If at first you (and your business card) don’t succeed, try, try again.

About one year ago, I began the process of building my own brand.  My background, you might think, would make this easy.  In some ways, yes, but it also means that I knew all too well how important it was to get my brand in place before I could put myself out there.  So, I followed my own best practices -clarified my service offerings, developed my brand story and prepared select marketing materials.  For me, this included a website, a flyer and my business card… and that’s where I become, let’s say, “preoccupied” …my business card. I did three different runs before I was happy.  And, I’m glad I did it.

As an independent consultant, the two marketing tools that I anticipate using the most are 1) my website and 2) my business card. I don’t mean to imply that these two items are equally valuable, but every touch point is a representation of your brand and an opportunity to impress.  Furthermore, the business card is part of an initial introduction.  And, we all know, you don’t get a second shot at a first impression.

Being in the marketing field, every marketing piece (even a business card) is also a sample of my services.  So, I aim to impress and open conversation.  I want my business card to reflect quality, my attention to detail, and even pique prospective clients’ interest in how I could help them.

So, why did it take me three runs to get it right?  I wanted premium grade printing at economy pricing.  Guilty.

My first print run was expedited in order to be ready for a meeting.  I didn’t have the opportunity to review cardstock and print options, leaving me with a thin, rather standard card.  At first, I thought I might have been too self-critical, but when I heard myself making excuses while handing the card out, I knew I’d be ordering a second run. 

I decided to experiment and try a minicard.  I knew it was smaller than a traditional business card, but the thickness was awesome, the price seemed right and I thought the size would be a fun twist, but… no.  Just, no.  Learn from me and don’t try to repurpose minicards as business cards.

So, I did more research and found a producer that specializes in unique business card materials.  The options are amazing, the pricing is fair, and they’re based in Canada, which, for whatever reason, makes me happy.  I fantasized about getting cork business cards, doing die-cuts, spot printing and the works.  But, really, I just wanted a noticeably premium quality card. Done. I love them. And I’m pretty happy with my rate of “nice card” responses.   My winner:  offset printing with a silk matte finish from jukeboxprint.com.