Picture the scene: you’re at a party and end up chatting to a stranger. In amongst the friendly chitchat, your ears prick up as you realize this could be a potential photography client. But you don’t want to pull out the full sales pitch, you’re at a party after all. This is where having a premium business card can go to work for you.
My Patrick Bateman-esq business card obsession began when I sat down at a restaurant a few years back, peered down, and noticed that my napkin was made of paper. The décor was pleasant and the staff were friendly, yet I made an impression on the quality of the food based on the restaurant’s decision to invest poorly in napkins. Would a prospective client do this to me if I handed a flimsy, cheap business card?
Within a few months, gone were the budget business cards replaced by thick, textured, square cards. My new cards were almost four times more expensive, but I immediately noticed they became speaking points when handing them out. People were interested in their unorthodox shape, the thickness, and texture. I felt like that when they were to empty their pockets the next morning, they would be more likely to remember our interaction, aided by my card.
I am certainly not saying that I have ever won business solely on handing out a nice card; There are many other factors at work when meeting someone in this kind of environment, like simply being a nice person (I’m shocked at how much this is overlooked at times). But my card is the only tangible item that I have available to share, and with it being high in quality and design, this provides the potential client some reflection on the quality of work to expect.
For me, even if you are starting out on your journey as a paid photographer, investing in good quality business cards is a must. And not because they look fancy and massage your ego, but because they help back up your enthusiasm as a relative novice, something than a flimsy business card won’t do.
There are many premium business card suppliers out there, I use Moo for my business cards, but I have also heard good things of PlasmaDesign, MetalBusinessCards who, as their name implies, create metal business cards, and RockDesign who also use other materials other than paper and card if you really want to stand out.
Lastly, a few tips on designing a card. If you’re a versatile photographer, have business card options with different images. Some clients love specificity, so if you’re plugging your slick food photography, then a foodie picture on your card is going to make a lot of sense rather than a wedding shot. For the info side of the card, if graphic design isn’t your thing, then ask around for help or use one of the excellent templates built into a suppliers’ site. Lastly, don’t be afraid to go for unconventional shapes, textures, and finishing. It’s these things that get noticed and commended on the most.