How to Choose a Design for Your Freelance Business Cards
In the age of social media and online networking, business cards can seem like an antiquated tradition that no longer has much value. However, freelance business cards still have a place in 2022.
After all, if you want to contact someone, all you have to do is find them on Facebook or Instagram and reach out to them directly, right?
Yes and no.
Business cards have been around since the 15th century, and despite all the technological advancements made since then, they’re still important.
When you meet someone you could potentially do business with, the natural thing to do is to hand them your card and take theirs in return.
For freelancers who want business cards, there are lots of easy and affordable ways to get them.
But choosing the right card and including the right information sometimes trips people up.
Ready to order cards that will help you get your name out there and grow your business?
But First: Do Freelancers Need Business Cards?
The main purpose of a business card is to provide potential clients with your contact information.
Yet in this digital age where it’s so easy to connect with people online, some freelancers don’t think they need business cards.
All freelancers should have business cards, and there are a few reasons why:
Easy Way to Deliver Your Contact Info
As a freelancer, every person you meet has the potential to be a future client.
You should always have a few business cards on hand as a way to provide your contact information and leave those potential clients with a physical reminder of who you are and what you do.
Great for Networking
Business cards are a must if you attend in-person networking events, but having a few in your pocket in social situations can be beneficial, too.
Freelancers who provide services that all businesses need, such as content writing, graphic design, and marketing, can meet anyone anywhere that could turn out to be a future client.
Business cards are also a part of your overall marketing strategy, as they make you look more professional than freelancers without them.
When you strike up a conversation with someone interested in your freelance services, there’s a good chance they’re going to ask for your card.
If you don’t have one to provide, they might not take you seriously and be leery to hire you for their project.
Simple to Create
Business cards are inexpensive and easy to create online, so there’s no reason not to have them.
Since you’re a freelancer operating your own business, the money you spend on cards can be deducted as a business expense when you file and pay your taxes.
Ready to Design Your Business Cards? It’s Time to Get Creative!
When you work as an employee in someone else’s business, you have no say and no control over what your cards look like. Your employer will order them for you, and you’ll have standard cards that look just like the cards everyone else in the company carries.
As a freelancer, you have total freedom to create cards that look any way you want.
And a unique business card design is a great way to stand out from the competition.
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Things to Keep in Mind When Designing Freelance Business Cards
It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking through thousands of business card templates. Plus, a lot of freelancers aren’t sure what to include or what not to include.
If you’re ready to design your cards, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Keep the Design Professional
No matter what your work entails, it’s important to present yourself as a competent professional.
That means keeping your cards professional, making them easy to read, and making it obvious what type of work you do.
Your cards should be unique so that they stand out, but make sure that they stand out for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.
When in doubt, stick to the “less is more” theory so that your cards look professional rather than cluttered and messy.
Choose a Template That Makes Sense for Your Business
Finding the right design for your business cards isn’t hard to do if you start the process by knowing what you don’t want your cards to look like.
There are thousands of business card templates to choose from, so be sure to pick one that represents your profession and makes sense for what you do.
For example, a business card with a graphic of a house or key might work for a real estate pro but wouldn’t make much sense for a freelance writer.
A card with a comb or scissors would make perfect sense for a barber or hairstylist, but not for a plumber or someone who does graphic design.
Your business cards should be consistent with your brand identity.
If you have a minimalist, modern business logo, choose a simpler template that doesn’t have too many graphics or images.
If you do decide to choose a template with a graphic, keep it clean. Too many images or graphics can crowd your card and take the focus off your name and logo.
Choose a Font That’s Easy to Read
It can be tempting to choose an out-of-the-box font to make your cards stand out.
In most cases, this is the wrong move.
We’re not suggesting that you opt for the oh-so-basic Arial or Times New Roman font. There’s nothing wrong with them, per se, but if you’re hoping to create a unique business card, there are better options.
The trick is to choose a font that’s eye-catching yet easy to read. Stick to fonts on the simple side and avoid those that are too ornate or too decorative.
Pick the Right Colors and Inks
Business cards are available in an endless range of colors, so let the color of the paper you choose determine the color of the ink you select.
