I am asked from time to time what an attorney should do about their law firm business cards since they are about to get some new cards. Actually I would recommend you not wait until you run out of cards currently to think through your business card strategy. You may or may not have to throw out your current cards. That is not important. What is important is what results can you expect from your business cards. Let me list for you some guidelines for your business card strategy that will improve your results. Business cards need to be created to get you business are they not?
1. You probably need more than one type of law firm business card. One card that is conservative and is used in situations or with people you think will respond best to a more conservative card like other attorneys, court personnel, bankers, and the like. You need a more "sales oriented" card for other environments to be used in situations where you are dealing with some referral sources or with your prospective client. Particularly if your practice areas are family law, criminal law, personal injury, elder law, immigration law, residential real estate, etc. In fact if you market to an ethnic market like Hispanics then you need a third card that works for them and preferably has been done by a vendor who specializes in Hispanic work.
2. Please don't use the templates available at your local printer or print them off your computer. Go to http://www.guru.com and hire a graphic artist to design your law firm business card. Do be sure it is readable for your market (older people need larger and easy reading fonts). Have them design a logo if you don't have one as well. It will be inexpensive ($8 per hour and up) to hire a graphic artist type since this website is a worldwide marketplace. You can hire vendors from places like India, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA and be safe since they do understand our market. The United Kingdom is expensive with respect to the US dollar currently and they tend to be overly conservative for our market. Some USA vendors are young, eager and/or want to create a portfolio so their fees are low but their skills are fine for this purpose.
3. It is probably better if your law firm business card is at least a two-color card (maybe even a four color card for some practice areas like criminal law or personal injury for instance). What I mean here is either different color inks or a difference between the color of the card and the ink. You need something to make the card more visually interesting. Always use a quality paper for the card.
4. Be sure your website address is on the card and it is a domain name you own that reflects your practice area if possible. Naturally name, address and phone number as well on the card.
5. Consider putting your email address on your law firm business card or maybe instead of putting the website address. One caution here is be sure you have an email address on your card that is your own domain name and not AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, or a vendor at your home like Comcast, Road Runner, Bell South or the like. Why? You don't look like someone who is a solid business unless your domain name is one you own and is business/keyword related.
6. Consider putting your "slogan" on your law firm business card. One of mine is "Guiding your practice to increased revenues while reducing your work hours as you serve your clients better than ever." Now, clearly a bit long for a business card and you get the idea. If you don't put a slogan at least put something that indicates your major practice area focus on the card. Also you may need different cards for different practice areas thus more than 3 different cards (conservative, sales oriented, ethnic type for each major practice area) for some.
7. A bit more daring yet effective is putting an offer for a "free report" or "white paper" offer on your law firm business card. The article title needs to be very appealing to your market. Usually the article needs to be a "how to" or "7 ways to" or "secrets of" type of title. Maybe saying on the card "call or email me for the my complimentary report on XXX" on the card or even "download at xxx.com" which also doubles as putting your website address on the card.
8. Up to this point you probably have been thinking only about the front of your law firm business card. Let's get a bit outside the box and think about the back of the card. How about that long slogan, the quote or the complimentary report offer on the back?
9. OK, lets get even more outside the box and say put your picture on the front of the card. Research on business cards shows those cards with a picture on the fronts are noticed, kept and remembered better than other cards without a photo.
10. Having said all of the above do be careful not to have the card cluttered so you don't have to put everything I wrote about on your card.
Now you have it. Some ideas to consider with law firm business cards. I am sure some would say this is too much and maybe so. There is much to consider in law firm business cards that really makes a difference in getting you new clients or not.