Jan 302012
 

Part I of III: The Business Card

 

If you think people don’t pay attention to business cards, check out this video and think again!

When it comes to being an effective networker, presenting a well-developed personal set of business cards means serious business. Your business card is your opportunity to market yourself to new contacts, effectively communicating who you are, what you do, and how, all in a bite-sized 3.5″ x 2″ of real estate.

Think of your business card as the key to establishing your personal brand: one that makes a strong and lasting first impression. Like people, there is no one-size-fits-all: each business card should be unique to the individual.

Following are some universal truths that you should consider when developing your own cards:

  1. Include the basics. This is a no brainer. At a minimum, your business card should include your name and a method for contact you. Personally, I include my name, address, cell phone, email address and website.
  2. Drop nicknames and use your real name. If we established a good connection, my next steps include connecting with you on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Make it easy for me to find and connect with you.
  3. List your areas of expertise. You want to make it as easy as possible for folks to remember who you are and what you do. List your area(s) of expertise on your card, so that people will remember what you’re all about long after they’ve left the conference.
  4. Embrace white space. If you include too much detailed information, the vitals get lost in the clutter and can be overwhelming to the reader. Instead, consider including your website to direct readers to specific information.
  5. Size matters. Style is subjective, but don’t go overboard with non-standard card sizes. Many people archive cards they’ve collected at conferences in business card holders. Odd-shaped cards have the potential to be tossed if they won’t fit in a wallet or standard holder. Reduce this risk and try to be creative within the boundaries of the standard business card specs.
  6. Card stock and font are important design elements. Call me odd, but I love the tactile feeling of cards. When folks hand me a card on heavier stock I take notice, it’s one way to generate attention. Different fonts convey different personalities, so select one that represents you and make sure it is large enough to be easily legible for everyone.
  7. Establish your brand. Consider investing in a graphic designer and design a logo for yourself that is relevant to your industry and identifies with you.

Finally, visit Flickr for some great ideas to start getting the creative juices flowing.

There you have it folks! I hope you find my recommendations helpful. I look forward to seeing your business cards when I see you at the Game Developers Conference.

Tina Tyndal is a brand strategist with more than 10 years of experience in marketing and advertising, diagnosing brand challenges and delivering innovative marketing strategies to drive growth of Fortune 100 technology brands. Currently, she consults with video game companies to create marketing and PR campaigns.