketing.

    Rob
    http://www.staplemonkey.com

  69. Business Cards….the price points now allow people to have cards for different audiences, messages and themes. Some with cell phone, some with out, some that emphasize certain services,…the key is to target your message/card to a particular audience. A business card is marketing and targeting your message is effective marketing.

    Rob
    http://www.staplemonkey.com

  70. hi Robert. perhabs it’s an idea to do a “Signatures best practices”? html or ascii? commercial profit versus irritation.

  71. Business Cards should be looked at like mini billboards. One common mistake that alot of people make is putting their business name at the top of their card! EG. If you fix broken TV’s…rather then put “John’s TV Repairs” at the top, you would be better off putting “Your TV Fixed in 2 Days or You Don’t Pay!”

    Putting an eye-catching headline is key…just like when you read a newspaper, you look for the headline that interests you and read the article…a business card is the same.

    There are also ways to get your business card handed out for all over town to your target audience without you even lifting a finger….and it goes directly to your target market. I have a huge blog dedicated to the topic of generating cash flow out of your business cards. If you have cards sitting around that you don’t use, feel free to take a look at http://www.businesscarddisplays.info .

    Dean

  72. Business Cards should be looked at like mini billboards. One common mistake that alot of people make is putting their business name at the top of their card! EG. If you fix broken TV’s…rather then put “John’s TV Repairs” at the top, you would be better off putting “Your TV Fixed in 2 Days or You Don’t Pay!”

    Putting an eye-catching headline is key…just like when you read a newspaper, you look for the headline that interests you and read the article…a business card is the same.

    There are also ways to get your business card handed out for all over town to your target audience without you even lifting a finger….and it goes directly to your target market. I have a huge blog dedicated to the topic of generating cash flow out of your business cards. If you have cards sitting around that you don’t use, feel free to take a look at http://www.businesscarddisplays.info .

    Dean

  73. You are completely right on. I have thousands of business cards laying around and none of them stand out. I also keep very clever cards in my wallet for some odd reason. Have you seen these online business cards?

  74. You are completely right on. I have thousands of business cards laying around and none of them stand out. I also keep very clever cards in my wallet for some odd reason. Have you seen these online business cards?

  75. Thanks you for the great tips. Have you seen lyro.com. They have online business cards?

  76. Thanks you for the great tips. Have you seen lyro.com. They have online business cards?

  77. Great information about business cards. If you are a small biz looking to order cards for yourself, check out http://www.giggleprint.com. They are offering 250 free cards.

    If you want to take Scobleizer’s advice, they offer image uploads for cards as well. You can create your cards online and have them shipped to you in three days.

    It’s a new company, check them out!

  78. Great information about business cards. If you are a small biz looking to order cards for yourself, check out http://www.giggleprint.com. They are offering 250 free cards.

    If you want to take Scobleizer’s advice, they offer image uploads for cards as well. You can create your cards online and have them shipped to you in three days.

    It’s a new company, check them out!

  79. I can’t agree with the 4th point, because if you put all of the basic stuff on your card like everybody else does, then you’ll just look like everybody else.

    Also I think it’s better to filter the information that you put on your business card just because every unnecessary piece of info makes important things harder to notice and loses interest in a person.

  80. I can’t agree with the 4th point, because if you put all of the basic stuff on your card like everybody else does, then you’ll just look like everybody else.

    Also I think it’s better to filter the information that you put on your business card just because every unnecessary piece of info makes important things harder to notice and loses interest in a person.

  81. I definitely agree with Scobleizer that besides using color background rather just color and/or add a picture, the texture is pretty important. Business cards stands that feels different DOES stand out much more because not most people are aware of it. Unless you can afford metal business cards (like Steve Wozniak) that can cut steak, there are special effects that you can do to add texture to your card. One of the things I’ve tried was put ‘Island gloss,’ which is a gloss on a particular picture or item on your card, on my logo with matte background. My glossy logo and design pops out from the plain matte background. You can really see and feel the contrast. It was lovely. :)

  82. I definitely agree with Scobleizer that besides using color background rather just color and/or add a picture, the texture is pretty important. Business cards stands that feels different DOES stand out much more because not most people are aware of it. Unless you can afford metal business cards (like Steve Wozniak) that can cut steak, there are special effects that you can do to add texture to your card. One of the things I’ve tried was put ‘Island gloss,’ which is a gloss on a particular picture or item on your card, on my logo with matte background. My glossy logo and design pops out from the plain matte background. You can really see and feel the contrast. It was lovely. :)

  83. Hi DNA…

    Couldn’t find anything on island gloss on google, where did you get yours printed?

  84. Hi DNA…

    Couldn’t find anything on island gloss on google, where did you get yours printed?

