Take your business card out of your wallet and look closely at it. Are you marveling at its power? No? Maybe you should. If I had to choose just one marketing tool to use the rest of my career, it would be the business card. This little Swiss Army knife of marketing can be your best tool for reaching your customers. All it takes is some ingenuity. Your business card is worth much more than the small investment you made in it. And I am not talking about putting it in the fish bowl at your favorite restaurant for a free lunch.
We all know that business cards are standard fare for every day business. They are a must for any home based business or new business because to be considered a real business, you need real business cards. But most companies overlook their powerful marketing value.
Business Card Design
Your card design is the foundation of this marketing tool. It is important you design it well. If you have trouble or lack the tools to design your card, enlist the help of a professional designer or use a template on one of those cheap card sites. Write down everything you are needing on your card. Company Name/Logo, Your Name, Address, Phone, Email, Fax, Cell Phone, Home Phone, Pager, Business Slogan or Motto and Brand Names are on the top of the list. Now decide the order of importance. The more important the item, the larger it should be on your card. The less importance, the smaller it should be. My top 3 for business card importance are Company Logo, Your Name, Your Preferred Contact method.
Choose Your Image
Now decide on the image you wish to portray. Do you want a high brow professional image like a lawyer? Or a personal, inviting image like a realtor, with your photo? The type of paper you print on is also a way to portray your image. Will you use a uncoated linen or a gloss card stock? Or will you not use paper at all? You can get business cards on wood, metal, clear or frosted plastic. You can get them with straight corners or rounded. You can even get them cut into ovals or custom shapes. The point is that your card be kept and remembered and not contradict your company image.
The typical business card is 3.5 inches by 2 inches. This size is easy to fit into wallets and holders. But you don’t have to use that size. You can do small cards like 3.5 inches by 1.5 inches. You could double the size by doing a fold over card. Make them memorable.
Kick Them Out of Helicopters
Okay, not really. Unless…you actually have a helicopter. In which case we need to talk. But you can do the next best thing. Joe Girard is supposedly the worlds greatest salesman. One year he sold over 1,200 new cars in Detroit. One of Joe’s favorite tricks was to go to Detroit Lions football games and throw handfuls of business cards out of the upper deck onto the expensive seats below each time the team scored. Each card had a discount that was good at his dealership the following day. How can you use Joe’s tactic for your business?
Pay the Bills
Place a business card in every bill you pay. Every month, every bill, every time. All of the services you use are filled with people. Those people move on to other jobs, they know someone that needs what you offer. If they get your card, they might keep it. They might go to your website. They might buy something. You never know what might happen.
Chairman of the Board
If you look near the entrance of many laundromats, schools, libraries and diners you will find bulletin boards with business cards from other local businesses pinned to it. Pin your card to these boards regularly and you will be able to reach people outside your normal circles.
Make Them Valuable
Most people ignore 50% of your business card’s marketing power by leaving the back blank. Use the back of the card as an ad. Use your marketing message to grab attention. Or use the back as a coupon to drive them to a site or location. The back of your card can be very useful if employed correctly.
Go to your local bookstore and find the section of books that people would read if they were looking for your business. If you have a maternity clothing store you might go to the childbirth section. If you have a restaurant, go to the cooking books. Slip your cards into books that fit your perfect customer. Here is another chance to use a coupon on your card. You are targeting your perfect customer by which books you choose and getting your message to them at a time they are looking for answers.
The lowly business card proves its worth over and over again. Get one in the hands of your perfect customer and your whole world can change. If you do nothing else toward your marketing, put your card in someone’s hands today. It will make a difference.