As each year goes on, many of us in technology based fields see changes in how to market ourselves. One ever constant that has stood the test of time–and will arguably transcend into the future in one way or another—is the business card. This simple 2.5in x 3in card can really say a lot about the person passing it out. Good or bad. So it is important to put the same hard work into this marketing collateral as with your others.
Here are a few different ways photographers can really leave an impression with their business cards.
A definite way to stand out in this category would be to pick an unconventional shape like a square or circle. There are mixed feelings about this choice in more business environments, but for creative fields, I see nothing wrong with making your card a different shape (as long as you have a valid reason for doing so.)
Since there is such little real estate to work with, you must be concise with what you share. You definitely need your name, name of business (if different), possibly your title, your logo, and contact information. Don’t make your type too small, or those who have a harder time seeing will not even bother with it.
You should be using your brand’s colors here. If you have a lot of colors, maybe stick to your top three and go from there. Utilize a clean white background or alternatively a sleek black one if that compliments your brand. Make sure there is enough contrast between the background color and the type. Overall, be consistent with your use of color.
I highly recommend featuring an image on one side of your card. I personally order mine from Moo. Not only does this show potential clients what you’re capable of, it also makes it more likely that they’ll hold onto it longer. A standard text only business card can get lost in a jumble of notes and lists, but a card with a high quality printed photo on it is like a mini piece of art they can admire. Another plus of doing this is you can feature different types of photos on multiple cards and hand off the one that will most appeal to the person you’re speaking with while handing another one off to a person interested in a different niche.
Don’t be cheap. Just don’t do it. Chances are you won’t need 10,000 cards at a 2 day conference (unless you’re a vendor with that many attendees) or even in most daily activities. Invest as much as you can in a nice thick card that doesn’t bend or rip easily. Some choose to use specialty materials like acrylic, metal, or wood. No matter the medium, you want something that feels substantial so a potential client will appreciate the tactile feel of your card (thus making it less likely to be thrown away with other cheap cards.)
Most importantly, don’t ever present something you aren’t proud of. Edges should be neat, margins should be even. Keep your cards in a case so they won’t get bent/stained while in your bag or pocket. Hand off your card with confidence to potential clients to show them you care about how you present your business. This also communicates that in the future, you will also care about how their images are presented.
Although most aspects of our marketing efforts are now digital, nothing beats the classic face-to-face meeting with a professional exchange of business cards. I hope you will make a big impact with yours!
May the light be with you.
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