The question of what contact information to put on a business card used to be simple: name phone number, address. Now we have many more options and it’s easy to fill up a business card with several alternatives. This can be confusing to potential clients: should they call your cell or your landline, or maybe Skype, or perhaps they should email? It also clutters up a card with too much information making it harder to achieve a clean and professional design.
The solution is to select the methods of communication you put on your cards, to tell your potential customers the best way of getting in touch. So should you choose your landline number or your cellphone?
The best number to choose is the one that you are most available on during business hours. While a landline number used to be considered essential, to show that you were a solid, reputable business with an office, that is no longer the case as more and more people work from their cellphones and can be out and about during working hours. So if you are often away from your desk and your landline, don’t put that number on your cards. Use your cell number instead.
Freelancers who work from home, may prefer not to give out their landline number to clients, unless they have a separate work phone line, in case of out of hours calls disturbing the family. A cellphone number can be more convenient, as it can be switched off at night or turned to voicemail. If you use the same cellphone for work and personal calls, see if your phone will allow you to allocate a different ring tone to friends and family, so that you can choose whether or not to answer after hours.
If you are office based it makes more sense to give out your landline number on your business cards, keeping your cellphone number back. You can then choose whether or not to share your cell number with clients. Then you can write your cellphone number on your card before giving it out to them, making a more personal connection with them, as if it is privileged information.
If you decide to use only your cellphone number on your card, find another way of giving a sense of place. A physical address is no longer essential, unless you expect your clients to visit your office or business, but you could add the name of the city, or suburb and city, where you are based. People do like to know whether they are talking to someone local or to someone on the other side of the country.