Business cards, physical or digital, exist to make networking easier.
That’s why what you put on them is so important.
The information you include can help you secure your sale, win the deal, or get hired when you’re not around to do it yourself—because cards these days can do more than give a name and phone number.
So, what details make your business cards efficient and effective when doing business?
In this article, we cover the 5 key details you need to include and explain the importance of including them.
As a bonus, we talk through the benefit of hosting this information on a digital business card vs. a traditional business card.
The 5 key pieces of information you need on a business card
There’s very little space on a business card leaving no room for error in the information you include.
To make sure you have everything you need for effective networking and nothing you don’t, we’ve put together the below list of 5 key pieces of info for business cards.
- Who you are
- How they can get in touch
- What you do and who you work for
- What you look like
- Where they can go for more information
Let’s look at each one in more detail to help you make the most of your networking.
1. Who you are (or who you want to be known as)
It almost goes without saying that you should include your name on your business card. Without it, people won’t know who they’re reaching out to.
If you go by a nickname, you can choose to put it on your card. It just depends on how you want to be known in a professional setting. Someone who goes by Kate with their friends might prefer to have Katherine at work. Or they might not. It’s totally up to them.
It’s important to include both your first name and last name to avoid confusion.
And if you find your name is difficult for others to pronounce, you can opt to include a phonetic spelling alongside your name. That will give your new contact confidence when they call you on the phone or greet you again either in person or on video.
2. How they can get in touch (contact details)
The entire premise of handing over your card is to give someone a way to get in touch later.
So it would be a mistake to leave off your basic contact information.
- Phone number
- Email address
- Business address
If you have multiple phone numbers, use the one that you want business contacts calling you on. Some people prefer sharing a personal number for ease of use while others use their business number to keep business and life separate.
Your professional email address is great to include because it allows people to get in touch without interrupting your day. They can send documents and meeting invites that sync to your work calendar.
Including your business address is optional and in this day and age almost always unnecessary. If you have a brick-and-mortar location where you sell your product or service then you should add it.
Stores, real estate companies with multiple branches, doctors, and lawyers are examples of businesses that should include their addresses because they rely on foot traffic as well as web traffic to do business.
But tech-based businesses, e-commerce stores, and many B2Bs can do without listing their location. If your physical address isn’t important you may want to swap it for your web address (Website URL).
3. Who you work for and what you do
A large part of your business identity lies in what you do and who you do it for. In fact, the ‘who’ can hold a lot of weight when doing deals. If you work for a well-known and well-respected business, that respect transfers to you.
That’s why it should feature prominently on your business card. It’s a trust signal.
Add your company logo and company name to any business cards you make.
If you’re a small business owner, including your company name and logo can help increase brand awareness.
You also need to include your job title. When someone looks at your business card they should know your role within the company you work for.
It can help to be specific. If you’re a freelancer you should put what type of freelancing you do.
Here’s an example: ‘Anna Russell, Freelance Graphic Designer’ instead of ‘Anna Russell, Freelancer’.
4. What you look like (a photo)
When handing out your business card, you want this person to have the best chance at remembering who you are.
And your name alone might not do the job.
Especially if this person received several business cards that day at a networking event or conference.
By including your face, you’re more likely to trigger your new contacts’ memory and make a lasting impression. Hours or even days later, they’ll pull out your card and know who you are.
Most people won’t include a photo so it’s a great way of standing out from others. We recommend having your business logo and name on one side, and your face on the other with your contact details.
5. Where they can go for more information
As you know, space is precious on your business card. To give your new network contact more information without adding too much more to your card you can add a QR code that directs them elsewhere.
They can gather further information from places like:
- Company social media channels
- Personal social media channels
- Company website
- Landing page with special offer or other niche information
Where you decide to direct your new contact will depend on what you want to achieve when networking. Let’s look into each one so you can determine what’s right for your business’s networking needs.
Company social media handles
Your company likely has a social media presence across several platforms.
If you want to direct people to those accounts to boost followers, increase engagement, and share your brand identity you can include your social media on your business card.
Either link your account via a QR code printed on your card or by spelling out your social media handle.
If using QR codes you can include some or all of your company profiles across platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook. If you’re printing your social media handle, we suggest only sharing one social media profile to save on space.
If you’re a B2B company, it’s probably best to share your LinkedIn while a D2C will benefit more from sharing an Instagram or TikTok profile. You can choose whichever one represents your brand best.
Personal social media handles
Not everyone should put their personal social media accounts on their business card but it can be useful.
