To Be or Not to Be on Your Business Cards

September 6th, 2011 by Ryan

It’s actually a marketing question that’s been around for a long time. Should you advertise a picture of yourself, or just market your business? Lawyers and realtors tend to often use a portrait on any advertisement, but theirs is a tradition that isn’t always beneficial for business cards. Showing yourself has some benefits, but in most professional circles, you’d do a lot better using that space for other things.


Just about every billboard for DWI defense attorneys will show a friendly lawyer, sometimes staring straight at the camera, sometimes turned with a jacket over a shoulder. It’s cheesy, but for college kids who made a bad decision leaving their frat party, putting a face to a name helps them trust the guy who’s about to represent them in court. Real estate agents operate the same way, assuring clients they’ll do their utmost to find them the perfect house. They put their picture on every brochure, yard sign, and their business cards to emphasize that point, but few other professions need to create that façade of trust.


Even scared college kids know, deep down, that their attorney isn’t a friend, but the gesture can still calm them down.  For other businesses, people don’t need such sentimentality; they’re hiring you for a service, not inviting you into an intimate part of their lives. Your business cards should represent your work, not your smiling face, so use the extra space to add contact information or a professional logo. Portraits work for a lot of realtors and lawyers, but for everyone else, they’re not too useful.

One Response to “To Be or Not to Be on Your Business Cards”

  1. June 20, 2012 at 6:52 am, Inexpensive Business Cards said:

    It may be tempting to include some contact information on the business holiday cards outside of the return address on the envelope. However, proceed with caution, some clients and customers may find that a bit forward. Keep in mind that small businesses usually have already established good communication for contact through invoices, emails, and/or regular client visits.


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