Your business card is a key component to your visual brand. Click through for 5 tips to creating effective business cards!

For the twenty-something entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelance artists out there business cards are an essential staple item to invest in. Millennials looking to kick-start their side hustle or individual business need to set aside the time and necessary funds to design and supply these critical paper tools.

Business cards are your key gateway into make lasting connections. Every new person you interact with presents an opportunity for you to network and exchange business cards. Practically any occasion can be used as a platform to network: a friend’s wedding, a birthday party, a meeting, a convention or conference, and even walking around town.

You may chat with people you never imagined would be your ideal customer, interested in the service or good you’re selling. Be on the lookout for opportunities to exchange your business cards, or at the very least to leave them places.

Sounds crazy, but it can be crazy valuable!

Before you go out littering the streets with your 500 count box of cards, be certain your business card is as effective as it can possibly be.

Business cards are more than distributing your contact information on a rectangular piece of paper. They need to illustrate your brand, highlight your mission, and represent you in an impressive, professional manner. You want your investment to yield customers, right? Right.

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Follow these key five tips to make the most effective business cards possible:

1. Reflect your brand. Your business card should imitate your brand on first glance. If your website or social media pages have a color coordinated look or use specific font types, be certain your business cards reflect this.

Your brand needs to be consistent across all platforms: website, social media pages, flyers, and naturally, business cards. If you want to be instantly recognizable and effective, your business cards should reflect your brand for good measure.

2. Have a purpose in mind. What is the reason for investing in the design and cost of business cards? Are you attempting to sell a good or service? Are you seeking employment and have a desire to use business cards as means to network? Do you want to drive traffic to your website or social media accounts?

Whichever reasoning fits your situation, be certain you have a solid purpose in mind. If you’re selling a good or service it might be wise to choose a design that illustrates your good (e.g. book, CD/audio, crafts, etc.) or service (e.g. tutoring lessons, music lessons, freelance graphic design, etc.).

3. Your contact information. Your business card, at the very least, should professionally capture your contact information. Include things like your full name, your position (e.g. Writer, Artist, Musician, Freelance Graphic Designer), email address, and phone number. If applicable, include your company name (ideal for small business owners).

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Also, add short links to your website and/or social media accounts if you’re looking to drive traffic there (e.g. facebook.com/YOURNAMEHERE or www.YOURNAMEHERE.com). Your contact information should be a brief synopsis of who you are, what you do, how to contact you, and what you’re selling.

4. Don’t skimp on paper quality. If you use online services like Vistaprint you will have an opportunity to select from different paper stocks and quality: standard, signature, ultra thick, etc. The paper quality you choose is very reflective of your investment. The standard glossy stock is not a poor choice, but it is less professional than signature’s linen impression or ultra thick, which is the heaviest quality at this particular company.

Other companies work similarly, so your best bet is to choose a company and select quality from there. As you may deduce, the heavier the quality the more expensive, but your investment will pay off!

5. Don’t let your business cards sit. The worst thing you can do when it comes to networking is to allow your business cards to sit at home buried in a drawer somewhere, collecting dust. Use them! Bring your business cards everywhere! 

Carry a small stack in your purse, laptop case, backpack, or briefcase. Keep some in your vehicle for last minute emergencies. Carry business cards with you because you never know when an opportunity to use them will present itself. You took the time to design them (or hired a designer) and paid to have these networking tools printed. Utilize your business cards!

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When it comes to business cards, the best way to discover your most effective style is to experiment. Play with different templates online and work hard to find the design that efficiently reflects your brand. Your business cards are an opportunity for you to highlight your good, service, or skills and share them with others.

Don’t hold anything back, because these little cards will prove to be your best networking asset on the go. Due your due diligence by assuring all links are accurate, no typos exist, and your end result design fits you and your brand.

Here at GenTwenty, we promise you’ll be thankful for these tips and the investment to kick-start your side hustle or small business with effective business cards!