Okay, what’s so special about a business card? Much more than you might think In fact, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you that a great business card is one of the most powerful pieces in your corporate identity arsenal. In today’s post I’ll share why I believe many professionals miss the opportunity to make a great first impression…

I know that in today’s digital world many executives and entrepreneurs feel that business cards are passe and ineffective and only carry them out of habit. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked someone for a business card in the last couple of years only to watch them search their pockets finding themselves unable to produce one. As I see it you basically have three choices when it comes to business cards: 1) Carry a great one; 2) Carry one that does no good whatsoever, or; 3) Don’t carry one at all…Why would you do anything other than carry an awesome business card?

I have always made it a point to be armed with a “show stopper” of a business card (e-mail me and I’ll send you one). Over the years I can’t even begin to count the number of times my business card (digital or traditional) has started a conversation, which by the way is the goal you should be shooting for. Yet I’m always amazed when I see an executive carrying a traditional, one-sided, square business card it’s like throwing opportunities out the window. If your business card doesn’t start a conversation, isn’t memorable, or doesn’t further your personal or corporate brand why have one?

While a business card is certainly no substitute for talent and ability, it will speak to your professionalism and approach to doing business, as well as distinguish you from your competition. Take out your business card and look at it while you review the following questions:

  1. Does it have a “wow” factor? Does it really “pop” such that it will cause somebody to stop and really take note to the extent it starts a conversation?
  2. Does it tell a story, extend your brand and communicate your value proposition?
  3. Does it contain all your pertinent contact information?
  4. Does it make use of both sides of the card? Better yet, does it make use of four sides?
  5. Is it digital?
  6. If it isn’t digital, does it take advantage of a unique shape, multiple colors, unique stock, embossing, foiling, graphics and other distinguishing characteristics?

If you can’t answer yes to most of the questions above then it is time to throw away your card and get a new one One other thing…If you don’t use your business card it can’t do you any good. As a rule of thumb you should not only attempt to hand out between 500 & 1,000 cards a year, but make sure that you hand them out to the right people…