When you are a freelancer that gets a lot of work from the Internet, there are two ways you can take advantage of it: You can work from anywhere around the world or you can work from home in your pajamas.
Actually you can do both, but I don’t recommend doing that if you work outside.
I had the chance to do both, but it’s working abroad that taught me about different business card etiquette. For example, people in China always give and receive business cards with two hands.
This got me thinking that we don’t really have much etiquette when it comes to exchanging cards in the Western world. Many people don’t even know what they are supposed to write on their cards.
What should we put on our business cards? This question isn’t as hard to answer as it seems.
1. Your full name and title.
This one seems very obvious, but I have to talk about it because some people still manage to get it wrong. Write your full name – no initials.
People might get your business card from someone else and not know if you are a man or woman because you only wrote your initial for the first name.
The title is important to let everyone know what you do in the company. It can even be a conversation starter.
Do you know J. Adams? I don’t and his or her first name doesn’t tell me much.
2. Your street address.
You may be tempted to remove this one as unnecessary data but don’t.
Having a physical street address for your business is important. It shows people you are not working from home and have a real office. Believe it or not, it makes them feel better and they’ll see you as a real professional.
Perconte has a gorgeous business card, but if you want to go have a coffee at their office to discuss a big contract, you’ll have to find the way by yourself.
3. Your website.
You have a website for your business, right? If you don’t, wait a little while before you create business cards and go get a website ready.
Many businesses think they don’t need a website, which is a big mistake. Nowadays your website is an extension of your business card. Don’t forget it.
Great card, Antanas, but where can I see some of your work?
4. Your email.
For me, email has become the main tool to communicate with my clients. It is also the first way they choose to drop me a line after I meet them.
Whether you like it or not, email is a must-have element on your business card.
A Google employee found a way to blend almost every information in his email address and make it his business card.
5. Your phone number.
This is another obvious one, but it’s still one of the best ways to be contacted by clients and prospects. Putting your number on your business card is about the image you want to create.
In many people’s minds, having a work phone number makes you more professional.
You shouldn’t put your cell phone number here but your land line. Another reason to not give out your cell phone number is you don’t want to become your clients’ slave.
This is the perfect business card. It is minimalist and still has all the information you need.
Every detail counts!
You probably already thought of putting all those things on your business cards, but it’s still worth mentioning. In my opinion, all of this information should be on it. Forget about putting two phone numbers, Instant messaging IDs, a photo or even a map. Just keep it minimal!