After taking the 6 week summer holiday off to spend time with my daughter, this week I’m getting back into the swing of things. One of my first tasks was to order some new business cards, as I have several conferences and networking events coming up this month. I haven’t ordered new ones for a very long time and so the artwork file was no longer held by the website I used – a blessing in disguise, as it turns out, because it gave me the chance to stop and think about what I really need and want from my card.
I began by posting a message in an online freelance forum to ask my fellow members for recommendations about business cards. True to form, the wonderful Freelance Lifestylers community excelled themselves with useful and supportive advice, which went above and beyond my initial request for recommended websites. The tip[s they shared from their own experiences helped me realise something very important – it dawned on me that a business card is more than a simple list of factual information, such as my name, email address and phone number. It’s also a communication opportunity.
From my job title to ‘additional;’ content such as a list of services I provide or an inspiring quote, there are several chances to demonstrate who I am and what I stand for. As a freelance professional, it’s important that I get these messages across – essentially, when clients hire me, this is the kind of thing they want to know.
I decided that a communication-related phrase on the reverse of my card would give me the opportunity to sum up the essence of my work and why it makes a difference to the organisations I work with. But what to choose? I needed something that not only provides a strong message, but also foes so in an appropriate tone. Something that reinforces the importance and relevance of communication. Something that answers my favourite, communication-related question – so what?
In the end it came down to a phrase that I already use on the homepage of my website. It is a fundamental belief I have about communication, a building block for all the work that I do and the reason that I want to work with organisations who are making the world a better place:
“Effective, planned communication solves problems”
What does your business card say about you and your organisation? How could you make it into a more effective communication tool?
Until next time