Old School ALERT! Some old school things are better left in the past: spandex, big hair, 8 track tapes—you know what I mean. Other things become classics because no one has created anything better. Band business cards fall into that category. Business cards have been around since before the Victorian era because they work. They remind people about you, give people ways to contact you, and add to your bands professional look. Taking your business/ministry seriously is very important to the people who hire your band; it is easier for them to hire you if you look professional. Even if your band primarily plays to youth groups, and you get hired through the youth group leader, the people who approve your bands performance and pay are administrators. So, every band needs business cards.
What goes on a business card:
● Band Logo/ Name
● Band website (social media pages are optional)
● A one line description (known as a tagline) which should remind people why they meant to contact you, i.e. “Counter-pop-culture message of hope from an alt rock band.” This description MUST include the band’s music genre.
● Booking Information: Name of contact person, their phone number, and e-mail. In the past some bands included a physical mailing address. This is no longer necessary since most music business is done online.
● If you choose to include a physical mailing address, use a band or booking agent’s P.O. Box. Using a band member’s home address could result in unwanted fans showing up on your doorstep at inappropriate times. The only people who need the band’s mailing address are promoters returning physical contracts. The address can be put on the contract.
● Some bands include the first names of all the members; most bands should not do so because bands typically change line ups faster than they run out of business cards.
What a business card should look like:
Standard business cards are 2″ x 3-1/2″. People have tried to and can get crazy with unusual sizes, but then they will not fit into wallets or standard business card holders. More often than not, odd sizes get shoved in between other papers or thrown away. Your band should use the standard size. You do not, however, have to stay with standard paper, color, or layouts. Design a card that attracts attention by doing something unusual. Business cards can be boring. We’ve all seen the versions with white paper, black ink and clip art pictures. Why would your band do that? Your music ministry needs to stand out as a representation of God’s love here on earth! God is not boring. Look at all the colors, textures, and shapes He created. Attractive, attention-getting business cards are one more way you can demonstrate God’s creativity in your ministry.
Ideas to make your business card stand out:
● Use decorative scissors to trim one edge of the card. Decorative scissors are used to make scrapbooks and are available at any craft supply store. Fiskars has several great scissors which can be purchased as sets or individually. Check out Fiskars 12-93007097 Paper Edgers Set Classic to see what these scissors will do.
● Handwrite a personal note on the back of each card. This could be something like: “Hey! My favorite verse is Galatians 6:9—look it up and let me know what you think. Marie.” Use your imagination—what would get a fan to go to your website? What would help a promoter see that you are serious about your ministry? These notes can be written ahead of time, so they are ready in an instant. They don’t all have to be the same; different band members can have different notes and the content of the notes can change whenever you want.
● Design your cards to be vertical (portrait) rather than horizontal (landscape). Keep the standard size but change the orientation of the paper. Or, have some of your text going vertical and some horizontal.
● Add something extra. Do you have an abundance of band buttons? Design a card around pinning the button onto it. If it fits with your band’s look, consider tying on pieces of string or ribbon. Use a basic hole punch to create places to tie. You can hand or machine- sew on business cards too. Keep your stitches wide so you don’t perforate the paper. Thread comes in an almost infinite number of colors including metallic and rainbow effects, so this is not your Grandma’s look anymore. Need more ideas? Walk down the scrapbook aisle of any craft store.
How business cards are used as stand alone merchandising:
Business cards will be used as stand alone advertising at shows on your merchandise table. Every member of the band should carry several cards with them at all times to pass out to anyone who is interested in the band. Band members can get gigs and new fans by following up impromptu conversations about the band with a business card.
How to create business cards inexpensively:
Bands that have a music style that works well with a handcrafted look can get FREE business cards. Do you have a friend or relative who loves to do scrapbooking? Ask them to help your band by handcrafting your cards. They probably have many, many scraps they would love to use up and would be thrilled that you asked them to help! Not every card has to look the same. You could end up with some really amazing cards—FREE!
Printing cards on an inkjet printer is expensive. Business card stock is usually over $15.00 for 250 cards. That costs you 6¢ per card (plus the cost of shipping if you order online). Add the cost of your ink to that. It is much less expensive to find a great deal online. Google “business cards” and you will get more search results than you need. The deals from each company change frequently, so you will have to do your homework. You should be able to find them in full color for less than 3¢ per card. Create the card using software you already own on your home computer such as Photoshop or Publisher, save it as whatever file type is recommended by the printers, and then upload it to the printer’s website. Once the cards are shipped to you, creatively customize them to coordinate with your band’s look, merchandise table, and press kit.
Business cards can be boring. We’ve all seen the white paper, black ink with clip art picture versions. Why would your band do that? Your music ministry needs to stand out as a representation of Gods love here on earth! I don’t think God is boring. Look at all the colors, textures, and shapes He created. Attractive, attention getting business cards are one more way you can demonstrate God’s creativity in your ministry.
This article is an excerpt from The Christian Band handbook.
Are you working on developing your Christian bands marketing materials? Do you need advice on press kits and booking?
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