Should A Freelance Creative Have A Business Card?

When I first started thinking about the strategy for the promotion and marketing of my work, to be perfectly honest, business cards weren’t at the top of my list. There’s no doubt that having a strong digital presence, a portfolio website and an email account is essential for a freelancer to be able to stay relevant in a world where most companies operate online. So the question you probably wondering is… why did I still choose to print mine?

I’ve asked the same question myself. Somehow I felt the need to justify my first ever promotional expense and to prove that I wasn’t just doing it because I wanted to. Maybe the fact that I have always produced digital work has drawn me into wanting to see my work in a more tangible form?! I don’t know. At the time, I definitely overthought about the design process to the point that I remember it was something overdramatic like the ‘business card’ scene, from the American Psycho movie. I laugh every time I watch that scene though. The funny part is that I realized something while watching those wealthy businessmen, trying to one-up each other’s asses with something as petty as white pieces of cardboard. All cards LOOK. THE. SAME. In fact, I get why for most people the concept of handing a business card to exchange contact information just seems archaic and quite frankly boring, because most of them truly are. I believe this is not the case for creative people, especially designers and illustrators.

Regardless the promotional choice (whether this is a portfolio website, a blog, through social media posts, stickers, postcards, zines, dummy books, showreels, sourcebooks, stands at trade shows or THE business card itself), it always depends on the type of work you do and what is the best mechanism to reach your audience because all of them are viable options in a particular stage of your career.

To print my first ever business cards batch, I’ve ended up choosing the Moo printer. I fell in love with the brand at the first moment I’ve landed on their website. The way they display their options and give us inspiration through their different product photography is just spot-on. I’m still impressed that you’re able to order a free sample book, which for me was super important to be able to touch and feel the range of papers and finishes before the commitment. Although I wasn’t sure at the start, now I think business cards are still something to consider when choosing your promotional piece because:

Shows that you’re serious about your business
It always has been and still is a professional way to make a good first impression. If you can justify and invest in printing yours, you will be surprised by the fact that it can be a conversation starter and shows that your designs/illustrations are not a hobby but in fact a business.

Is a showroom of your work and creativity
Take total advantage of the fact that most printers today can print a different design on the back of each card. This is a great way to show your work (like a portfolio in your pocket) in any situation.

You can network without the awkwardness
I know this one might be debatable, but often when I go to trade shows or events I notice I try to make the effort to be present and focus on the person I’m chatting with and end up not using too much my phone. Maybe is just me, but it feels rude shoving your Instagram feed or online portfolio into other person’s face. For me handing one of my cards is a pleasant surprise and a friendly way to say ‘by the way if you are interested in seeing more of my work here is my website’.

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