Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Business cards can be great marketing tools. They can serve as mini-brochures and are still quite necessary. Most are fairly cheap, too, so spread them around. Make sure all your contact info is there--website, email, location, phone, etc. And, make sure it states what you do. A well-designed business card and these tips can help you promote your business.
--Put them in everything you mail out--every order you ship, any direct mail pieces, any letter you write, all the invoices you send, and even in with the bills you pay by mail. If you have a retail store, put them in the bag with the receipt.
--Leave them at stores where it's allowed--many groceries, laundries, etc. have bulletin boards you can tack them up on or counters where you can display them for free. Clear acrylic business card holders are pretty inexpensive and you can make your cards stand out by putting them in a holder.
--Give satisfied customers several, so they can share them with others.
--Always take plenty with you when networking--even if it's just your spouse's company picnic or a PTA meeting at school. Don't be obnoxious & force them on everyone, just give them to people you've chatted with so you can stay in touch.
--Collect other people's cards, too. A quick follow-up note a couple of days after you meet someone who is a potential client or contact is a great marketing tool, too. Just say "it was a pleasure to meet you, I enjoyed our conversation, keep me in mind if you ever need widgets, etc."
--Many office supply stores sell business-card sized magnets that you can peel & stick your business card to. This is good for any food-related business (people can put them on their fridge) or home-related business. If your clients have metal filing cabinets, they would work there, too.
--If you print a “reference guide” on the back of your cards, they will add value. For example, if you are in the travel business, a list of 1-800 numbers or websites for major hotels and airlines would work. You can put almost any information on the back of your card—be creative! Make sure whatever you put on there fits and can be printed legibly. What are some “rules of thumb” or “frequently asked questions” for your business? It does increase the cost to have printing on both sides of your card, but great content will more than pay for itself!
Here are some suggestions:
Personal chef: Signature recipe (perhaps for a cocktail or appetizer)
Jewelry designer: Stones and their meanings/properties
Accountant: Tax deadlines, definitions of accounting terms
Motivational speaker: Favorite quotes
Decorator: Colors & meanings, Types of lighting,
Web designer: Internet stats, Five ways to increase traffic
Real estate sales: Landscaping tips, staging tips, choosing a neighborhood
Massage therapist: Five ways to reduce tension
Candle maker: Top 10 scents for candles
Gift basket business: Gift-giving tips, Ten reasons to send a basket
Daycare: Kid game ideas, fun recipes
Plumber: How to unstop a sink/toilet, etc.
Pest control: Pictures & names of common pests
House painter: Tips for choosing paint colors
Auto repair: Maintenance tips/schedules
--You can also put an offer on your cards. Something like “call or visit our website for free info” or even “10% discount” or “free estimate”. Whatever would work to help build your business.
For the cost, business cards are one of your best marketing tools IF you get them out there. They won’t bring you any business sitting in the box! Be creative and try different ways of promoting your business with your cards. Just like everything in your marketing arsenal, they should help you spread the word about your business.
You can even print your own and many start-ups do so. Try these Avery Two-Side Printable Clean Edge Business Cards for Inkjet Printers, Matte, White, Pack of 200 (08871).
To design and order your business cards online, I recommend Printing for Less Click on the banner below to go to their site and order your cards.