Even with the introduction of the internet and e-mail, among much other technological advancement in marketing, business cards are still considered the most popular marketing tool among small business owners. Are you capitalizing on your most powerful for of marketing? The classifieds, the billboards, the radio ads and even the banner exchanges can all be forgotten. Looking purely from an economical viewpoint, or even from the perspective of versatility, business cards cannot be beaten.
Can you recall back to when you first began your business? If you’re anything like most small business owners, your very first marketing purchase would have been for a set of business cards. Nothing builds credibility and professionalism like your very own business card, not to mention that special feeling you experienced when you’re first set of business cards arrived. Almost like a confirmation that you really are in business for yourself.
You probably discovered though, like many others do, that there are a lot less people that would like to receive your business card than there are people you would like to give it to. You may have even stopped using your business card.
If this is you, don’t be too tough on yourself. It’s really tough to design an attention-getting card, find just the right way to give it to prospects, and then organize all those cards you collect. It can take many months to acquire the knowledge and experience required to make this an effective marketing system. But believe me, it’s worth it. Business cards are portable, versatile, readily accepted worldwide, and so cheap you can’t afford NOT to use them!
Here are some “How to” steps to help get your business card marketing moving again, or perhaps for the first time:
How to Design an Attention-Getting Business Card:
• Spend a little time determining your target audience and what they would appreciate most in your business card. Someone who has already purchased a product or service from you would probably appreciate more complete contact details for your business, whereas for a new prospect, you would probably have more of a marketing message on your card.
• Don’t be scared of white space on your card. Overcrowded cards do not get read. The most basic info is your name, your company name, and your phone number (which should be in bold text or a larger size, if there are other numbers on the business card.)
• Use color. The majority of business cards are printed on white stock with black ink, stand out from the crowd and add some color to your business card.
• Add your website address to your business card to drive more traffic to your website.
How to Creatively Prospect With Your Business Cards:
• The way you physically hand your card to your prospect or client has a large effect on your success. Presenting your card with both hands, for example, creates an enormous psychological impact (“Hey, this must be important!”)
• If the right moment doesn’t present itself for you to hand someone that you think would be a great prospect your business card, ask for theirs. Don’t just ask for one, ask for two or three, mention that you would like to pass them on to some of your friends, odds are, they’ll ask for your card in return.
• Include your business card as part of your introduction, hand it to your doctor, any receptionist you come across, at any meeting, basically any time that you introduce yourself, hand someone your business card.
• Include business cards with all correspondence. Enclose business cards when you return rented goods… everything from tools to videotapes to automobiles. (especially if it’s a luxury model!) If you pay your bills by mail, include your business card, you never know who is going to open the mail.
• Offer to include the business cards of business people you respect with your mailings, if they’ll agree to do the same with yours. You could also join a business networking group.
How to Organize Your Business Cards:
• Jot notes on the back of business cards you’re given, such as date, event, common interests, physical characteristics of the giver, type of information you need to send, and so on. You want to do this as soon as you can, before you forget key notes. If you are in a situation where the prospect is still around, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and quickly jot down the notes there.
• Give the prospect a rating out of 10. 10 being a super hot prospect and 1 being a barely lukewarm prospect. Include this rating on the back of their card.
• Develop a filing system that works for you. Ideally this filing system would be as portable as possible and ordered by the way you most easily remember people. (such as Name, company, etc)
• A cigarette case or compartmented coin purse can be used to temporarily organize business cards.
Set yourself a goal of giving out 5 or 10 business cards daily, and very soon, you’ll be getting the attention (and the money!) you wanted. Isn’t that why you went into business in the first place?