Making your own business card isn't as difficult as you might think.
Online tools to create them are top notch, enabling you to create your own high-quality business card in a budget efficient way, and in less than an hour's, time, if you do it right.
Is building your own business card worth the trouble?
Sure, especially when you consider that, on a daily basis, 27 million business cards were created in 2017, and that for every 2,000 business cards delivered to a potential customer, a company's sales rise by an average of 2.5%, according to data from Credit Donkey.
Should You Actually Make Your Cards Yourself?
The short answer is "no."
When we refer to "making your own business cards" that doesn't mean sitting down with a pair of scissors and high-quality cardstock and printing them yourself, on your own business-class laser printer.
Even if you have those card creation tools, and you have the much-needed card design chops, it's a tough job for a novice card creator.
If you have the desire and the tools, there are free online business card templates you can use to physically build your own card. Online business card template services like Avery Templates are a good place to start if you're truly going the "do-it-yourself" route.
However, since your business card needs to be pitch perfect in design, messaging and actually card stock quality, it's not advisable to build your own business card from the ground up.
Any mistake on a business card will stand out, and ruin any chance you have of making that good first impression.
What Are Your Business Card Goals?
Making your own business card is all about creating the best first impression. Start that process with these moves:
What's Your Message? Before you begin the process of making your own business card, you'll need to establish a primary goal first - what is your all-important business card message going to say?
Remember, you one only have a small platform (usually 2 inches by 3.5 inches) to get your point across.
Consequently, you'll want to focus on the optics of your card - who you are and what your card will look and feel like, with color, texture and design the priorities. Hit a home run on the "messaging" front and your card will stand out from the crowd and further your career and business goals.
Check Out Other Business Cards You Like. Start examining different business cards, both online and in real life, and apply their aesthetic qualities to your line of work and your cards.
For example, if you're marketing yourself or your business in the legal or financial field, keeping the card's message and image direct and straightforward is the way to go.
Let's say you've just passed your state's bar exam and you're creating a legal business card. In this scenario, your aim is to convey an image of professionalism and reliability. Here, keep things simple and list your name and exact field of legal work along with a basic image of the scales of justice in the background, and use neutral coloring on your card.
On the other hand, if you're in the graphic design or arts and entertainment field, you'll want your business card to express your creative skills, and have more room to express yourself on your card.
In this instance, going the extra mile and creating, for example, a business card that has an exotic pixel design or a colorful pattern print to embolden that first card impression is a good way to go.
In that sense, the goal is to make a business card that is unique to you.
How to Make Your Own Business Card in 6 Steps
With business cards still in vogue, making your own business card and raising your personal and business profile is a great idea, especially for someone either working for or running a small company or a career professional in a face-to-face business such as sales.
These six steps will get the job done:
Where Will You Make Your Business Card?
Now that you know what your goals are and have a general idea of what your card will look like, your first card-creating step is to choose where and how you'll make your business card.
There is no shortage of online business card creating platforms, with mainstays like Vistaprint and Overnight Prints. Or, choose from established retailers like Costco (COST) - Get Report , which will build a card for you and you can simply pick it up when you go bulk shopping at the store. Office superstores like Staples will help you build a card right in the store and fill your order in any card amount you like.
Factors that will steer you to the right call are price and efficiency (i.e. getting good cards in a timely manner.) In general, expect to pay between $9.99 and $75 for 250 to 500 cards when building them yourself online and receiving them within two or three business days, depending on how much you're willing to pay.
Just a warning - online business card platforms like Vistaprint will aggressively try to upsell you on your card order. While paying $9.99 for 500 cards with free shipping sounds like a great deal, you'll be pushed to spend more on higher quality cards and to purchase add-ons like a cardholder, which can easily add $20 or $30 to your total card order.
What Card 'Finish' Will You Use?
After you choose your business card provider, your next step is to select the physical business card you'll use.
By and large, that will mean choosing between a glossy or a matte finish, both of which offer fine attributes. The glossy-printed card will have that slick look that many business card carriers like - it just feels slick and gives a card that high-quality sheen most card owners desire.
That's not to downplay a matte business card finish, which has more of a standard coating that does take the shine out of the card. If you're including an image in your card, matte won't do it justice as a glossy finish will, but a matte finish is elegant in its own way and helps text stand out more on the card.
Plus, it's easier to write on a matte business card - gloss doesn't hold a written pen message well on a business card (so no taking written notes on the back of a card). That should be factored into any card-creating decision.
How Thick Is Your Card?
The paper quality on a business card extends to the thickness of the card, too.
Typically, the thicker the card the more it costs.
Most online card providers offer three types of card thickness - standard, signature and ultra-thick. If you prefer the heft of a more robust, thicker card design, the signature or ultra-thick card option is for you.
Just be prepared to pay a few dollars more for the sturdier card stock.
What Information Is Included in Your Business Card - and Where?
It seems like a question you can easily answer. After all, name, title, company and contact information are a business card's vital components when it comes to the written word.
That's true to a large extent. You should include your . . .
- First and last name.
- Your company's name.
- Your job title
- Your contact information (i.e., address, phone, email, company or personal website.)
While those information elements are at the top of your "must have" business card list, you may also want to leave room for your social media handles, especially Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report and LinkedIn.
You may also wish to add your company logo or your own photo, which sales professionals do for a nice, personal touch. In addition, it's advisable to add a QR code, which allows people to scan your business card information right into their smart phone's contact list.
Added up, that's a lot of information to be added on to your card, and spacing can become problematic.
A smaller font size can help, but in reality, you'll likely have to make your own call on what information has to be on your business card, based on what works for your unique business card needs.
Design The Card and Add Your Preferred Font
Most online business card platforms will offer dozens of possible card design templates, any one of which you can simply choose for your own card.
The same goes for print fonts, which will form messages and information used on your business card. Again, these are personal choices to make, but using a digital card provider's online card template is by far the easiest and cheapest way to go.
If you do want more customization, you can hire a professional designer - at a significantly higher cost - to design and craft your customized card for you. Or, go to a local printer and they likely offer similar services that, when bundled onto the card printing charges, won't cost as much as you'll pay for a good designer.
Putting It All Together
Your sixth and last step in creating your own business card is an easy one.
Once you have your information correct (spell-check is highly recommended before printing) and you have your design, font and any extras like a photo or a company logo, use the preferred card template provided by your online card provider and plug them all in, one at a time.
Within five minutes, you'll have a card ready to order and print (and pay for.)
The number of business cards you'll want is up to you.
That said, paying between $30 and $30 for 500 high-quality business cards that make you stand out is highly doable, and should lead to a nice "first impression" business card that you can use freely in your line of business.
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