The Personal Business Card

December 23rd, 2011 by admin

Those of you who took one look at the title can easily be forgiven for thinking it to be an oxymoron. “Business cards about me? Isn’t that the very antithesis of a business card?”

Well, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The purpose of a business card is to drum up recognition, customers and the like—a subtle but indispensable method for sustaining your livelihood and perpetuating your success. So it would make perfect sense to use those same applications on a smaller scale, i.e. yourself.

You should still use the same ideas for designing business cards; that much hasn’t changed. A simple, complimentary color scheme can work wonders, though you want to avoid the information printed on them being unreadable. You can also make due with a background image related to your profession or industry. For example, someone making their living by writing (journalism, books, etc.) should use an always-handsome inkwell and quill feather motif; a tastefully displayed set of paintbrushes can work wonders for an artist; anyone working in construction or with a trade can make do with tools pertaining to their skills. Be sure to avoid cartoony effects and aggressive color schemes; it’ll make it impossible to take your card—and by extension, you—seriously.

How much of your personal information a person wants on their card will vary from case to case, but there are some general guidelines to stick to. Aside from obvious entries such as your name and any title/s you have at your business, the email address you or your business uses should be one of the main bits of information on there. Social media connections, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and others can make it easy to connect with you, but these pose their own set of problems. LinkedIn is a sure thing, as it is specifically designed for professionals. Other services are more problematic; if your material is inane, irrelevant, or otherwise unprofessional, or if your username has one or more punctuation-as-letters, numbers-as-letters, or unconventional spelling, then it would be best to leave them off. It would be unwise to include your personal phone number, as your card can be picked up by an unintended audience, which can lead to gratuitous unpleasantness. Your business number, on the other hand, will suffice. Also, be sure to choose a simple, plainly legible font that can work in either black or white (whichever stands out more on the card). Text effects can work, but only if they’re minimal and limited to one, maybe two. Your card is obviously no good if no one can read what’s on it.

And if nothing else, having your own personal business card will make you look more professional and valuable, even when you aren’t doing anything related to your business.

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