Not having business cards is a mistake that many freelancers make. Business cards are crucial networking tools, not to mention great advertisements. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be carrying around a few business cards.
At its purest, a business card is an easy way to share your basic contact information. Just that should be reason enough to hand them out: think of the people who may want to get a hold of you once they know you exist!
Bring them along to conferences, workshops and even cocktail parties or to the grocery store: you never know when you’ll meet someone who you might want to connect with either professionally or socially.
With custom printing available at low cost over the internet, there’s no reason not to have a batch of business cards printed up. Before you place your order though, read these tips on creating a better business card.
1. Promote yourself
Promote yourself (not your work). Basically, what this means is that you should save space on your business cards by not promoting any specific pieces, but focus on your name and what you do. If people want to see samples of your work, they can visit your website or blog. Include the website’s url, but don’t try to reprint your manifestos on your business cards—there just isn’t the space for it.
2. Be creative
Part of the joys of being a freelancer is the ability to develop your own distinct brand identity. Even if you’re not especially artistic, take the time to work with someone who is. Having an eye-catching design on your business cards will give people a reason to notice and remember you.
Besides, if you work in a creative industry you’ll want your business cards to reflect that. Would you want to hire a creative writer who can’t even think outside the box when it comes to their own business cards?
3. Let your style shine through
If you’ve developed a certain style in your freelancing or if you tend to work within a specific industry, let that shine through on your card through the fonts, graphics or wording. For instance, if you’re a freelance writer, there’s no need to print a summary of every article you wrote about your tour around Europe when ‘Travel Writer’ printed as a job description will provide the same information. Use travel-related graphics (airplanes and postcard stamps) to emphasize the point.
If you wear a lot of hats, consider getting different sets of business cards printed up: one for the side of you that editorializes on political analysis and one for the side that writes silly comic strips. There’s nothing wrong with diversifying your work or your ‘brand identity’.
4. Pay for Quality Printing
Don’t skimp on the quality of your printing. It may be tempting to save a few dollars with cheaper paper and ink, but think about what that tells people. Do you pay attention to details? Do you care about having a polished, finished product? Are you willing to sacrifice quality for a $20 savings?
Remember that your business card will probably last longer than whatever first impression you give them. If your card looks finished and professional, that will be directly reflected on you. The benefits of using a high-quality business card printer is easily worth the extra costs involved.
Did I miss anything? What advice do you have for freelancers getting business cards printed?