Traditional black and white inks can pop against a card with a colorful background, while dark color cards will need a lighter, brighter ink color to make them more visible and easier to read.
If you plan to add a logo to your card, choose ink colors that tie back to your logo. If you don’t have a logo and operate your freelance business under your name, choose colors that represent who you are and what you do.
Colors convey emotions, so choose colors that send the message you want to send.
If you’re in the business of planning kids’ birthday parties, you might want to select a vibrant color such as bright blue or bright purple. But if you’re an IT pro or a legal consultant, bright colors can make your cards look silly and childish.
Choose the Right Paper
Paper comes in all different weights and textures, and choosing the right weight is more important than you may think.
Business cards tend to be on the thicker, stiffer side, which is why people don’t usually print business cards on lightweight printer paper from their home office.
But that doesn’t mean you need to shell out a ton of extra money to print your cards on the heaviest cardstock available.
The heavier the paper, the more expensive it is. For the most affordable business cards, stick to high-quality cardstock in the standard weight of 14pt or 16pt.
If you can afford an upgrade, consider adding a coating or a glossy finish to make your cards stand out even more.
Some people don’t print their cards on paper at all, instead of printing their business cards on magnetic strips. This is a good strategy for freelancers who sell directly to the consumer, such as plumbers and electricians, but may not work for those who sell to other businesses.
Stick to a Standard Size
One way to make your cards stand out is to print them in an unusual size, such as a large square or a skinny rectangle.
While this can make your card look unique, it can also be problematic.
Many people store the business cards they collect in stacks in their desk drawers. If yours is an odd shape, it won’t fit neatly in the stack.
If people bundle your card with others, your card might end up squished, wrinkled, or damaged at the edges. It might also cause people to store your card in a different area of their desk, which could mean that they never even look at it again.
Odd shapes can make your cards stand out, but it’s usually best to stick to the standard rectangular shape of 3.5” x 2”.
Leave Some White Space
You mustn’t fill your business card with images or typeset from edge to edge.
Because people often jot down notes on business cards, especially when they’re meeting you for the first time.
No matter what type of card you design, be sure to leave some white space on the front and/or back.
Need Help Pricing Your Goods and Services? Check out our Guide.
What Information Should You Include on a Business Card?
There is certain information that you must include on a business card and some optional info.
Here are some points you should include on your card, along with some you may want to include:
- First and last name
- Business name
- Job title
- Website address
- Phone number
- Mailing address
- Email address
- Business logo (if you have one)
- Social media handles (if relevant to your business)
Don’t be afraid to use the back of your card, as well. This is a great place to put additional information, such as a business tagline or a list of the skills and services you provide.
If you don’t already have a logo, consider hiring a graphic designer to create a logo design for your freelance business.
You can print it on your business cards and use it over and over again on everything from letterhead to website landing pages to T-shirts that can help promote your business.
For freelancers who use their first and last name as their business name, consider using your initials as a temporary logo until you design an official one.
How Many Business Cards Should You Order?
When ordering business cards online, most sites require you to place a minimum order of 100 cards.
You can save money by ordering more, but for a small business that’s just starting, 100-250 cards are usually enough to start with.
Whether you order 100 or 1,000, be sure to proofread your cards before submitting your order.
Consider Ordering a Digital Business Card, Too
Paper business cards are important for face-to-face meetings. But if the vast majority of your work is done remotely online, consider making a digital business card in addition to your physical ones.
You can attach it to your social media pages, add it to your freelance website, post it on your LinkedIn page, and share it digitally as a signature with every email you send.
There are all sorts of apps and websites where you can create a digital business card. They don’t have to look exactly like your paper cards, but they should be consistent with your brand image and present your business in a similar light.
Business cards are not an outdated tradition — they’re still important!
They’re inexpensive, easy to create, and they help you look like the professional you are.
And if you never even hand out one, so be it. At least you’ll have them and be prepared if and when someone somewhere asks for your card.
Oh, and if you’re looking for benefits to support your freelancer lifestyle, contact Selfgood. We offer benefits packages designed for freelancers like you!