What Should You Put on a Business Card?

Get-It-Done Guy explains how to make your business card work for you.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #98

Listener Scot asked:

"I have three business cards. One for work, one for my non-profit avocation, and one for my personal information, for people I actually like. What information goes on each? What’s the etiquette for handing them out (will they just get thrown away)?"

Scot, 3 business cards? You’re as over-the-top as I am. There’s a lot to say about business cards (who knew?) so let’s jump right in.

Business cards make it easy for people to remember you and then contact you. That’s it. Assume someone will take it home, type it in, and throw it away. That’s if they remember you. Don’t worry about making your card memorable; make yourself memorable and jot down a personalized memory hook on your card before you give it to someone.

Check out Get-It-Done Guy episode 30, Successful Networking, for details.

Include Your Basic Contact Information Only

Your card only needs your company name, your name and title, phone number, email address, and website. Street addresses are more optional now that paper mail has given way to email. I leave it off. If someone wants to send something, they can call to arrange delivery. If they’re sending a bill, I pretend the call got dropped and let their follow-up go to voicemail. Technology! I just love technology!

Show some backbone. Commit to one set of contact information and give it out. Don’t send people on a scavenger hunt to find you.

If you have a direct phone line, don’t include a main office number. No one with your direct line wants to call the main office; it’s you they like. And if you have multiple offices, don’t put them all on one card. No one on the planet knows how to enter that in their address book, or even how to use the information if they could enter it. Should they call both offices? Just one? The main number? Your number? Which should they call first? Where should they leave a message?

Show some backbone. Commit! (I realize your ex used to say that. Maybe you should have listened.) Commit to one set of contact information and give it out. Don’t send people on a scavenger hunt to find you. Unless you’re really, really important, few people will make the effort. And if you are that important, the kinds of people you give your business card to are not people whose time you want to waste.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.