Branding Yourself Through Business Cards

This weekend is the Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference. Thousands of PR students and professionals will meet in Washington D.C. to develop their skills through workshops, presentations, and networking. Meeting others, especially in a large setting, can be overwhelming, but networking in the industry is necessary for your future success. In preparation for National Conference, I designed personalized business cards to help me network with others and stand out among the crowd. Business cards start a conversation. When designing your own cards, you may want to consider the following:
What kind of customer are you trying to attract?  Whether your business cards are for your company or for your personal brand, think about your audience and what you want to highlight about yourself.
Be visual. People are more likely to remember you through pictures, colors, and designs. Original pictures are always better than clip art. If you have a background in graphic design or art, put your own artwork on the back of your cards. It is a great way to show off your portfolio by giving them a piece of your work.
Inspire curiosity. Stand out by showing people you are unique. Give them a reason to contact you. I have seen people design business cards that are not cards at all. Some have made business cards out of plastic, wood, or cloth. Others have made foldable or pop-up cards, as well as personalized coins. It is up to you to decide what makes you different from the rest and what kind of impression you want to leave people with.
Where do you engage the most? Your home address takes up a lot of space. Think about the best way for others to contact you. If you primarily use email, then put your email address. If you want others to engage with you on social media, add your Twitter and Instagram handles. Provide people with the contact information you use the most.
Use a Quick Response code. QR codes are barcodes that your smartphone and other machines can scan. They redirect others to a link of your choice. Maybe you want to use a QR code to link your business card with your LinkedIn profile or personal blog. QR codes can help you share more information about yourself without taking up a lot of space.
To stand out, you do not need to be extravagant. One way I made my business cards unique was by using a non-traditional shape; my cards are square. Whether you are going to a conference or networking event, or simply want business cards for everyday use, these tips will help guide you in the right direction. How will you stand out through your business cards?
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Megan Healy. 

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