The debate on the necessity of business cards is finally over. (In case you’ve been living under a rock the last ten years, successful web professionals do need business cards.)But when it comes to actually creatinga card, most web developers and designers are in the dark. They’re not sure what contact info is best for their clients—or what’s worst.
So what should—or shouldn’t—you include on your business card?The experienced graphic designers at Company Folders, who are experts in creating highly custom business cards, think you’re probably using three totally unnecessary elements (and missing the three you really need).
Include: Web address
Any time a web designer or developer omits their own web address from their business card, it raises red flags. Clients are likely to turn tail and run if they can’t get a good feel for your work by looking at your site. Be sure your web address is somewhere on your card—preferably in a prominent position.
Skip: Street address
If you’re one of the thousands of web professionals who work from home, including your street address goes against all laws of common sense—you’re essentially inviting strangers to show up on your private doorstep. And while not everyone has theft on their mind, giving strangers a clear view of your valuables and loved ones doesn’t exactly help you reduce the risk of burglary.
Even if you conduct your business in an actual office, it’s still good to get acquainted with clients via phone or email to make sure you want to work with them before inviting them into your space.
Include: Company logo
Placing your logo on your business card helps clients connect your name and brand. The more clearly they remember that corporate identity, the more likely they are to call you when they need web design services. A cool logo alsospices up the business card with an interesting graphic that catches people’s attention.
Skip: QR code
QR codes are the most overrated tool for business cards. For starters, they take up more space than the URLs with which they’re associated—and real estate isn’t something you can afford to waste on a 2.5″ x 3″ card. QR codes are also time consuming; asking clients to download an app to scan the code to access your webpage isn’t any faster than letting them type in your web address.
Include:Cool professional images
Images go a long way to enhance your business card’s effectiveness. They let you convey your sense of humor, professionalism, or other dominant traits in a fun, visual way that connects with clients on a deeper level than written copy.
If you’ve got the resources, it’s a good idea schedule a session with a corporate photographer like Brian Smith, a Miami-based artist who takes unique, stylish pictures to make his clients stand out. You can also include photos of websites you’ve worked on (as long as you have permission to use them). Or, skip the photography and use a cool cartoon graphic of yourself to help clients recognize you.
Skip: Inappropriate pictures
It’s amazing we have to say this but: any image on your business card should be work appropriate. That doesn’t mean you need to use some boring, cheesy headshot (real estate agents pretty much have the corner on that market, anyway).
But it does mean you need to be responsible and respectful. If you include an image of yourself, make sure your clothes project a professional appearance—nothing too casual or immodest. And for crying out loud, double check the background for messes and photo bombs. Any crowded, unprofessional photo is going to make potential clients shy away, because they won’t trust you to give them a clean, professional website.
Making a great business card is about more than just including the right contact information or imagery. You’ll also need to consider your card’s shape, material, layout, and much more—and you can learn all about those features here.