How to Create Great Counseling Business Cards That Increase Referrals

Working on marketing materials? Freshen up your counseling business cards.

Marketing your business as a counselor, psychologist, or social worker works much differently than it does in other business-to-consumer companies. While you’re still able to utilize many traditional marketing methods (like brochures or newspaper ads), much of your business comes from word-of-mouth and referrals. So, what tools do you have to make the biggest impact in such a personalized form of marketing? Your counseling business cards may be your smallest marketing materials, but with a smart design, they’ll do all the work for you.

If you’re regularly going to counseling conferences, you know how often business cards get exchanged. Are your counseling business cards designed to stand out from the hundreds (if not thousands) of other attendees? The same goes for the cards that you share with colleagues. If you regularly receive referrals from practitioners in different specialties, make sure the card you’re giving them to share with their clients is something they’d feel comfortable sharing.


Don’t make your potential clients dig for your information. Details play a vital role in designing such a tiny marketing tool. There is some basic information that all business cards need. Make sure to include:

  • Your Name
  • Credentials
  • Specialties
  • Practice Address
  • Practice Phone Number
  • Practice Email Address
  • Professional Website
  • Office Hours (if you work a firm schedule)

Check, double check, and triple check everything before sending it to the printer. If one digit is off in your phone number, no one will be calling to make an appointment!


Font often gets overlooked when designing a business card, but it shouldn’t. First, and most importantly, your font needs to be readable. If a potential client can’t decipher between the numbers in your phone number or the letters on your website, they’ll stop right there and not make contact.

The font also suggests the tone of your counseling practice. Serifs, such as Cambria or Century Schoolbook, may come across too seriously, but a sans-serif font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, portrays your practice as both professional and welcoming. However, there are some sans-serifs that may be too silly for a business card (unless you’re a child counselor!), such as Comic Sans. If you choose to use a script font, match it up with a serif or sans-serif font so that your contact information is easy to read.

02-how-to-create-great-counseling-business-cards-that-increase-referralsShape and Style

The standard business card dimension is 3.5 x 2 inches. They’re usually printed in a horizontal (or even vertical) rectangle, and there’s a reason for it. This sized card fits perfectly in a wallet, its new home until it’s pulled out to use. It’s better to have your card in a wallet than it is a trashcan, so a standard sized card works well for any industry.

But, just because things are done one way, doesn’t mean you have to continue doing it. You have permission to have some fun with your counseling business cards. Print them as squares or try a folded style if you want to include more information than typically fits on a standard-size card. Make mini cards that are half the size of a standard card.

Color and Design

According to the journal Management Decision, “People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.” Do you know what colors to incorporate into your design? For some therapists, color will be dictated by the logo. For others, who prefer a streamlined two color print, the choosing a color will be very deliberate. Take a page from The Logo Company’s Color Emotion Guide when deciding on the intent of your message.

03-how-to-create-great-counseling-business-cards-that-increase-referralsAdd a digital touch

If you want to capture the attention of a potential client, but don’t have space for it on a tiny business card, incorporate a QR code to the backside. Once scanned, it leads people directly to a page (of your choosing) on your website that can provide detailed information how the referral process works in your practice.

Consider Subtleties

You want your counseling business cards to be clear on its intent, but at the same time, since you’re using these for referrals, you also don’t want the card to scream “This person needs help!” Make sure the details are clear to read, but be careful how bold or large you make words such as “Counseling” or “Help.”

Designing business cards can take a lot of effort, but don’t worry, SimplePractice is here to run the rest of your practice while you’re perfecting your marketing materials. We’ll help with claim filing, secure document storage, and treatment planning. Try us free for 30 days!

Have you redesigned your business cards recently? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

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