Do you need a business card as an individual? Spoiler – I don’t have a definitive answer.
As an individual it seemed a little weird to have a business card. Something useful for people employed by big companies or running their own business. And on top of that it is a little bit “salesy”.
Like many other things, over time, I’ve changed my opinions on this. I no longer think sales is a bad thing, and advertising what you can do and how you can help people is actually good. And that’s what business cards are, they’re a form of advertising. Or networking. Which is kind of the same thing. You’re saying, here’s what I can do, I will be able to help you. Handing them your business card means that they can easily contact you and you have more chance of staying in their memory.
I’ve met quite a few people at meetups and other events, and I’ve been asked for my business card a few times. It’s not easy giving someone your card when you don’t have one. Because this situation has happened more than once I’ve decided to finally get myself a business card.
My Business Card
I designed this myself and I’m sure there’s at least a few people looking at it thinking, “it shows”. If you want something that looks amazing you can hire a designer, the obvious downside is that it costs a lot more. At this stage I consider something that is relatively cheap but still gets the job done is a much better choice for me.
I don’t consider myself a design person, so anytime that I have to design something visual I try to keep it as simple as possible. Simple, uncluttered and legible. In hindsight, I should have made the text larger. Overall, I’m reasonably happy with my design.
Vistaprint Business Card Review
Vistaprint is cheap and that’s on of the main reasons I chose them to supply my first business card. I bought them at a half price special, so the price I paid was $9.99 for 250 business cards. Then another $10 for postage on top of that. After receiving the business cards, I would neither recommend you buy from Vistaprint nor recommend that you don’t. It’s kind of a “you get what you pay for” thing.
The paper is a decent thickness and the text lines up fine. I didn’t count all of them but I’m sure they sent the correct amount. They’re the good things so I guess it’s time to talk about some of the problems. Personally I don’t think any of the following problems are deal breakers. Unless your profession is something to do with graphic design…
The finish of the cards is … “splotchy” … There’s bits of the card that are shiny. Most of the time it isn’t noticeable, except when the light hits it just right.
The text is a shade of grey. To print grey, what they do is print with black dots. Which is fine, that’s how pretty much all printers work. The problem is that these dots are big enough to see. The large print “Edward Torpy” is ok, I can see the dots and it still looks fine. The text under it is a lot finer and the lines that should be straight aren’t straight and the curves aren’t smooth.
At this stage I can’t say whether having a business card will increase your connections and opportunities. I believe there is very little potential downside to having a business card and the potential upside is huge. I’ll update this post when I have some more data to work with.