  85. This blog has some very good information. Chinese business cards are essential for anyone ding business in a China. In case anyone reading this is interested, I know of a very good source called Japan Printing and Graphics that does business card translation. They did a very good job with my cards and you can find them at http://www.japanprint.com .

  86. This blog has some very good information. Chinese business cards are essential for anyone ding business in a China. In case anyone reading this is interested, I know of a very good source called Japan Printing and Graphics that does business card translation. They did a very good job with my cards and you can find them at http://www.japanprint.com .

  87. I agree that a line or a few words about your job, what you DO, is important. Why not make your business cards high-tech and include a tag cloud?
    http://www.ooprint.com
    Check out their “blogger cards” . . . great designs and I think the tag cloud is just a great idea to get more information about yourself and your job on your business card.

  88. I agree that a line or a few words about your job, what you DO, is important. Why not make your business cards high-tech and include a tag cloud?
    http://www.ooprint.com
    Check out their “blogger cards” . . . great designs and I think the tag cloud is just a great idea to get more information about yourself and your job on your business card.

  89. I have bought my share of business cards but if you are any medical profession visit americanbusinesscard.com for by far the most elegant classiest business cards.

  90. I have bought my share of business cards but if you are any medical profession visit americanbusinesscard.com for by far the most elegant classiest business cards.

  91. My current cards have my title listed as: Professional Person.
    People always notice and remember it… also I noticed that darrenbarefoot.com just made some new business cards and didn’t include a phone number on them…he says he did it intentionally so he could write the phone number on the card. He feels (and I agree) it “makes them feel special and can’t hurt”

  92. My current cards have my title listed as: Professional Person.
    People always notice and remember it… also I noticed that darrenbarefoot.com just made some new business cards and didn’t include a phone number on them…he says he did it intentionally so he could write the phone number on the card. He feels (and I agree) it “makes them feel special and can’t hurt”

  93. ABD Inc. (Asian business Development) in San Francisco did an excellent job on my Simplified Chinese cards for a trip to China. They do Chinese, Japanese, and Korean business card translation and typesetting.

    They are design oriented and have a designer match your layout. Others I went to in the past didn’t take as much care in the layout and just gave me crudely placed characters without much aesthetic sensitivity.

    They can either provide you with the digital art for you to take to your own local printer or print the cards for you. I chose to get the files emailed to me since I lived in a different city and took them to my local print shop.

    I was introduced to ABD from a friend and he tells me they’ve been doing this since the early 1970′s.

    Anyway here’s the link. http://www.cards2asia.com

  94. ABD Inc. (Asian business Development) in San Francisco did an excellent job on my Simplified Chinese cards for a trip to China. They do Chinese, Japanese, and Korean business card translation and typesetting.

    They are design oriented and have a designer match your layout. Others I went to in the past didn’t take as much care in the layout and just gave me crudely placed characters without much aesthetic sensitivity.

    They can either provide you with the digital art for you to take to your own local printer or print the cards for you. I chose to get the files emailed to me since I lived in a different city and took them to my local print shop.

    I was introduced to ABD from a friend and he tells me they’ve been doing this since the early 1970′s.

    Anyway here’s the link. http://www.cards2asia.com

  95. Totally agree with #1. Moo Cards were geniuses in making their cards a different size, to stick out like a sore thumb and then now have standard sizes.

    In awe…

    Dominic
    LettucePrint.com

  96. Totally agree with #1. Moo Cards were geniuses in making their cards a different size, to stick out like a sore thumb and then now have standard sizes.

    In awe…

    Dominic
    LettucePrint.com

  97. The gameplay was drastically different from the successful incarnations of the 1970s and the 1980s. Four players competed, two at a time. They played in a best-two-out-of-three match, each playing a common row of seven high-low cards.

  98. The gameplay was drastically different from the successful incarnations of the 1970s and the 1980s. Four players competed, two at a time. They played in a best-two-out-of-three match, each playing a common row of seven high-low cards.

  99. This article is so true. For people that are confused about where to go, you should check out the site I used. It’s a company called mind2print.com and they actually did a really good job on my design and print. They were pretty cheap too. I used to have cards from a free print company but I’m actually proud to hand these out now. You get what you pay for, and the quality shows that. Hope it helps!

    the address is:
    http://www.mind2print.com

  100. This article is so true. For people that are confused about where to go, you should check out the site I used. It’s a company called mind2print.com and they actually did a really good job on my design and print. They were pretty cheap too. I used to have cards from a free print company but I’m actually proud to hand these out now. You get what you pay for, and the quality shows that. Hope it helps!

    the address is:
    http://www.mind2print.com

  101. It seems like the interesting business cards cost a lot of money to print. Magnets, plastic, and rice paper are all very interesting, but not conducive to the tight budget for many small companies like the one I own. I have been searching for ways to make my business cards for my freelance company be conversation starters but also have a low cost. I have a few ideas but am not sure which one to go with.

