Top 10 Tips to Build Your Business with Business Cards

You hear a lot about how to make your website work for you, but you rarely hear about how to make your business card work for you.  Even in this age of technology, the business card is still a powerful business building tool (when used effectively).

Did you know that October 9th thru October 15th is “Build Your Business with Business Cards Week?”  If you didn’t that’s, okay.  I wouldn’t expect most people to know that. 

Anyhow … I’m celebrating today by sharing my Top 10 Tips for Building Your Business with Business Cards.

  1. Make your card stand out (in a good way).  People tend to collect a lot of business cards but how many of them truly stand out?  Remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression.  Your business card should support, even amplify, that impression.  Add your logo and some color to grab attention right away.  Even if you’re a CPA, Lawyer, Doctor, etc., you can still jazz it up a bit.  My business attorney has an awesome business card with rich brown hues and a very unique logo. The logo is a very stylized CW (her name is Caroline Worley).  Simple, clean, and professional, but still memorable.
  2. Add your photo to your business card.  People generally remember faces a lot quicker than they remember names.  How many times have you picked up a business card and then totally forgot who the card belongs to? You don’t want that to happen to you.  Besides, adding a photo of your smiling face to your card helps build that know, like, and trust factor a little quicker.
  3. Make sure your card conveys what you do.  Consider adding a descriptive tag line to your business card or even list some of the services and/or benefits you offer.  Sometimes people aren’t able to grasp exactly what you do or what you have to offer just from your business name and title. If you’re struggling with concisely conveying this message on your business card, you might need to look at refining your brand.  Remember, if people can’t remember or don’t understand what you do, they likely won’t hire you or be able to refer others to you.
  4. Include the essentials.  Make sure your business cards include your most important contact information.  Obviously you want to include your name, your business name, your telephone number, email address, and website.  I also recommend adding your twitter handle, linkedIn URL and your facebook business page. You might also consider adding your fax number and your mailing address.  Just think about how you want people to connect with you and design your card accordingly.
  5. Maximize your real estate.  Always print on both sides of your business card.  You have the space available,  take advantage of it and get the biggest bang for your buck.  Believe it or not, I’m always a little disappointed when I get a one-sided business card.  I like to be surprised by the goodies printed on the backside of a card.  One-sided business cards are boring (yawn).  You can add special offers, free downloads, calendars, appointment reminders, space for taking notes, etc.  You can even make the back magnetic for extra “stickiness.” You are limited only by your creativity.  That surprise on the back of your card just might be the thing that keeps your card from entering the trash bin, or  worse: oblivion.
  6. Leverage technology with a high-tech business card.  Consider printing a Quick Response Code (QR code ) on your business card.  You can pack a lot of value onto your business card by using a QR code.  For instance you can link your custom QR code to a webpage, your facebook page, a video, an ebook, a coupon or special offer, a form to sign up for a consultation, etc.  Again, the possibilities are enormous.  And the best part is that people can access this information as soon as they get your card.  All they need is a mobile phone with scanning capabilities.  Cool, huh?
  7. Always carry your business cards with you.  Business cards are extremely portable and you never know who you might run into.  Never leave home without them.
  8. Don’t be a bugaboo.  Whenever you meet someone that you’d like to stay in touch with, ask them for their business card.  Then, if,and only if, they ask for yours do you hand them your business card.  You don’t want to be perceived as pushy.  If you want to stay in touch with them, ask for permission to contact them and never, I mean never, add them to your newsletter or ezine without their permission.
  9. Don’t be a card hoarder.  First, think quality over quantity.   Business success depends a lot on relationships, so look for quality connections with people above all else.  She who dies with the most business cards does not win.  Don’t kill yourself trying to collect everyone’s business card at an event.
  10. Create a system for handling your cards, contacts, and follow up.  So you collected a bunch of business cards, now what?  If you’re like most people, they’ll sit in a heap until eternity.  When you meet someone you’d like to follow up with, make a note so you don’t forget.  I always take my small Contact Keeper binder with me to networking events and carry my smaller Contact Keeper Case with me on a daily basis.  This helps me take notes on the go.  If you don’t have a huge number of contacts, you can keep them organized in a notebook for business cards.  Once you’ve accumulated around 100, you might consider a contact management system like Outlook or ACT.  I personally  use Highrise by  The most important thing of all is to follow up.  You can’t build a relationship of any kind if you never contact them again.  And you’re not likely to gain a customer or client from one contact alone.   You can’t build your business with business cards (or anything else) if you don’t follow up.

Got comments or some great tips on how you use your business cards to build your business?  I’d love to hear them!

© 2011 Tiffany deSilva, Order and Balance, LLC

Want to reprint this article?  Be my guest; just remember to include the following message:

Tffany deSilva, founder and CEO of Order and Balance, LLC, specializes in helping women entrepreneurs  build rock-solid, financially successful and sustainable businesses that not only run seamlessly, but integrate seamlessly with their ideal lives, so they can overcome overwhelm and make great money doing what they love. Visit to your copy of the FREE report, “Get the Money You Deserve and the Time You Desire: How to Avoid the 7 Biggest Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make.”

9 Response to “Top 10 Tips to Build Your Business with Business Cards ”

Sue Painter
October 10, 2011
2:14 pm

Comment :

I love this post because one of the e-books I’m just finishing up is all about how to design and use business cards. I wrote it because I saw people screwing up so badly in using them, what they have on them, etc. We are of the same mind here! We could teach a class together, LOL!

Tiffany deSilva
October 10, 2011
2:37 pm

Comment :

Thanks, Sue. That’s funny! You know what they say–”Great minds think alike.” ;-) Your ebook sounds fabulous! I’m sure it will be an invaluable resource.

Mary Ellen Miller
October 10, 2011
6:57 pm

Comment :

for the excellent tips Tiffany. I definitely learned a few things reading this.

Jeff Brunson
October 13, 2011
7:50 am

Comment :

Good info Tiffany. Thanks.
One story you may enjoy – about the picture on one’s card. I finally threw away $100 worth of cards that I’ve had for several years and never used – the ones with my photo. My web dude at the time talked me into that. I went to the printer to pick them up. The guy there said, “Oh yes, you are the guy with his picture on his card who is not a real estate agent.” I knew right then that I was right all along. I did not want my picture on my card. I still feel that way.

That is the only main point I resist however. Thanks for the great post.

Tiffany deSilva
October 13, 2011
10:33 am

Comment :

Jeff, that is a funny story! Your card should be representative of you and your style, so if you feel strongly about not having your picture on your card, that’s okay. ;-)

With that being said, you have to admit that it did make you more memorable; even to a guy who sees countless business cards each day!

Kristina Shands
October 15, 2011
8:17 am

Comment :

Great tips, Tiffany. I never really thought about the importance of your business card. I especially love the idea of putting a QR code on the back. Very clever.

Joann Snell
October 20, 2011
9:42 pm

Comment :

Very good tips. I have to agree with Jeff about a picture on a business card. It depends on what business you are in.

Tiffany deSilva
October 21, 2011
11:25 am

Comment :

Thanks, Joann. I see you’re a graphic designer. I’d love to hear some of your tips for making business cards stand out.

Thomas Adam
August 3, 2012
3:56 am

Comment :

Great tips here Tiffany. Having a picture and design that stands out are the key to create a successful business card!

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