Freelancers often use their personal Instagram as a portfolio of their work and many professionals want to encourage connection requests to their personal LinkedIn profile where they regularly share industry insights.
Networking is a business focused activity but there is something to gain by forming a personal connection with those you want to do business with.
If your personal social media is irrelevant to your business or role, then it’s best to leave it off entirely.
Company website and landing pages
Your company website is a great place to send prospects, partners, and even potential hires.
It is the best place for people to understand the product or service you provide and why they should be interested in purchasing it or working with you.
You could go a step further and have a custom landing page built for anyone who receives a company business card.
Imagine your entire sales fleet sending potential customers to a high-converting landing page through a QR code. Those potential customers are more likely to become paying customers.
You could also send network connections to product pages, how it works pages, or other pages that are of interest to buyers.
A customer testimonial or case study landing page could go a long way in convincing people to buy. Keep testimonials short and sweet and make sure it mentions key details that link to your unique selling points (USPs).
As we said earlier, the best way to display this information without crowding the business card is to have a QR code that takes your connection to the relative URLs. You can even include multiple URL destinations with tools like Linktree.
What’s important is that you entice your new contact to go to these pages. And you can do so with a call to action.
Call to Actions
A call to action is exactly what it sounds like, it prompts someone to take action.
This is an easy way to add personality alongside your company’s name and your contact details and is a perfect opportunity to build trust and increase potential revenue through your professional business card.
It can be as simple as saying ‘find out more here’, ‘to learn more, scan the QR code’, or ‘check us out on our socials’. But you can be more creative to encourage conversion and engagement.
Here are some ideas to create a memorable business card:
Share current offers
Your business card can be a great way of sharing any current offers your business has as well as helping to attract new customers. Think about it, if you had two business cards in front of you but only one of them included an offer, who are you more likely to call?
Give a promo code
Similar to including offers, why not print promo codes on your own business cards? You can use a unique code that’s exclusive to your business card too so that you know exactly where the lead has come from.
Put a few words that will help people remember you
Adding a catchphrase or tagline can make your business card stand out from the rest. Remember, your business card represents you and your company so don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch.
What makes for a strong business card design?
A great business card is one that’s well designes. Too simple and your card is more likely to land in the recycling bin, too overcrowded and your new connection won’t know where to look.
It’s a good idea to create a mock-up first so you can decide not only what you will include on your business card but where you’ll place it.
Using a business card template can help you decide what information to include and how to lay this out.
If you’re finding online business card templates overwhelming, try Doorway which allows you to create a digital business card in a few simple steps.
Alternatively, here are a few concepts to keep in mind to inform your business card design ideas:
Utilizing white space
Empty space, also called white space, can help the information on your business card stand out and be more impactful. Avoid an overcrowded card by balancing information and design with white space.
Use high-quality paper
If you choose paper business cards, make sure they’re printed on high-quality paper for a professional look and feel that can endure being stuffed in a wallet.
Placement of your company logo
Think about where you want your company logo to appear to make your business card stand out. It should have a prominent placement to emphasize the type of business you do in the first place.
No one wants to see the same old business card template that’s being used by every other company. Creating an eye-catching design is easier if your business’s brand is eye-catching as well.
Colors and assets that link to your brand
Keep all design elements on your business card in line with your company branding when you design a business card to keep things consistent. This helps you become instantly recognizable in a sea of many.
You want to get your design right the first time because printing new cards is costly. Of course, this is a problem (among others) that can be prevented by using a digital business card over a traditional one.
Digital business card vs traditional business card: Which one is best for hosting your information
Now that you know what to put on a business card, you can consider the best business card type for your networking needs.
A traditional business card might feel familiar but when you consider all that networking should accomplish and the information you need to communicate, a digital business card performs better every time.
Your job title can change, your contact details can shift, and your go-to CTA can evolve. Traditional cards don’t change with you.
Well, they can, but you would need to print 100s if not 1000s of new ones to accommodate these changes. That wastes time, money, and every unused card you and your employees have.
Digital business cards, on the other hand, can change just as quickly as your circumstances do. And those changes can be applied automatically to every business card holder in your organization without harming the environment.
A digital business card also allows you to transfer your contact details directly into someone’s phone. Your business card will never be smudged, lost, or accidentally thrown away when you go digital.
If you want a business card that is well designed, contains all of the information needed to effectively network, and can be distributed and updated amongst your employees quickly, you’ll want to choose the digital business card.