I've got stacks and stacks and stacks of business cards from trade shows to elevator pitches to raiding the card bulletin boards at banks and other community sharing hots spots. Sadly, these cards are condemned to the file drawer, a dusty box or straight to the trash can. Much like any other piece of marketing, the business card is "required reading" today however it is sometimes placed at the slight disadvantage of human attention span now being less than a few seconds.
Keeping it professional in business cards is required, especially for contact information cards, company details, etc. This type card shows whether you are organized and professional or if you look like a kid with crayons and construction paper looking for a lost pet. In essence, two pieces of work are going to be required, if necessary. A professional contact card and if you are a promoter of products and services, a marketing card that can be a business card or a promotional item of sorts. Promotional items with contact information can serve as a business card if they have your information clearly legible but more importantly a brief driver of value or wow that makes the recipient want to give you a call back.
Did you impress me or leave me with a blahhh? Whatever the case may be, you only have a few seconds to get your point across, drive some value and maybe land a new prospect, client or even a sale. Both cards mentioned serve a point, one being contact information that backs up your ten second speech or elevator pitch and the other marketing card that does the talking for you. You only get a few seconds so make it count.
Take a few moments of meditation time. Now, take your card out. If you are a business owner retailer think about a service provider that you may have to call upon to help you with a needed task. If you are a financial professional, banker or insurance agent, think about your encounters in the retail world. Now, visualize what would make you react, hold on to or retain a card or promo item for future needs or immediate needs. As simple as this step may seem, it can help you determine if your card needs a very good speech to go with it or if you need to look in to a new design.
While the concept is nothing new, business cards are going to be around for some time so put some thought in to it before you buy just any representation for your professional side or for the marketing and impression making side.