Updated: Jan 20, 2019
These tips on business cards for game devs will explain why it’s important, even if you’re someone who works in-house.
Sure, business cards can be more important to freelancers and entrepreneurs.
But, having them (as anyone into game development) can make it a lot easier and more professional to network and share contact information.
You should always keep a stack of business cards on you, especially at events. To be more professional, keep them in your wallet, or even better, a cardholder.
As a quick tip, don’t give away your last business card. Allowing the person to take a picture of it is better than not having one at all.
You don’t have to give your business card to everyone and should be exchanged with the intention of continuing a relationship.
Don’t be scared to ask for a card in the middle of a conversation either. Simply ask if they have a business card or offer yours.
You can also use it as an exit strategy if you’re running out of things to say. Something along the lines of “I need to get going but here, take my card, it would be nice to stay in touch”.
This can let you leave a good conversation before it gets drawn out longer than it has to be and made awkward.
But, probably shouldn’t be used to exit a bad conversation or to leave someone who doesn’t seem interested.
After a conversation where business cards were exchanged, write a small note on it about where you met and what you talked about.
This will make following up much easier!
Once you get back home from an event (or just meeting someone if it wasn’t at one), make sure to follow up.
Make the subject clear and the message personal too!
Tell them who you are again as you both probably met a lot of people while attending. Again, if you didn’t meet the person at an event, it’s still a good idea to remind them who you are.
Having a call to action at the end of the email or message is important to keep things rolling. Whether it’s “I’m looking forward to talking more about ___” or whatever you’re hoping for.
First, before you forget, it’s good to order them from those you want to build a relationship with the most, to those you just took their card to be nice.
You could also group them like “potential clients”, “Others in (your job title)”, etc.
Keeping them separate from other events might be good too, making it easier to know where you met them, what kind of a connection it would be, etc.
The “how” really comes down to you. But, there are some great tips you can follow to get on the right path and to guide your own style.
Think of it as a mini-billboard. An ambassador of your personal brand if you will. This small piece of paper can be used to make a good first impression and continue a relationship.
No better way to keep the main thing, the main thing, than having your card cut down to the basics and not cramming everything you can onto it.
Not only does this apply to what information to put on your card but how to present it.
By sticking to simple colors and design, you can make it easier to find information.
As something to think about, how accessible is your card? What if someone is color-blind?
Making your name the biggest element is said to be best practice and go with what you’d like to be called. If your name is Leonardo and prefer Leo, go with that!
Keeping it minimal can also leave space for people to write notes about you on the card. Making at least one side of your business card easy to see pencil or pen on is going to help a lot!
Try to utilize both sides for information or branding if you can. Although it does generally cost more to do so, it may be worth it but isn’t required.
If you really want your card to stand out and are willing to invest in it, you can always hire a business card designer to help make something great!
As for the colors you chose, it's good to keep it in sync with your company or personal branding. Someone might be confused following a link to a completely different design.
Don't forget about pictures too! Sticking to just colors and words can get a bit boring and may not represent you as well as pictures can (which could just be a background image).
The other side of your card is especially good for an image or logo.
You don’t need to have every capability and talent of yours on there and especially not your life story. Keep it to your main functional job title as well (what you want to be hired as).
And don’t pull the “CEO” or “Founder” out as your first job title. When it comes to business cards and people trying to figure out or remember what you do, it’s just not helpful.
Adding social handles and links to your website or portfolio can save space on your card and leave the heavy lifting to LinkedIn or your website.
But remember, only link to a few of your most active accounts (preferably six at most), not every single one. For example, you might only need to add these:
If you want to take it to another level, link to a landing page on your website just for people that receive your card. Make the link short and easy to type too!
Use it to support your card by making a short video to introduce yourself, and even throw in a special offer for them if you want.
You should also make your card timeless and avoid including things that can become outdated such as coupons or promotions with limited time.
Add an icon, logo, or even a character that represents you. Experiment with the orientation and size of the card too.
You can make it bigger or smaller, vertical or horizontal, round or square, etc. There’s so much you can do to make it unique!
Just keep it reasonable.
I don’t think anyone would want to carry around a card the size of a huge lottery check nor try to write on a card as flimsy as a participation ribbon.
Hopefully, those tips on business cards will help you as a game developer, especially when attending an event like the Game Developers Conference.
Thanks for reading!