    My 1st idea is to design a vertical layout. This might work best for my logo, which is a ballpoint pen standing on its tip. My only dilemma is how to fit my rather lengthy company name. I could possibly place the company name vertically but this might create too much emphasis on the vertical layout.

    My 2nd idea involves using the second side for a special offer. I know that some printing companies will print full color on the second side for hardly any extra cost. The free offer would help to drive traffic to my web site and build my client base. Plus, I could also list benefits of my company on the second side as well.

    The 3rd idea is to create an unusual design. I have seen very few interesting business cards. Most simply include the necessary information and a logo, so if I can design mine completely different from the other cards, my business card just might stand out. I am thinking about trying either a utilitarian design or a historical document style.

  102. It seems like the interesting business cards cost a lot of money to print. Magnets, plastic, and rice paper are all very interesting, but not conducive to the tight budget for many small companies like the one I own. I have been searching for ways to make my business cards for my freelance company be conversation starters but also have a low cost. I have a few ideas but am not sure which one to go with.

    My 1st idea is to design a vertical layout. This might work best for my logo, which is a ballpoint pen standing on its tip. My only dilemma is how to fit my rather lengthy company name. I could possibly place the company name vertically but this might create too much emphasis on the vertical layout.

    My 2nd idea involves using the second side for a special offer. I know that some printing companies will print full color on the second side for hardly any extra cost. The free offer would help to drive traffic to my web site and build my client base. Plus, I could also list benefits of my company on the second side as well.

    The 3rd idea is to create an unusual design. I have seen very few interesting business cards. Most simply include the necessary information and a logo, so if I can design mine completely different from the other cards, my business card just might stand out. I am thinking about trying either a utilitarian design or a historical document style.

  103. Some great ideas – One thing often neglected is the reverse of the business card – a great space for a special offer – link to useful marketing information or just a scribbled personal message at times.

  104. Some great ideas – One thing often neglected is the reverse of the business card – a great space for a special offer – link to useful marketing information or just a scribbled personal message at times.

  105. Take a look at the cards on this site http://www.premiumcards.net They are so cool. They even have the low profile card like moo. I like the Gemini Card.

    Most people have one business card that they use all the time. It’s likely to be a horizontal design on a flimsy 10 to 12pt card stock. It would take a seriously inventive design to make it stand out from the rest and be noticed.

    I am the type of person that likes to customize my approach when meeting a client for the 1st time. Let me explain, whenever you meet with someone for the 1st time you normally shake hands and swap business cards. The cards are looked at for a brief, few seconds and then put into your shirt or coat pocket. At this point, the meeting is what will make or break the deal.

    Not many of us are great with words or closing deals, like me. One thing I am good at is being creative and maybe that is being good at closing deals. Here’s what I mean, premiumcards.net has these really cool specialty, custom shaped cards. One is called The Cocktail Card. This card is one of the coolest ideas since barstools. When having a meeting in a cocktail lounge, bar or restaurant, the cocktail card won’t be passed up very easily, it’s an eyecatcher and will be handled for a while leaving a lasting impression. Now, I don’t expect that everyone should do this, but I am a design creative and these fit right in for me, along with a few other sizes I chose to print. Thinking out of the box can make a difference in your closing.

    Normal business cards get normal responses. Unique business cards get great responses. See them for yourself.

  106. Take a look at the cards on this site http://www.premiumcards.net They are so cool. They even have the low profile card like moo. I like the Gemini Card.

    Most people have one business card that they use all the time. It’s likely to be a horizontal design on a flimsy 10 to 12pt card stock. It would take a seriously inventive design to make it stand out from the rest and be noticed.

    I am the type of person that likes to customize my approach when meeting a client for the 1st time. Let me explain, whenever you meet with someone for the 1st time you normally shake hands and swap business cards. The cards are looked at for a brief, few seconds and then put into your shirt or coat pocket. At this point, the meeting is what will make or break the deal.

    Not many of us are great with words or closing deals, like me. One thing I am good at is being creative and maybe that is being good at closing deals. Here’s what I mean, premiumcards.net has these really cool specialty, custom shaped cards. One is called The Cocktail Card. This card is one of the coolest ideas since barstools. When having a meeting in a cocktail lounge, bar or restaurant, the cocktail card won’t be passed up very easily, it’s an eyecatcher and will be handled for a while leaving a lasting impression. Now, I don’t expect that everyone should do this, but I am a design creative and these fit right in for me, along with a few other sizes I chose to print. Thinking out of the box can make a difference in your closing.

    Normal business cards get normal responses. Unique business cards get great responses. See them for yourself.

