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5 Mistakes Lawyers Make With Business Cards

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By William Peacock, Esq. on October 06, 2014 10:23 AM

Business cards are ubiquitous. Lawyers have been using them for centuries and yet, somehow, some way, people still manage to botch their business cards.

How? Maybe the card is too flimsy. Or maybe it's missing vital information, like an email address. Or perhaps it's just plain ugly.

Here are five mistakes that you should avoid when ordering your next batch of attorney business cards:

1. Too Cheap.

Paper-thin cardstock? Yeah, you're better than that. If you go cheap on the paper used for your cards, it's going to give others a bad first impression, as handing someone your business card is often the first thing you do when you meet them. Twelve-point cardstock seems to be the bare minimum, though 14-point would be even better.

Also, if the card is double-sided, or heavily inked, a thicker card reduces the chances of ink bleeding through.

The cheapness doesn't stop at the cardstock: Many folks will try to design their own cards and end up with something generic, amateurish, or downright tacky.

2. Too Sparse.

It's 2014. Some people will want to check out your social media accounts. Others will want to see your website or email your office to set up an appointment. An old-school business card with only an address and a phone number is too out-of-touch.

3. Too Shiny.

Leave the glossy cardstock for the graphic designers and restaurateurs -- it's far too tacky for an attorney. Even a mild shine -- the luster finish -- might be too much. Stick with matte, which can be read in sunlight and can be written on easily.

4. Too Unreadable.

While we're of the opinion that you need some modern methods of contacting you on your card, you definitely can overdo it: Someone who lists every imaginable social media account -- Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Ello (what's that?) -- risks overwhelming the recipient's eyeballs with tiny, crowded print and information overload.

Pick your one or two best social media accounts, include the basics (name, address, phone number, email address, website), and call it a day.

5. Too Futuristic?

This last one is certainly a matter for debate. Business cards, for the most part, haven't changed in the last hundred years or so. And most people would argue that they shouldn't -- they're good enough as is.

We're not so sure. Nowadays, since you probably don't have a Rolodex, you'll either add the information from the card to your smartphone (manually or via an app), or you'll lose the card. We tossed out a couple of options for making futuristic cards -- scannable QR codes and tappable NFC chips -- that make it very simple to add the card to your phone.

For some, that's too futuristic. Previously, we would've said to go with QR barcodes, since they are compatible with any phone that has a camera, but now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have NFC chips, as do most new Android phones, perhaps the latter is a better option -- tap your card to their phone and it's saved to their contacts instantly, all without printing an ugly barcode on your cards.

Have any tip for business card shoppers? Tweet us @FindLawLP.

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