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How To Make Your Business Card Professional

by Debbie Allen, award-winning entrepreneur and author of "The Highly Paid Expert: Turn Your Passion, Skills, and Talents Into A Lucrative Career by Becoming The Go-To Authority In Your Industry" After your logo and USP has been established or reinvented, it’s time to move on to your first marketing piece - your business card.  Most cards don’t accurately present what someone’s business is all about.  I see so many bad business cards that I’m shocked!  And I know if there is a problem with the business card, the rest of the marketing is likely to be a disaster, too! Your business card may be the first visual connection a prospect has to your business.  Your card will either promote or deflate your professional image. As an expert you can’t afford to get this wrong.  People will be judging you at first glance and the image of your card will quickly showcase the level of success you have in your business.  If a prospective customer views your business image as unprofessional or confusing in any way, they simply won’t show interest in what you have to offer. Very few business cards have that I’ve seen send a very clear message that would make jump at the chance of doing business with this person.  Most cards are simply used for contact information and miss the mark on marketing all together.  Most lack a strong visual logo, branded image, or benefit-rich statement plus a strong call to action.

Having effective marketing is critical to building your expert brand .

The goal of your business card is to make a powerful first impression.  It must showcase what you do visually, share a message that sets you apart from the competition and offer a call to action to get the prospect to your website. Most of us are so close to our businesses that we don't see the most obvious mistakes that could be costing us in lost business.  The reason for this is that we don’t always look at our business through our prospects’ point of view.  We often view it from a very narrow focus - our own. A great place to start improving your business image is to take a close look at the business card you already have as if you were a prospective customer that knew nothing about your business. Compare it with the top ten business card mistakes below, and then take my quick ‘Business Card Improvement Quiz’™ below.

The 10 most common business card mistakes.

1. Images are scrambled with inconsistent design elements. 2. Services and/or products are not clearly defined. 3. It does not showcase what’s unique about you or your business. 4. The expert brand and/or tagline doesn’t stand out or is not professional. 5. It indicates unflattering things about your business. 6. There is no call to action to connect a prospect to your website. 7. Shows a cluttered impression with mixed messages. 8. Filled with non-essential information or omits important marketing content. 9. It looks out of date or unprofessional. 10. It lacks a point of interest and doesn’t easily connect to the prospect. How does your card rank? Answer these 16 questions below to see how your card ranks.  Simply answer YES to all that apply.  Be honest with yourself as you reply.  Then count all your YES responses and score your business card below.
  1. Does your card present a positive, interesting and professional image overall?
  2. Does your card feature an updated, professional designed logo?
  3. Does your logo fit your business image and does it make a good visual connection?
  4. Do you have a USP or marketing message that best describes your business?
  5. Is the font and text size easy to read at a glance?
  6. Do you offer a call to action to get prospects to your website?
  7. Do you extend a free expert offer to get prospects to your website?
  8. Are all of your marketing materials consistent with your business card image?
  9. Is your website featured in bold text to stand out?
  10.  Has your business card been updated in the past year?
  11.  Are you utilizing the back of the card for additional marketing information?
  12.  Do you feature your expert tagline that describes your unique expertise?
  13.  Do you feature your photo on your card to make a personal connection?
  14.  Do you often receive compliments on your business card?
  15.  Do prospects show interest right away and ask you more about your services?
  16.  Do you act upon every opportunity to proudly pass out your card?
Now count all of your YES answers and see how your card ranks below: 16 - 13 YES Responses = You have a professional business card that will help you turn more prospects into buyers. 12 - 9 YES Responses = Your business card needs some work.  Redesign your card to help you stand out as a professional expert. 8 or Less YES Responses = The business image you are projecting is costing you  opportunities.  Get to work!  Re-evaluate and redesign your business card and all of your marketing materials to improve your prospective opportunities and income.   debbie-allenDebbie Allen, The Expert of Experts has been ranked as one of the top professional women speakers worldwide. She is an award-winning entrepreneur and bestselling author of six books including her newest book "The Highly Paid Expert: Turn Your Passion, Skills, and Talents Into A Lucrative Career by Becoming The Go-To Authority In Your Industry". Allen has built and sold six million dollar companies in diverse industries.  

This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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