Do you know what to include on a business card?
A good business card is an extension of your brand that conveys the right information about who you are and what you do in a memorable, powerful, and meaningful way.
A good business card isn't just a tool for giving your information out to prospects but an opportunity to connect with a new prospect on a personal level. For that reason, good business cards will never be replaced by any of the digital networking tools at our disposal, because digital tools lack the human factor of the equation.
Start with a high quality business card template or custom design, which gives you the right foundation to build from. With a good design in hand, you then need to customize it—adding key details to your card.
Here are eight business card tips you can use to transform your business cards from a scrap piece of paper that people throw in the bin as soon as they get home, to a powerful connection agent that draws prospects to your business like needles to a magnet.
1. Logo and Tagline
Remember, your business card is an extension of your brand. The first thing to include is your logo and tagline. These convey your business identity to the holder of the card.
Ensure your brand is instantly recognizable. Do it with the creative use of shapes, colors, and words. Each of those elements form the heart of your branding. The goal here is to ensure you're associated with (and remembered for) your brand.
2. Name and Functional Job Title
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But many people get this wrong. First the name. If your name is David, but you go by Dave, put the latter on your card, not the former. A business card isn’t meant to provide your genealogical information.
Rather, it's designed to introduce you to people who may want to talk to you. Introduce yourself as you like to be called to avoid awkward re-introductions later.
What about your job title? As a freelancer, entrepreneur, or small business owner you wear many hats in your business. Which one do you note on your business cards? Use the one that describes your main function or primary role in the business.
I've received many business cards that don't say what the person giving me the card actually does. Instead, next to the name it says CEO, Founder, or President. You may think that sounds fancy, but it’s actually unhelpful.
By the time I go home, I'm not sure what the person's job was or why I should call. Looking at a card from John, the Founder of Video Masters, for example, doesn't tell me much. “Was John a videographer? A video editor? A script writer? Oh, I forgot." Trash!
If you do have position credentials on your business card, list them after your title. For example:
John Smith, Videographer & Co-Founder
3. Contact Information
Contact information is the meat of a business card. If you want people to contact you, you've got to tell them how. But which of your contact info should you include? The key idea to keep in mind here is “direct.”
Business cards create a personal connection between you and prospects. Don't break the connection by sending callers through a phone menu, or writers to a shared email inbox.
On the other end of the spectrum, you don't want to get too personal. Give your house number and your 5-year-old might answer the phone. Avoid using personal email addresses, too. Stick with your work accounts and phone lines. This keeps your cards looking professional, and helps you maintain work/life balance.
Should you include a physical street address? Only if you've got a physical location crucial to doing business. If you're a photographer, for example, you should at least include your state on the card. That lets prospective clients know where you're available to work.
But if you’re a copywriter who works remotely, there’s no point in listing an address. It’s irrelevant and takes up precious space.
4. Your Website, But Not Your Homepage
What’s the purpose of putting your web address on your business cards? Not only to show people you've got one. That’s almost a given these days. Keep in mind, the goal of business cards is to inspire people to launch a business relationship with you. You want prospects to be so impressed that they'll be inspired to visit your website right away. So why not send them to a page with that purpose?
Create a page with a welcome message, or record a short introductory video so people get to know you better. Put a special offer on there for them or have a little bonus they can download as a “thank you” for connecting with you. In short, build a page that deepens the connection you've already created with them in person.
Make the URL to your website something very short and easy to type. No one will go home and type out a three line web address. Keep it simple and intriguing and you've got a higher chance of luring people in. Personally, I’d be much more interested in a link to "domainname.com/magic" rather than a bland link to "domainname.com/landing-page."
One last pro tip: package your URL in a QR code. These have made a comeback in recent months, and they're ideal for business cards. Smartphone camera apps can read these codes and launch your website. No typing required! This helps drive instant visits to your page. The sooner prospects visit you, the more likely you are to build lasting connections.
5. Skills and Specialties
They know your name; they know your title. They've got your website. But at a glance, do they know what you do? If you want a business relationship, prospects need to know exactly what you can do for them.
A lot of fields have specialties. From photography to medicine, from coding to writing, we all have specific skills. In a few words, try and list these on a card. Change "photographer" to "wedding photographer" and people know your specialty. Generic titles might confuse. After all, there's a big difference between novelists and technical writers.
Need a bit of inspiration? Here's where premium business card templates from Envato Elements shine. You'll find designs for countless job titles and industries. These templates are tailor-made to help you make a winning first impression.
6. Social Media Profiles
Social media channels have become indispensable parts of both traditional and virtual businesses. If you’re not on social media, you quite literally don’t exist in the eyes of your customers.
That doesn’t mean that you should list every social media account you've got on your business card. You want to give prospects the chance to connect with you, not overwhelm them with your presence. Be strategic and list only channels where prospects can get a good taste of your work.
Also, keep your social media listings professional. Odds are, you don't need to list a personal Facebook page on your business card. Unless your account is part of your brand or work, it doesn't belong on business cards.
The personal business card template above is available on Envato Elements. You can easily pair down the number of social channels on this card. Customize it to promote only those channels you're most active in.
For example, if you’re a photographer with an active Instagram account, list that. If you’re a graphic designer with lots of content on Behance, send people there. If you’re a small business owner with a strong presence and following on Medium, promote that. List your strongest profiles, not all your social profiles.
