I’ve used business cards since day one. In fact, I had my own cards before I even took on my first web design client. It’s such a simple concept that I think a lot of people undervalue their importance, especially in this digital age. It’s certainly a marketing tool that every small business owner, ministry and organization should be using, but let’s take a few minutes to think about how we’re actually putting those cards to use so they don’t collect dust in that fancy card holder you spouse picked up.
The biggest question you should ask yourself is how your business card is working for you? Beyond some contact information that can easily be entered into a phone or contact list and then discarded as quickly as it was given, does your card hold any other value?
What if the back of your card encouraged people to refer your services? If you sell merchandise online, what if you added a 5% off coupon code on the back? Adding a reminder to subscribe to your newsletter, or visit your blog, would be another great way to add value to your business card, making it work for you.
Any time I mail a contract out to my clients, or cards around the holidays, I make sure to include three of my business cards. As my business grows, more and more of my leads are generated by referrals, and having a few extra cards handy ensures my clients can easily recommend me to others if they wish. I also make sure to have a number in my wallet and a few in each of my cars. I never know when an opportunity will come to talk about my business and I’ve always been disappointed when I can’t execute on the question, “do you have a card?”
Another way to use business cards is to take out the personalization and simply use them as a cheap way to market your business. Think of it as a mini postcard that can easily fit in a pocket or wallet. My wife and I started a coupon site a few years back called shopestores.com and to help promote it, we designed a simple, two color design that included the logo, tagline and a short sentence talking about the site. Over the years, we’ve handed out thousands to friends and family, inserted in bills we’ve paid, left at restaurants with the tip and other miscellaneous places. It’s a great way to talk about your business without having to talk about your business.
Of course, the downside of business cards is that they are pretty hard to track their effectiveness. But thankfully, they are cheap to produce and easy to hand out. I would recommend many of the online printers like VistaPrint.com or UPrinting.com. I recently purchased 2500 cards for under $60 (with shipping). And if you need help with design, just let me know. You can view some more examples of our business card and stationary designs here.
At the end of the day, your business cards should be working for you and doing more than simply sharing your contact information. If not, you are missing out on a wide range of opportunities.
Remember, it’s up to you to keep the conversation going. I’ll be back soon with more weapons for your guerrilla marketing arsenal.3 comments