A lot of small business owners don’t think about the story they are telling with their business cards, brochures, and websites. They work hard to get the information right and to get it in front of people’s eyes, but they don’t think about what the writing style, graphics, layout, and medium might be telling people.
When they do put thought into these details (or hire me to do so), even something as small as a business card can make a big impression.
When Leo Vela asked if I could help him with some business cards for the patching and painting work he does, I was happy to. He gave me copies of the signs he’d been using, which had his basic details and contact information, and I turned that information into some distinctive business cards that Leo is very happy with. The story Leo’s business cards tell does not have to be the same story an investment advisor would tell, but those cards should be telling people that Leo is a solid, hard-working professional. I think the solid black background does that, as does the font used for “Patch Man.” The image on the card is distinctive, and it communicates Leo’s specialty, particularly to contractors and other tradesmen.
Dave Brown (who often comments on this blog, and has even been a guest blogger here) also wanted some business cards that would tell the right story about his roofing business. Dave’s family has been in roofing a long time, and word-of-mouth is his primary source of new business. But Dave realized a business card would make it easier for customers and prospects to keep his information handy. Again, the image on the card immediately communicates what business Dave is in, and the colors reinforce his name, making it easy for new customers to remember.
Example 3— “Health and Wellness”
Ann Schenkel is an independent Shaklee distributor, and she had been using business cards that she got for free online. But the cards were flimsy, and the stock images she was using were not distinctive. Ann wanted to upgrade the story her business cards were telling her customers. We chose bright, noticeable colors to convey health, vitality, and earth-friendliness. And we chose fonts that are readable yet refreshing. We also were careful to follow the guidelines that Shaklee has in place about using their logo. The cards were printed on 15pt card stock with a gloss finish, which gave them a much more professional feeling than Ann’s previous cards. When she received them, she emailed me, “They look just great! You do amazing work. This is so out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad it is in yours!”
Example 4— “Friendly Confidence”
One more interesting business card story: Diane Wallander is a woman with a unique set of skills that she didn’t know exactly how to communicate. She has some martial arts training, and she teaches self-defense classes for women. But in speaking with the women taking her classes, she realized they needed not just the physical defense skills, but also emotional readiness. I came up with the tagline “Physical and Emotional Confidence Skills” to summarize what Diane was offering.
Diane also decided to use her business card as a “free sample” of the skills she conveys in her sessions. It’s hard to tell from the small image, but the card actually unfolds to reveal “7 Quick Tips for Women.” (Click on the image to open a PDF of the card that you can save to your computer.)
What’s your story?
If you are a business owner, be aware that every time your name is in front of a customer—on a business card, a flyer, a website, a coupon—it’s telling a story about you. It’s up to you to make sure the story is one you want to tell!
Let me know if I can help.