So you’ve finally decided to follow-up on your dream and began setting up your own small business. Although there is an endless list of things to do, your high level to-do list probably reads like this:
Find a good business idea Establish your company Put together a productive team Find a catchy name for the company Design a great logo Get your name out there There are numerous things that companies can do to get their name out; however, the most common approach that is still used by every business in the world is the handing out of a physical business card at every opportunity. Simple and effective, business cards are one of the easiest ways to expand your company’s recognition and establish corporate identity.
Electronic Business Cards (EBCs) have begun to gain momentum as the digital counterpart of the ubiquitous little cards we’ve been exchanging for years.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 offers a highly-customizable Electronic Business Card solution that allows you to easily create cards that contain all of the contact information that you wish to share with others. These EBCs can then be easily put into e-mail signatures or sent out via e-mail as an attachment, both analogous to handing your physical business card to a new acquaintance.
I have been using EBCs to distribute my contact information since they were debuted in Outlook 2007. I use a custom EBC in my e-mail signature so that anyone can easily get all my relevant contact information whenever they receive an e-mail from me. Here’s how I set up and customized my EBC’s appearance using Outlook 2007,Buy Office 2007
, along with how it shows up in my daily communication:
Creating an EBC
Start by creating an Outlook contact for the information that you want to include in your EBC. If you already have a contact for yourself, you can just open that. Notice how Outlook already shows a default EBC in the contact. This card can be customized to suit your personal preferences. To start customizing the card, click the Business Card button in the Options group, or double click on the EBC. Edit Business Card Dialog
This dialog allows the EBC to be customized. You can modify the visuals of the card using the controls on this dialog. The fields list control lets you choose the fields that you want to include on the EBC, as well as the order in which they appear on the card. For each field, you can edit the content, change the font and color and have a label next to it. A Blank Line will let you separate the fields in the EBC and design them as you wish.
Choosing a background
A good way to really customize the look of your card is to add a background image to your EBC.In this example, I’ve used an image produced by Neal O. – a coworker at Microsoft – as the background for my EBCs. You can choose anything, including a logo of your company. Notice that I’ve selected Background Image as the layout and Fit to Edge as the Image Align setting. If you use an image that shouldn’t take up the whole card, you can select a different layout for the image. Choosing fields and text color I’ve made some changes to the fields to make them prettier with my new background. You can use the Add and Remove buttons,Office Professional 2010 X86
, along with the arrow buttons to add, remove, and reorder fields on your EBC. In this example, I’ve changed the order of my title and my department; introduced blank lines so that my phone and e-mail is aligned to the bottom; and colored the fields white,Cheap Office 2010 Key
, so that they’re easier to read. Finally, I’m adding the last field I want to include in my EBC, the Business Fax. Design Finished! Finally, once the card is the way you want it to look, click the OK button, and you’ll return to your contact, with the new EBC design in place. Your EBC is ready to use. Now that you've created a new EBC, you'll want to use it to spread your contact information or company details. One good way to do that is to include the EBC in your e-mail signature, so that every e-mail sent includes your contact details and the business card. Setting up a signature with an EBC From the main Outlook window, select Tools, Options, then click on the Mail Format tab, click Signatures, and click New to create a new signature. You can also edit an existing signature, if you already have one created.
Customize the signature with any text you wish to add, then click the Business Card button to open the Electronic Business Card selector. Select the EBC that you want to add to the signature, and click OK. You can also adjust the size of your EBC using the drop down on this dialog, if the default card size is too large for your signature. Now that you've built a new signature using your EBC, try sending a new e-mail message. You'll see that your new signature, including your Electronic Business Card, is included in the new message: I hope you enjoyed this introduction to the world of EBC’s. This should show how easy it is to create an EBC for yourself, customize it to include the information you want and choose a unique design that helps reflect your personal style. The customization opportunities are endless, and will provide even the most artistically-challenged folks with great results and beautiful EBCs.
One other thing to note. If you're having difficulty getting started with an EBC, and need some help, check out some of the pre-made template EBCs available on Office Online. These cards can give you some more ideas of what is possible and help you design a great looking custom card even faster.
I hope that you’ll enjoy the feature as much as I do!
Outlook Program Manager