In his book, Here's My Card: How to Network Using Your Business Card to Actually Create More Business, author Bob Popyk offers some great ideas on using your business cards to their fullest advantage.
One particular chapter deals with some business card "don'ts" and I was reminded of it when I attended a recent networking function. I met a lot of different people at this event and almost every one of them handed me one of their business cards. I was rather shocked at the condition of some of these cards.
One gentleman handed me a card that had been whited-out in several places and written over with a marker.
One woman gave me a card that she had just spilled a bit of wine on, but she said, "you don't mind, do you?"
Another man fished around in his coat pocket for a while before pulling out a card that looked like his dog had gotten a hold of it.
Your business card is a reflection of you and your business. As Popyk puts it, "You are what you hand out."
Here are some things, according to Popyk, that you don't want to see when it comes to business cards:
- creases and bent edges
- discoloration, fading, yellowing
- written in names
- anything crossed out
- smudges or stains
- bleed-through from the other side
- anything off-color
- staple holes, paper clip marks
I would also add to this list "any incorrect information." Please don't hand out business cards with phone numbers or addresses that have changed. That certainly doesn't help your client or potential client to find you when they need you, does it?
Don't be stingy when it comes to business cards — regularly review them and replace them as necessary. Also, consider getting a card case to keep your business cards in tip top shape — the case will make them easy to find as well.
Remember, your business card helps to remind others of you when you aren't there. What impression are you leaving them with?