Are your business cards failing you?

Does your business card have your photograph on it? I know a lot of people who will look at this question and shake their heads as to why anybody would want their photograph on their business card, and come up with a dozen reasons why they wouldn’t?

Fair enough but there are actually some really compelling reasons why you should always have your photograph on your business cards; not least of which is that in today’s world, you need to stand out.


Let’s say that you are at a meeting with a lot of people and talk to several people who in turn are talking to several people. In the hubbub, your name either didn’t get heard or, more likely, didn’t get remembered but you had given each person your card. Now, at the end of that meeting or, probably, a day or few later, each person is going to pull out the business cards they collected and try to remember who was who.

Without a photograph on the card, the names are, often, absolutely meaningless and will likely be consigned straight into the nearest trash can. However, if your card has your photograph on it, they will immediately remember you which is good but, what is better, is that they will remember the conversation they had with you; that’s the way the brain works. If the conversation was interesting, you will stick in their mind and your card will be put somewhere safe for future reference.

Now, of course, there are no guarantees here but, remember, you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket.

So, what you have to do is make sure that you have a really good headshot that can be used on your cards. It should be professionally taken (Target and JC Penney both do a great job for a very reasonable price. On mine I have the background dropped out so I don’t have an ugly box around my photo when printing). You should also be smiling in the photograph, not scowling or looking all stern and serious.


Once you have the right image, then you can order your cards from a professional printing service (I use and yes, you will pay a premium price (maybe $100 for 1000 cards) but what you will get for that money far outweighs the cost. (If you want a really classy card, go for a UV Spot Finish, which creates a semi-embossed effect).

Before you rush off, though, and order new cards, there are a couple more things that you need to be aware of, in order that your business cards, actually succeed in promoting you and your business. One is that the phone number and email address need to be big enough to read without a magnifying glass. You might laugh at this but I’ve seen hundreds of cards that I can’t read the contact information (and they go straight into the bin). (I think I use 14 point for the phone number and 12 point for the email address but experiment yourself and ask friends, or family, whether they can read it easily).

The final thing that I strongly recommend is having both sides of the card printed. If you have a company slogan or mission statement, why not print that on the back, maybe with a larger version of your company logo (with UV Spot Finish on that only).

If you work for a corporation, they will have a design they use so you’ll be limited and it may be an uphill struggle for them to change their thinking but it will be to their benefit. If, however, you work for yourself and can be creative, then there are a large number of very classy, well designed card templates available at CreativeMarket for ridiculously low prices ($6 is average). You take that template, open it up in Photoshop, modify it and then send the digital file to the printer (Save them as a PDF).

With all that said and done, you should now have effective business cards. Always, and I mean always, carry them and hand them out to everybody you have a conversation with. Yes, it means, you’ll go through a lot of business cards but you don’t know that the man you just had a casual conversation with, in Starbucks or at the airport, isn’t the chairman of a Fortune 500 company. Opportunity comes in many guises so don’t miss out on any one of them by not having your card with you.

© Michael Rocharde, Jan 2018

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