10 Ways to Say it with Business Cards

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with GreatFX Printing

My company, GreatFX Business Cards, offers 16pt card stock eco-friendly soy ink business cards with free glossy or matte coating. You can design your business cards online with a WYSIWYG interface.

Realtor Barbara Hulse
Hotel American Executive Inn
Realtor Mark Tate
Dave Segrove
Associate Broker Garry Tannenbaum
Auto Repair Pro Transmission
Your business card: That little piece of real estate is, or should be, as much part of your business "personality" as your own. Not only does your business card contain your contact information, it's an introduction and a reminder for later. When someone is going through the stack of cards on their desk, rolodex or folder and they come across your card, they should recognize it and by virtue of that, recognize you.

That little 3½ x 2 inch piece of paper should be very important to you and your business. If you're a small business owner, self employed or have discretion as to how you card looks then you have an enormous impact on your business image. Here are some things to consider:
  1. Empty space – keep a fair amount of it. Too much information is as bad as too little. Invariably, the card will look crowded and dense. A good idea is to write down everything you would like to put on your card and then prioritize it.


  2. Use both sides – there's a whole other 3½x2 space to use. Consider putting slightly less relevent information on the back of your card. Your fax number for example, unless you think it's critical. Your blog address, mailing address...yes, your mailing address...how many people write to you based on your card? More people are going to call or email you...


  3. Make it legible. Use a clear font and a good contrasting color. If it's too small, it's going to be a pain to read. Don't try and be clever. To be brutally honest, it's annoying.


  4. Use a good stock. Yes, the economy makes it hard to spend money on some things where we know we can save, but you often get what you pay for, especially when it comes to business cards. Use at least a 12pt card stock. Do consider the return on investment. Plastic business cards may be cool, but they're expensive. Can you justify that cost?


  5. Glossy or not? If you're going to get a UV (glossy) finish, consider the color of the card. Glossy cards have a nice, waxy feel to them, but they tend to show fingerprints easily on darker colors. Another thing to consider is that if you are trying to save money, think about using a lighter color card. Unless you're going to a custom printer, most card colors are printed onto the paper. Depending on the quality of the cutter, this can lead to cards looking "worn at the edges" as soon as you get them, especially with a UV finish. A lighter color, or white, doesn't show this. I've designed cards with a white border just to prevent this problem. A matte finish can look very classy. but so can gloss. UV tends to "weather" better.


  6. Include a photo? It's up to you but ask yourself why. First, it takes up space. Second, it needs to be a good one. Third, it should be you and not you and family, you and pets...you get the idea. Do you want people to "remember" you? Well, your winning personality should take care of that. Use photos with caution. If you're ordering 1,000 business cards, remember that you should try and resemble the photo as you get to the end of the stack. Planning on changing your hairstyle/color? Consider your cards...


  7. What should be on it?
    The "Dave Segrove rule of thumb" is as follows:
    Front
    • Name
    • Title (optional)
    • Credentials (optional, depending on legal requirements. If you have a whole bunch of certifications, consider that having an alphabet after your name may impress some people but it may intimidate others)
    • Telephone
    • Email
    • Web address (optional – could go on the back)
    • Photo (optional – see sermon above)
    • Logo
    • Quote or catchphrase (optional)The Back
    Back
    • Address
    • Fax
    • Blog
    • Alternate phone
    • Web address (if not used on the front)
    • Alternate website (if you have another)
    • Space for notes or appointment(s) (optional)
    • Industry required logos (such as Equal Housing etc)
    • Map to your business location (useful for retail)
    • Hours of operation (retail)

  8. As you can see, there is much to choose from. Considering that you should leave "breathing space", pick carefully.

  9. The background. While a uniform color looks nice, a graphic can be quite eye-catching, as long as it doesn't interfere with the foreground.


  10. What should be avoided? This is just my opinion but you've read this far..."I appreciate referrals". Who the heck doesn't? So why waste valuable space by putting that on your card? Photos that are not relevent should also be avoided. "Clever" sayings that are not part of your mission statement, slogan, motto or catchphrase, tagline etc. If you have the space, perhaps something else to fill it? Oversized or strangely shaped cards. There is a little more room for the latter, provided they fit into a standard business card slot in a rolodex or folder. If your card is too big, where might it end up?


  11. How can you get it customized? Work with a designer. Yes, I know it involves a cost, but many designers are not that expensive. I know I'm not, and I really mean that. A good designer will work with you, learn about you and what your business message needs to convey. He or she should provide "mock-up" designs and taylor them until you're happy. Listen to the designer. Work with them. Ask to see their portfolio and only move forward if you have a good feeling about them.

I don't profess to have all the answers, but I do design a lot of business cards. I do believe in being different for each client. You're unique, so your card should reflect this. "There are many ways to skin a cat" the saying goes (though I have never understood why a cat), and the same applies to business cards.

Would love to help with any questions or concerns and, of course, any business card needs :)
Posted by

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Chris Brunner is an aspring real estate agent/investor and owner/developer of
GreatFX Business Cards
, a top destination for online printing services.

GreatFX offers thick card stock paper, photo-quality color, free glossy or matte coatings and eco-friendly soy-base inks & reyccled papers.  Stop paying too much for cards.  Sharpen your image, design business cards online today!

Copyright © 2009-2010 by Christopher J. Brunner, All Rights Reserved.

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Rainer
143,401
Sandra Scott
DPR Realty - Payson, AZ
REALTOR of Choice! Payson, Pine & Strawberry, AZ

Wow!  Lots of ino here.  Some neat ideas too.

Nov 25, 2009 02:51 PM #1
Rainer
199,711
Jeani Codrey
The Learning Jeani - New Braunfels, TX
If you're not learning, you're not living!

Good advice.  I am fortunate to work with a company that doesn't dictate that everyone have a generic matching business card.  I love my business cards...of course I have a background in graphic design, so my cards are anything but typical!  Thanks for sharing!

Nov 25, 2009 02:56 PM #2
Rainer
67,063
Alexandria Virginia
Featuring Susan Craft, CRS, REALTOR® - McEnearney Associates - Alexandria, VA
Real Estate Editor

Great stuff. Do they offer a 20pt really hard card stock.  I like one that, when you hand it to someone, they think they got two.

Nov 25, 2009 07:28 PM #3
Rainer
20,397
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

Can't say I've heard of 20pt card stock.  I offer 16pt card stock which is still a very thick paper.

Nov 26, 2009 11:05 AM #4
Rainer
104,693
Troy Pappas
Safe House Property Inspections - Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach Home Inspector

Great info. I just received my initial order of 500 cards from an online vendor to test the quality. I will keep you in mind if I am not satisfied.

Nov 27, 2009 11:17 AM #5
Rainmaker
101,582
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent

Chris,

Great Post.  I will definitely take some of things you mentioned into consideration on my next order.

Thanks for sharing,

Matt Naumann

Jan 13, 2010 12:21 AM #6
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Rainer
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Chris Brunner

GreatFX Printing
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