The DIY Business Card
You might think that because your business is ecommerce you can avoid some of the more traditional business pieces of marketing: i.e. business cards.
Alas, this is not the case. Just because you have established your business online does not mean that you can dispense with the obligatory contact cards to use for networking and advertising.
Now the real question is should you pay a professional to create your business card or do you tackle it yourself? Obviously your best course of action WOULD be to hire a professional, but if you are constrained by budget concerns and aren't at the place to really pay for professional services then it IS possible to do it yourself as long as you follow a few basic Do's and Don'ts of good business card design. Let's look at some of the things you will want to remember to create a card that will pit your best foot forward without breaking the bank.
1. Simplicity above all. Your business card's primary function is for people to be able to contact you. That being said if you will be making your own cards you need to keep them simple. It's much harder to mess up a simple layout. The worse thing you possibly do is create a card that actually makes your business look cheap. Simplicity will keep that from happening.
2. Align to the edges. In most cases you will want to align the contact information on your business card to the outer edges. Either left or right aligned. Very rarely and very scarcely would you ever want to have a card where all your information is centered, and if you're not a professional don't attempt a center alignment. This alone is typically one of the first telltale signs of an amateur's card.
3. Use only one or two fonts. You may be tempted to go wild with all the font options on your system but avoid that temptation. To design a professional card you will want to also keep the font selections simple using only one or two fonts at most. Do NOT use a different font for each 'type' of information and do NOT use different fonts for words that go together: i.e. your first and last name. Remember the more fonts or typefaces you add to the card, the more confusing and harder it will be for a client to follow.
4. Color palette. Much like your fonts you will want to restrict yourself to one or two basic colors. Avoid things like colored lines or large patched of colors. Basically all the rules that apply to the font selections also apply to your color choices. Keep the colors simple. Again, as a beginner, you can't go wrong using a few simple/basic layouts.
What to include:
As an eCommerce solution, the MOST important thing on your card is your Web site address (URL), but beyond that here are some other things you might consider:
|Name of person||Office hours||Name of organization|
|(Nickname)||Time zone||Mission statement|
|Title||Appointment fill-in||Business description|
|Professional/academic designations||Resource info|
|Pronunciation of unusual names||Voice phone/extension number||Illustration/photo|
|Department/division name||Toll-free phone number||Logo|
|Organization street address||Mobile phone number||Organizational affiliations|
|Floor/suite/mail stop||Pager number||Sponsorships|
|Alternate P.O. box address||Fax phone number|
|City/state/state abbreviation||Home phone number|
|Zip+four/postal code||E-mail address|
|Country||Web site address|
|Home street address|
So now you have your information and a basic idea of your card. The next step is getting them printed.
My personal favorite for printing great, professional quality business card at a low price is OvernightPrints.com. Overnight includes a web based card designer, so if you’r NOT a designer, or don’t have the software, you can use their Web site to still create a top quality card. And their quantities and prices are small and very reasonable. Staring at just 25 cards for $2.98 plus shipping.
Another option is VistaPrint.com. A word of warning however, Vista Print’s cards are “free” with the exception of shipping fees, but the backside of the card is Vista Print’s logo and contact information. And the card quality is much cheaper and does not include a UV gloss finish, like Overnight does. And no, I do not get paid by Overnight to endorse them. They are just the best I've personally found.
A third option, that I have used in the past and their quality is very nice is PrintPelican.com. They too allow you to order online, but their checkout/proofing process is slower and they cannot deliver as quickly as Overnight which was a downside for me.
Feel free to check them out and see which site might work best for you:
So now that you have your card printed and designed, who do you give them too?
In short: Everybody! 90% of business success is networking. Never despise even the smallest connections that you might make. Stay especially alert at conferences, seminars and learning environments. All in all, put your best foot forward and establish your own professional reputation and you’ll go far!
Check out our Free Business Card Templates under "Freebies".