In our digital, electronic, Internet, instant update world, the humble business card is still one of your most valuable marketing tools you have.
A business card is the one marketing piece about your company that people will gladly take, and keep. They project your business’ image, and are a vital form of communication. Not having a card projects a lack of professionalism.
One time I was meeting with a CEO in his office. I asked for his card and he said he didn’t have one. None had ever been printed for himself or any of his senior staff. My perception of him and his company dropped a few points on the spot.
Business cards offer many positive features, including:
They’re easy to carry
Don’t need batteries
Can show photographs of art, personnel and products
Provide an easy source of contact and company information
You can drop in into a bowl by a cash register or event, and win all kinds of free things, including: a meal, dessert, toy, message, haircut and door prizes. Over the years I’ve won meals, a coffee maker, admission to amusement parks, jewelry and more. Wining will also result in free publicity for your business.
You can even win a drink at a bar by saying that you can cut a hole in your business card, and stick your entire head through it. If you’re skinny enough, you can fit your entire body through it. Try that with your smart phone app. See how it’s done at the end of this article.
Be sure to take your business cards with you everywhere you go. I never leave the house without them. I’ve passed cards out at concerts, coffee shops, in elevators and even three miles into a hike when I started talking with another hiker.
Don’t forget to use the back. Here you can have additional information, but don’t go crazy. Showing too many skills will look like you’ll do anything for a buck, and none of it well. If your business is hard to find, put a map here.
You have a tremendous amount of flexibility when designing a card. You are only limited by your imagination and budget.
Customization you can do includes:
Putting a photograph of you or your product on the card
Die cutting the card to make an interesting shape
Design it to be folded to display artwork, a pop-up cutout or some other feature
A pull tab, like in a kids book, to change the information seen on the card
Do a Google Images search for business cards, and you will see some truly amazing designs.
There are a lot of places to have your business cards printed. I use Vistaprint http://www.vistaprint.com to print my cards because they often have sales that let me order 250 cards while only paying for shipping.
Moo cards http://us.moo.com lets you submit up to 50 different images to be put on the back of your business cards. If you have 50 cards printed, then each image will be used once, for 100 cards each image is used twice, and so on. This gives you a huge number of images to choose from when handing out a card.
I know a photographer who did this, and it let him have a portfolio in his pocket. He fans the deck of business cards, and asks which photo they like best and that’s the card they get. You know they’ll hold onto that card.
For a manufacturer, put images of all of your products on the back of the cards. When someone asks about a specific product, you can give them a card with a photo of that product. They will easily remember who you are and why they have your card.
Create a business card that is exciting, highlights your products or services and lets clients easily find you. And don’t be afraid to use this little blank canvas to create a card that will shout your praises from the highest mountain.