In today’s world, we’re more social than ever. In professional settings, the most common way to exchange contact information is still the business card. It can be unprofessional and even rude to take out a cell phone and start trying to look up the CEO you’re chatting with on Twitter.
With free business card printing services, it seems that everyone has one these days. Local businesses, mom bloggers and waitresses have cards. Just like all other personal branding tactics in this digital age – from your Twitter background to your LinkedIn profile – your business card needs to stand out. If it doesn’t, you’ll blend in with everyone else at best and be labeled lazy at worst.
If you’re job hunting, companies are looking for free thinkers with an increased emphasis on hiring entrepreneurs. This means you need to toe the line of creativity and professionalism, which can be tricky. While a general rule of thumb is to show up dressed as professionally as possible with a standard resume (built for easy scanning), your business card is one place where you can let your creativity stand out.
Out of this World Designs
If you search the Internet, you’ll quickly find some pretty amazing business card examples. Some are made of wood and others are plastics molded into any shape other than a card. Useful business cards such as food or gadgets also exist. Some business cards are able to showcase a person’s talent such as photography.
Your design doesn’t have to be completely out of this world. It just needs to be distinguishable. You want the person receiving that card to know who gave it to them. Or even if he can’t remember you, or he didn’t get the card from you directly, you want him to be excited about talking to such a creative person.
Easy Stand-out Designs
A different shape can take a business card to the next level. Add a bright color, and you have something different from the typical rectangles collecting dust in a CEO’s wallet. It may not be as exciting as a cheese grater business card, but it will still be distinguishable.
Adding your picture to the business card is an idea that isn’t implemented often. The recipient of your business card will have an easier time remembering you if they can see your face. A professional headshot is a good place to start, but a picture of you giving a speech or some other way to showcase your skills might be more memorable.
Professional printing services are another business card must that often get overlooked, especially by young professionals. If your card isn’t printed on high-quality paper, it will show. Services out there offering cheap or free business cards often use very low quality paper and include their own logo – not to mention the template designs that everyone has seen time and time again. If you’re really stuck on coming up with ideas for a creative card, ask a professional to help you with a custom design. A bonus for high-quality paper is that it’s less likely to get damaged – both while you have it and when you give it away.
The best way to tell if your card will stand out is to know that you could grab it off a desk filled with traditional business cards in less than 30 seconds. If you can, you’ve succeeded. Remember, your card doesn’t have to be out-of-this-world creative, but it’s lazy not to use some creativity.