I’m certainly not a fan of printing unnecessary collateral materials, and enjoy technology as much as the next person (for the most part). However, for those that feel that business cards are no longer viable or important, I will be the first to disagree. In fact, it blows me away how many business owners and professionals don’t carry business cards – or think that they are still even necessary. They are!!
Business Cards Allow You to Be More Memorable
There is something incredibly tangible and far more memorable about a well designed business card. It can give a quick colorful snapshot of who you are and/or what your business does and the services it provides. And with so many reasonably priced printing options now available such as Vistaprint – among many others, there really is no excuse not to have business cards.
Depending on your business and budget, you can get super creative with business cards. And when/if applicable use BOTH sides of the card!
Things you SHOULD include on your business cards:
- Your logo (so folks can identify with your brand)
- Name and title
- Services you offer
- Pertinent contact information
- Working link to website, blog or online store (if applicable)
A Business Card Re-imagined:
Sometimes business cards are so poorly designed/created that they could be causing you to lose potential sales.
Take the case of the following business card. It’s to this beautiful shop in Boulder, CO filled with unique lighting and home accessories. However, how would you remember that by the look of this card?
How it currently looks:
Now imagine if the card looked like this:
Seeing the the card reimagined, it’s likely you’d remember the shop for sure! It’s just one example of how a business card really can make an impact.
Ego vs. Oversight or Missed Opportunity
On one occasion, I was at a shop and asked the owner for a business card. Much to my surprise, the shop owner acted offended that I should ask her for a card – feeling that she and her shop were memorable enough on their own. Really?? Not being a local to that area, how would I know that?
Another event I attended found the business owner with no other recourse but to scribble her info down on a ripped piece of paper. Perhaps an oversight that at a public facing event a business card wasn’t necessary? Professionally speaking, both these instances were unfortunate as they likely meant lost sales opportunities.
Handing Out Business Cards in Unlikely Places
Beyond networking or other public facing events, you just never know when you’ll need to hand out a business card. It may be in some unlikely places. Having them handy is key!
Case in Point:
While snowboarding and shortly before I broke my wrist that very day, on the ski-lift, a fellow rider inquired about what I did. When he heard I offered both web design and SEO services – and that he was considering launching his own business, he asked if I happen to have a business card with me. Learning to keep some of my cards in my jacket pocket, I handed him one of my biz cards. No fumbling for a smartphone in the cold necessary. A week later he became a client and he’s still a client to this very day!!
Sharing the Luv – Services Others May Need
Beyond handing out my own business cards, when applicable, it’s nice to share the luv for others services. As a dedicated Subaru owner (I love my car), I have been blessed with finding a great mechanic. I’ve lost count of how many times folks have asked me who works on my car – at gas stations, parking lots, etc. So much so that I began carrying a bunch of my mechanic’s business cards in my car! Lord knows how much business I have given him and all by way of the innocent and often overlooked little business card.
Promoting Yourself Around Town
Beyond networking or meet-up groups, promoting yourself around town can be as simple as a stop to your local Small Business Resource Center, Coffeehouse, Library or other local haunt. Biz centers often have a wall rack dedicated to place your business cards. This can literally put you right in front of other business owners or professionals who may be able to benefit from your services.
As for Coffee Shops etc, often they have a bulletin board teaming with an array of business cards for all kinds of services. No reason yours should not be there. Not to mention it’s a bit of free local advertising which never hurts. And if you think it’s a waste of time in doing so, guess again! People really do stop to look and I can vouch for getting a client in this very manner. A little “old-school” never hurts!
There are quite a few options available for business cards. You can utilize recycled paper, paper made of stone, hemp or other materials to stand out from the crowd. And you can find a Green Printer to work with who utilizes soy inks among other options. Business cards are very reasonable to print and at the least the one piece of printed material you SHOULD have for your business!
Want more? A great little read:
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Helping businesses grow through better design and search visibility solutions. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place with their products or services.