7. White Space
Yes, white space is so important it gets its own tip on the list. Ever seen a business card that was completely overstuffed with information? The point of business cards isn't to overwhelm prospects, but to invite them to connect with you. And clutter invites no one.
Of course, you're working in a confined space when you design a business card. To avoid clutter, you should list only essential details. Keep in mind: business cards have two sides. Don't be afraid to use the back. You'll double the available real estate.
White space doesn’t have to be the color “white” of course. It just means empty space on your card for the information to breathe. Make sure individual elements stand out. Save space by taking steps like:
- removing unnecessary titles
- replacing text with icons
- choosing minimalist template layouts
Check out these minimalist business card designs that have all the info you need, without clutter.
This final tip is the be-all end-all and the holy grail of business card designs. All the above tips fall under the category of practical advice for best results. Yet, even if you follow those to the letter, but make a dull and boring card, no one will be contacting you anytime soon no matter how many cards you give out.
You need to get creative with your card presentation in a way that expresses you!
Show people what you do through your card design rather than telling them through your job title. If you're in the music industry, you could use a business card designed like a digital turntable. This builds a fun visual connection and helps people remember you.
If you're a photographer, you may choose a modern camera card design, or one with a classic, creative layout. The trick is to find designs that express your brand the best. A general purpose business card such as the one above would work.
Make people laugh. Intrigue them. Let them fill in the blanks. Get creative. And if you can't think of any good ideas for custom cards yourself, don't worry. You can always get a business card designer to help you create something unique and custom. Find a person whose past designs you like and contact them for a fresh take on your business and industry.
Whatever you decide to do, and for the sake of everything that's good in business, don’t be bland! Give people a reason to contact you—even to say, “I loved your business cards so much I just had to call you!” You can always deepen the connection from there.
Explore these featured creative business card templates to find the best one for you:
5 Top Creative Business Card Templates (For 2021)
Envato Elements offers unlimited business card template downloads at a flat rate. That means you can try as many business card designs as you want!
Need help navigating the Elements library? Let’s check out five of the best:
With a sleek dark background, this business card template is a versatile choice. Each design element is fully customizable. Drop in your details and you’ll have a beautiful card in no time.
This modern card works for any business. It’s packed with fully editable, print-ready graphics that you can edit. Work with it in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.
A business card design with a vertical layout is a quick way to make a unique card. This one even includes space for a professional headshot! Take full advantage of the two-sided design to share key details in style.
Easy to use and full of style, Formal Card is a great template for your business. Layered files make customizations a breeze. You’ll also find room for a QR code to link people to your website or social media channels.
Photographers can put their work front and center with this sleek card. Image backgrounds on both sides offset against sharp, colorful text. This is a perfect choice for anyone looking for an illustrated business card in 2021.
The Best Options For Business Card Templates
Are you still wondering what is on a business card? That's okay, we've got even more ideas that'll spark your inspiration.
Check out these articles that show you what business cards look like when they're designed by professionals. Best of all, download these templates and use them for yourself—changing only a few details.
- Business CardsBest of 2021: Free Business Card Templates (Photoshop, Word, & More)Andrew Childress
- Business Cards14+ Best Free Photoshop PSD Business Card Templates for 2021 (Download Now!)Andrew Childress
- Business Cards25+ Best Adobe Illustrator Business Card Templates (Free + Premium for 2020)Nona Blackman
More Resources to Learn What Is on a Business Card
Here are more guides to help you make a great business card:
- How to Design a Business Card. In this free course, Melody Nieves will take you through all the steps required to design your own business cards from scratch in Adobe Photoshop. You'll learn to make three different styles: minimalist, photographic, and artistic.
- The Ultimate Design Guide to Standard Business Card Sizes. This guide takes you through standard business card sizes and dimensions by country. Also, discover ways to make your business cards stand out with unusual size, print finish, and other detail.
- 10 Top Tips for Designing Your Own Business Cards. Get professional pointers for designing your own business cards, from how you should get started to how to use typography and graphics to leave a lasting impression.
- 15 Premium Business Card Templates. Here are more great business card templates, so you can grab a stand-out design. They’re organized by popular software type and come in Photoshop (PSD), Illustrator (EPS), or InDesign (INDD) formats.
- 5 Noteworthy Back of Business Cards Ideas. Make the most of the back of your business card. Discover how to add meaningful backgrounds, showcase your skills, and use this space most effectively—whether to display your services, lead your prospects, or deliver special offers.
- 3 Tips for Mastering Business Card Etiquette Rules. After you've got your new business cards in hand, now it’s time to put them to use. Get out there networking professionally and exchanging your business cards. Master these three business card etiquette rules to get it right.
If you need a business card template, we've a number of trending card designs on Envato Market with fresh designs being added weekly. You may also need help with more brand and marketing materials, such as a new logo design, full brand identity package, or website design:
- Branding15+ Best Logo Design Templates: For Creative Business BrandingSean Hodge
- Branding20+ Corporate Brand Identity Packages With Creative Designs for 2021Sean Hodge
- WordPress Themes25+ Best WordPress Corporate/Business Themes for EntrepreneursBrenda Barron
Now You Know "What Is on a Business Card?"
Now that you've got all the information you need to include on your business cards, what sort of cards will you create? How will they fit into your brand identity design and marketing strategy?
Have you seen any intriguing or amazing business card designs that you really liked? Why not use that as an inspiration for your own business card?
Note: This post was last published in July of 2016. It's been comprehensively updated with help from Andrew Childress.
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