  107. “Make sure the basics are on there. You know, your name, title, company, address, phone and fax numbers, email, URL of both your company’s Web site and your blog. A logo.”

    You would be surprised how many people don’t do this properly. I’ve seen quite a few.

    Making sure your card is visually impacting and not having the valuable info on the card is not good practice. Working the design around the information is the best way to assure you’re not just passing around, “cool cards.”

  108. “Make sure the basics are on there. You know, your name, title, company, address, phone and fax numbers, email, URL of both your company’s Web site and your blog. A logo.”

    You would be surprised how many people don’t do this properly. I’ve seen quite a few.

    Making sure your card is visually impacting and not having the valuable info on the card is not good practice. Working the design around the information is the best way to assure you’re not just passing around, “cool cards.”

  109. Definitely make sure your business card is original and personal to you. So many companies still want to consider themselves “professional” and stick to traditional simple business cards. I get all mine at http://www.vistaprint.com. They have hundreds of unique colorful designs to chose from. You can even upload your own design if you have one. They are really good quality, and not expensive either!

    Blair

  110. Definitely make sure your business card is original and personal to you. So many companies still want to consider themselves “professional” and stick to traditional simple business cards. I get all mine at http://www.vistaprint.com. They have hundreds of unique colorful designs to chose from. You can even upload your own design if you have one. They are really good quality, and not expensive either!

    Blair

  111. Great post!

    I love #1 on your list…

    “A good business card STARTS A CONVERSATION!”

    So true, and yet it’s so rare that you find one that actually does. Most, in fact, leave very little impression at all.

    If you want your business card to be more memorable here’s something else you should definitely read. It’s a great resource…

    http://www.BusinessCardProfits.com

  112. Great post!

    I love #1 on your list…

    “A good business card STARTS A CONVERSATION!”

    So true, and yet it’s so rare that you find one that actually does. Most, in fact, leave very little impression at all.

    If you want your business card to be more memorable here’s something else you should definitely read. It’s a great resource…

    http://www.BusinessCardProfits.com

  113. Here’s some advice on business cards.

    Cards you plan to hand out:

    If you’re in a creative position, flaunt it. Stay away from ordinary. Use a bit of drama. If you’re just looking for attention, and want people to talk about you, design your card to look as crappy as you can. Seriously! A wise man in the art of marketing once said “talk about me good… talk about me bad… just talk about me!”. A crappy card will always out perform a clean design. (though no one may take you seriously, you’ll be the talk fo the town!)

    Cards you’ve collected:

    Sell them! There’s people on ebay selling miscellaneous business cards right now at the tune of $25 or more per 300 different cards. That’s more than it cost to print these days. These are leads, people, and businesses need all the leads they can get. Cheers!

  114. Here’s some advice on business cards.

    Cards you plan to hand out:

    If you’re in a creative position, flaunt it. Stay away from ordinary. Use a bit of drama. If you’re just looking for attention, and want people to talk about you, design your card to look as crappy as you can. Seriously! A wise man in the art of marketing once said “talk about me good… talk about me bad… just talk about me!”. A crappy card will always out perform a clean design. (though no one may take you seriously, you’ll be the talk fo the town!)

    Cards you’ve collected:

    Sell them! There’s people on ebay selling miscellaneous business cards right now at the tune of $25 or more per 300 different cards. That’s more than it cost to print these days. These are leads, people, and businesses need all the leads they can get. Cheers!

  115. To expand on ur Biz Cards Best Practices #9, I redesigned my cards to replace all black (trendy) with very light gray specifically so recipients can write notes. I also keep 2 cards in my wallet for emergencies!

  116. To expand on ur Biz Cards Best Practices #9, I redesigned my cards to replace all black (trendy) with very light gray specifically so recipients can write notes. I also keep 2 cards in my wallet for emergencies!

  117. Thank you for your helpful reminders. I found a design that's been very effective for me. It's everything we look for; it's alluring, it's seductive, it's persuasive. Check it out at http://www.mlmflyer.com. I hope your results are as good as mine

  118. #10. Cards in China are very often bilingual with one side in Chinese and one side in English. If you plan to do business in China, it's best to have such kind of card.

  119. When it comes to breaking the rules, printing your own cards provides a lot of freedom. Certainly the less you spend on paper, the more obvious your parsimony will be, but the ability to customize cards for different purposes, occasions and audiences is very amenable to design ingenuity.

  120. I've heard it said that content is king, and this should hold true for business cards as well. I think the people you give your card to should be a factor in determining the content of your card. My cards have my name, contact info, website and logo http://www.tube34.net on one side and a tag cloud I created on the other side. I usually give my cards to people who don't know what a tag cloud is and so that generates conversation. People who don't know what a tag cloud is might not be clued in to everything that is happening on the Internet. These are the people I'm looking for.