What Real Estate Agents Have Taught Us About Business Cards

Should you add your photo to your business card? Are you wondering whether people still do so?

In this article you will learn about the pros and cons of including your photo on your business card.

Tips to choose a professional photo for your business card

In some industries, people put a headshot on their business card because everyone else is doing it; for example, in the real estate industry. They want to show their potential clients that they are vested members in the industry and that they follow what the field considers consummate practices.

This may work for you, too. However, think about this:

CON 1―You may want to consider if going against the mainstream could be more effective. Since nearly everyone adds their photo on their business card, why not discover if it’s more advantageous to leave the photo out? You could, for example, use a non-standard business card size and leave your photo out. Then see how your prospects react to your experiment; maybe it works better for you this way.

CON 2―Another reason to omit your photo is the high cost of production. The quality of your photo requires more precision than the rest of your business card. Printers in general charge you an extra fee for a photo and to include a headshot on your business card. If you are not sure the extra expense is worthwhile, check with your printer in advance to find out the cost.

Of course, there are some pros as well:

PRO 1―The number one reason why people find a photo useful is that others will more easily remember them.

Imagine you are organizing the business cards you received at a big conference earlier in the evening. You met dozens of people interested in what you do. Of course, you don’t remember all of them. In line with dozens of business cards, a photo will certainly help you recognize that particular prospect that seemed so enthusiastic about finding ways to collaborate with you and your team. This is a strong argument in favor of placing a photo on your business card.

PRO 2―If you include your photo, you may appear more approachable and trustworthy. People want to do business with people they like and trust. Including a photo showing your best side will move you in that direction.

PRO 3―Do you have a first name like Sean or Taylor? Having a headshot can help avoid confusion as to your gender, if necessary.

allBcards Pinterest Board of Business Cards with Photo
Click the Pinterest widget to view a gallery of business cards with photos.

If you think a photo on your business card can help you develop relationships with potential clients or customers, use the following tips.

Tips to Make the Most out of Your Business Card Photo

  • Have someone take a professional headshot that shows a friendly face and a good smile, and don’t worry about your wrinkles!

  • Do not wear accessories like sunglasses or hats.

  • No pets or kids in the photo. This is an unbreakable rule if you want to look professional. Of course, there is always an exception to the rule, but only if it is relevant to your job. For example, it is acceptable if you are a school or music teacher, a sports instructor for kids, a pediatrician, a veterinarian or a pet breeder, and so on.

  • Hire a professional photographer to do the job.

  • Use a headshot only. Do not take a full body photo unless you are in the fitness or fashion industry, or another business where this type of photo adds value.

  • Use a small area for your photo. In other words, do not take up half of your business card with your photo. In addition, pay attention that your headshot should appear visually disconnected from your business card background.

  • Do not print it on an everyday desktop printer. It is unprofessional to print your own business cards from home if you don’t have a good printer and high-quality cardstock paper. Your photo will look cheap and leave a bad impression about you and your business.

  • Do not present a business card with a dated headshot that looks nothing like you. There is no sense in giving out business cards that do not match your current image. If you look younger, have a different haircut, or show a moustache that you don’t have anymore, it’s not the right photo.

  • Try to use the same photo you have on your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn. You will increase the odds that people will recognize you and you will start becoming more familiar to them.

  • You do not need to a have real photo; you can use a drawing or a caricature. This can be very useful if you are a designer or cartoonist.

Whether you choose a picture or a drawing, you must know and understand your target market and try to figure out how they will perceive the photo on your business card. With whom would they like to do business? How could you connect best with them? Do you look friendly and likeable enough? How could you project trustworthiness and professionalism? These are some questions you should evaluate before making a decision about your headshot.


Including your headshot on your business card can be a good idea; headshots make it easier for people to remember you, and they may keep your business card around longer.

There is extra work and time to consider when you decide to include a headshot. Ask yourself these questions:

Is it worth your time and money to have a photo on your business card? What do you want your business card to do for your business? What do you want your business card to tell people? Will it make your brand look more friendly and trustworthy?

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If you found this article useful, you will certainly love our free guide! It contains 35 articles like this one, dealing with business card content, design, printing and distribution.

Business Card & Networking Tips - Infographics by allBcards

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