Best marketing practices from marketing experts suggest that you indicate your particular niche.

Anyone can give themselves a title these days. Some people like to be original and creative. While this will make you shine as a creative soul, always keep your potential client in mind. When they look at your card, will they instantly be able to understand what it is that you do? While there is a time and a place to be creative, making your customers work to figure out whether they want to do business with you shouldn't be one of them.

In fact, considered skipping the title all together and just indicate what you help people achieve.

I am actually a fan of the less traditional Networking Card, sometimes also known as a Calling Card). I believe it can be much more effective than a business card.

What's the difference? Check out these two scenarios…

SCENARIO #1 -- THE BUSINESS CARD: Everyone knows what is business card looks like. It includes your basic contact information such as company name, name, title, telephone number, email address, website. It may also include your photo and more recently a "QR Code".

Lets say you were shopping around for a coach. You decide to attend a networking event where you meet 20 coaches. Each of them give you their business card.

A few days or maybe even a week later, you decide to look through the business cards. One says "Life Coach",  another says "Personal Coach" or maybe even "Business Coach" on the card.

What are the chances that you are going to remember which of the 20 cards belonged to which coach? If there is a photo on the card, it might help. But then again you spoke with so many people, the conversations all seem to blur together as you wish you could remember which was the one or two in the bunch that seemed to be a good fit for you and your needs.

SCENARIO #2 -- THE NETWORKING CARD: Like busines cards, networking card include your basic contact information. They can also go further by briefly talking about your niche, specifically the pain the clients typically experience and the difference the coach can make if they work with you. In essence, a very focused and effective marketing pamphlet on a business card.

So now we are back at that networking meeting looking to connect with a coach. You have great conversations with 20 coaches who all give you their business card before you each go your own way.

Again few days, weeks or even months later you decide to look through the pile of business cards. Each one says "Life Coach", "Personal Coach" or "Business Coach" on the card -- except for one which is a networking style card. Upon reading the card, you recognize that this is the coach that you really connected with and give him/her a call.

I believe that the better your card represents you, the better the chance that you will stand out in the clients mind even months later.

Like so many people, I used to go out networking and built up quite the collection of business cards. That was before I learned how to make the most of other peoples business cards. Ironically it involves taking notes after meeting the cards owner in order to compensate for the business card's inefficient design.

Don't take my word for it though. Think about this yourself. Go back to the above scenarios and put yourself in the shoes of your ideal potential client.

  • What would really matter to you as a client?
  • What would you really appreciate seeing on the business card?
  • What would be meaningless and useless?

If an element on the card doesn't add value from clients perspective, it is taking away from it.

I often ask my clients the following question: In all the years you've been in business, have you ever initially been contacted by a potential client by fax? If not, why is it using up valuable space on your card?

How do you can add value to your potential clients, value that will help them feel connected to you in some way?