You can put almost anything on a business card provided that it fits. However, your business card only has so much space, and you have even less time to connect with the potential audience. Here’s what to include on a career networking business card as well as a few things to leave off your new business cards.
Your Name and Organization
The first thing the business card should tell them is who you are. What is your full legal name? What name will they be searching for online if they want to verify your credentials and learn more about your business? Include your business name. If you’re self-employed, reference that on the business card, even if it refers to you as the business owner, a freelancer or contractor. If you’re a small business owner, you might refer to yourself as “Your Name, Doing Business As ABC Consulting”. This ensures that they make the connection between your name and your business.
What if you have an incorporated business? When you reference a business name on the business card, use the full business name that they’ll see on your website or find in the phone book.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you should include its address on your business card. Use the same full address listed in the phone book and on business directories. And never make the mistake of striking out an old address and writing a correction on the business card. It suggests you’re too cheap to print new business cards, implying you would take shortcuts in other aspects of your business, as well.
One of the only exceptions to this is when you’re working out of your home and only maintain a digital presence. For example, a mom selling stuff on Etsy or eBay doesn’t need to put her home address on a business card unless she doesn’t mind people knowing where she lives. In this case, you’d make the business logo and business URLs prominent on the page and put them where the business’ address would normally be.
When you print your business cards online, include a valid phone number. This could be a phone number that goes to a voicemail box in the cloud or gets answered by a paid service, but you need a phone number, but you must have one. After all, people won’t want to show up at an unknown location without verify that the business is open. Furthermore, few people will want to schedule appointments via email without confirming they are talking to a local service provider.
In most cases, you need to put an email address on your business card. Not everyone wants to make a phone call. More importantly, you can respond to emails at any time of day without hurting your reputation because you keep missing the person you’re trying to reach.
Do you have a website? It should be on your business card. Do you sell things through a third-party website such as an ecommerce store on a larger platform? Spell out the full URL, if you want to have people visit it. Note that this is where getting a short and simple URL like “bigsite.com/tracysstore” beats a long series of random letters and numbers.
Only include social media URLs if they’re highly relevant to your business. For example, photographers might include a link to visually-rich social media profiles that showcase their work. If you’re job hunting, it might include your LinkedIn profile. If you work in social media marketing, then you might include all of your major social media profiles. But for most of us, our business URL and direct email address are sufficient.