Business cards are old school, right? It is definitely true that with the rise of digital communication and especially the acceleration of people working from home, traditional paper business cards have become less common and can be seen as old school by some. Others might think it’s better for the environment not to produce anything and have an electronic version instead. Whatever your beliefs, business cards are still widely used in many professional settings and are seen as a classic and timeless tool for exchanging contact information and making a lasting first impression.
Last month I had the first batch of business cards printed for my business since around 2018 and I want to tell you why getting a well designed business card is such a powerful tool for growing your business. So why have a business card in 2023?
In person networking
One of my goals for this year is to build up my network again after covid saw that mostly crumble and I do think that in person meet ups still aren’t what they were for everyone with the online alternative always being tempting and potentially more convenient.
I don’t know about you, but I’m very ready to get out there and meet people and form connections with people in real life and I have been looking around for new networking and connection groups in London and opportunities to meet like minded business owners. Although I have always run an online business, meeting people face to face has always been and probably always will be my most powerful form of marketing. I have got more business through real life connections or from tapping in to my existing network than from anywhere else since I started my business.
Memorable business cards
Business cards provide a tangible, portable representation of your professional identity, and serve as a handy reference for people you meet. Yes you can add the people you meet on your social media platforms, but they can quickly get lost in the sea of other contacts and connections out there and their name can quickly get forgotten. Having a business card means you’ll be a point of reference people can come back to later and something physical they can pull out of their wallet and remember who you are when they need your service months or even years down the line.
What will take having a business card up several notches in terms of impact though, is a tactile and memorable business card that will stick in the minds of those you give it to. A business card that has a unique texture or design that means it stands out and makes a lasting impression will help you stick in the minds of the people you meet. This type of business card is not just a piece of paper with contact information, but a physical representation of your brand and professional identity.
Stand out from the crowd
Why have a standard bit of card that recipients will no doubt throw away, when you can have something unusual, fun and tactile? Examples of a tactile and memorable business card include cards made from premium materials such as heavy stock paper, recycled paper, or metal. Other elements that can make a business card more memorable include special finishes such as gloss, matte, or spot UV, metallic foil finishes, as well as unique shapes or sizes that deviate from the standard rectangular format. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to what you can do with a business card so get creative!
As I wanted the design of my business cards to be memorable as well as in keeping with my brand values and brand personality, I created a design that features spot UV. This is a bit like an embossed design giving it a tactile finish. It involves applying a high-gloss UV coating to specific areas of your design, creating a contrast between the gloss and matte areas of the card. I used this printing finish to add a premium and eye-catching look to my business cards. Spot UV can be used to highlight specific elements of the design such as logos, text, or graphics, and can be used to create a sense of texture and depth on a flat surface.
Where to go for spot UV printing
Moo.com are my go to for creating my business cards. They print their spot UV finish business cards on a super luxurious 380gsm Super paper stock that adds to the premium feel of the cards. With Moo.com you can choose to have square or rounded corners, add the gloss to both sides, have a number of different designs to reflect your brand personality and move away from the norm by having square business cards too.
I took my cards to a networking event just a few evenings ago and got a lot of really good feedback on them. The people I gave them to all commented on the raised spot UV. As humans we really love something with different textures that we can feel and play with. This is the part of the business cards I have created that will really stick in the minds of the people I meet and will make sure that mine will be the business card they keep rather than throw away.
Studio Lago Design spot UV business cards created with Moo.com
Digital business cards
Digital business cards are becoming increasingly popular as a more eco-friendly, convenient, and cost-effective alternative to traditional paper cards. Digital business cards can be stored on your phone, shared electronically via email or messaging apps, and accessed from anywhere, making them a convenient and accessible option for people on the go or if you have forgotten to take your physical cards.
There are various apps and platforms that offer the ability to create and share digital business cards, and many offer customizable templates, QR codes, and the ability to integrate with other tools such as LinkedIn or your personal website. I used Canva to create a QR code for my digital business card that links straight through to my website.
Great for online businesses
Digital business cards are a great alternative if you aren’t keen to get the traditional paper version because of how easy it is to share and distribute them. Of course they are also much lower cost that the printed version too. Digital business cards are still relatively new and uncommon so they work as a memorable way for you to build connections. At one networking event I recently went to the people I met were genuinely impressed with the design and with how clever a digital business card could be.
Even if you don’t think in-person networking is for you, there are benefits to having an electronic business card. This is something you can email to people, send to them on whatsapp or feature in your online marketing to make sure you make a lasting impression and stand out online to potential clients and partners.
Studio Lago Design business card created with a QR code from Canva.
Eco friendly business cards
The great thing about having a business card in 2023 is that you can opt for one of the many eco friendly versions out there. When I chose my business cards, I specifically only ordered a small batch of 50 as I was conscious not to have too many cards that might go to waste. I’m also considerate in who I give them to as well and don’t just dish them out to anyone when I meet them.
There are a number of eco friendly options out there worth considering, especially if sustainability is one of your business’ brand values. Moo.com offer all of their unusual design features like square cards and rounded corners, but in the form of a 100% tree-free, 100% recyclable card. Their cotton business cards are made from cotton linters (the fuzz around the seed). The process requires no bleaching and gives them a nice soft texture. Unlike some eco friendly business cards, their cotton cards are bright white meaning their colours print vividly. They have a natural texture that feels good making them more tactile and memorable than standard business cards too.
Are business cards right for you and your business?
So will you be getting some business cards and getting yourself out there in 2023? I know I am on a personal mission to get away from my desk and meet people in person in 2023, so a business card is an integral part of this. A tactile and memorable business card is the key to helping set you apart though. Whether it’s made from premium materials, has unique design elements, or a combination of both, a well-designed business card can make a lasting impression and help you to stand out in a competitive business landscape and help you build those all important human connections.
Now more than ever, especially after the covid years we have had, it’s time to get out there and meet people face to face. Remember that people buy from people and that is something that isn’t going to change. Adding in person networking and creating new connections should be a part of the marketing puzzle that works alongside your online marketing efforts to grow your business this year and beyond.
If you’re looking to get out and start networking again in 2023 whether that’s online or in real life, let me know about your business card needs and I’ll create something memorable that considers your brand values and personality and gets your business noticed.