Business cards: create your own?

Consultants often need to hand out business cards – when meeting clients, partners, vendors, or anyone else who might be tangentially related to your business. Given the wide array of  “create your own business card” kits and templates available, many people decide to go the do-it-yourself route. After all, going the create your own business cards route costs just time and a few dollars, right? And if they look bad, you can always pick a design at the local office supply store and have them printed up. Think twice before you go the cheap route with your cards.

Problems when you create your own business cards

A business card makes up one of the most important pieces in your consultant marketing kit. You typically hand over a card just moments after making an important connection. If that important contact receives a card with perforated edges, a bit of an inkjet smudge, slightly off-center wording, and a run-of-the-mill design, how do you think you’ll look to them? Will they take you seriously? Will they believe you’re really a consultant or will they wonder if you just whipped up these cards to hand out in emergencies?

 Business cards are worth a real investment

If you’re going to become a consultant, invest in yourself! For years, I’ve turned to a trusted graphic designer to custom design my cards. An hour or two of her time, plus the $100 digital printing fee means my cards are still fairly inexpensive. They may not be $11, but the trade-off is worth it. Once people see my business cards, they never wonder if I’m really unemployed or desperate for work. They know that I’m serious about my business – and that I’ll be just as serious about their projects.And they know I’m too busy with consulting to find the time to create my own business cards!

Just because everyone else creates their own cards…

But aren’t there tons of consultants who create their own business cards, you say? Won’t clients see you as someone who manages resources and is sharp enough to create their own cards? Well, perhaps. But there are a lot more people who prefer to see you have a bona fide business. And, unfortunately, a lot of people believe in what they see. After all, that’s why we don’t meet our clients in our pajamas, regardless of how we might dress at home. So, if you want to look professional, don’t create your own business cards. Invest in them and improve your return on investment.

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