Creating an Effective Business Card

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The Right Business Card Will Help You Make a Great First Impression

You know that business cards are an important part of a first impression when networking, but do you have any idea what makes an effective business card?

When you advertise your services or products, being specific marks you as an expert. Networkers know that the more you bring your unique personality, needs and capabilities into your business identity, the more referrals you're likely to receive. The same applies to your marketing materials.

A business card is an integral part of a good marketing plan. For its size and cost, it is probably the most powerful part. So it's especially important that your card be one that is memorable and makes a favorable impression. Otherwise, it will probably get tossed into a drawer full of ancient, smudged, forgotten cards that keep accumulating long after the businesses they represent have faded away.

Your card should display the same design and basic information as your other marketing materials. But a business card is not a brochure or catalog; space is limited, so you must choose your words and images carefully. Which information is absolutely essential? What else can you include that will help persuade a prospect to contact you? Equally important, what should you leave out? Too much information can dilute or obscure your message.

How do you solve this space-vs.-content problem? A good approach is to break the essentials down into three areas: identity, credibility and clarity. Identity and credibility are concerned with what you should include on your card at a minimum; clarity is more about what to leave off.

BNI ( is a referral networking organization, which at last count had over 3,600 individual chapters in 22 countries worldwide. BNI's Founder & CEO, Dr. Ivan Misner is the author of several book’s including the NY Times best-seller, Masters of Networking, ( and the recently released #1 best-seller, Masters of Success (


Michael Drew



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