I have had several people tell me that they don’t need business cards because everyone keeps contact information in their phones! Well, that may be a trend but does not seem to be pervasive yet. And besides, a business card is often the source for the information being stored in the phone.
A well-thought-out business card goes beyond providing contact information. Business cards help form first and lasting impressions. When you are meeting a potential customer or client for the first time making a great first impression is important. That first impression telegraphs information about you and your company. Without a positive first impression you may not have an opportunity to make a sale in the future.
Here are five ways to make sure your business cards are still alive.
First, check the content. A well-designed business card includes the right content. Start with the basics. Most important is the company information. Be sure to incorporate company branding (logo, fonts, colors), your name and title and contact information. We recommend at least two contact methods, phone and email for example. Some people are more comfortable on the phone and others are more comfortable with email or texting. You don’t want to give a potential customer an excuse to not reach out to you.
The second thing to check is that your business card makes clear what you are selling. Many times we see a business card and have no idea what the person is selling. Be sure that your card makes clear what you offer. If it is not obvious, list a few items to make it clear.
Third, make sure your card tells your prospective customer what you are really selling. Are you selling mountain bikes or the experience? Are you selling a meal or a dining experience? A house, or a home? Communicating that experience may be as simple as adding an evocative image to your card. If you are offering a “mountain top” experience use an image to conjure up that emotion. That is what produces a sale.
Fourth, don’t forget the “required information” and accreditations. For example, contractors need to include their ROC numbers, real estate related business cards have their own specific requirements. How about additional licenses or credentials? You earned them, they indicate your professionalism and competence. They are exactly what your prospect is looking for.
And fifth, add a WOW! factor to your cards. Now that you have the basics, it is time to address the appearance and feel of your business cards. Are your cards attractive and colorful? Do they have a quality feel? You have your logo and perhaps a great “mountain top” image, now is the time to get the attention your cards deserve. Options available today let your card stand out with quality stocks, gloss coatings and rounded corners. If you want to really stand out, try some of the premium options: extra thick 32 point cards, suede finishes, metallic inks, painted edges, highlighted elements using a spot gloss coating. These options make your cards stand out and generate a WOW!
Life support bonus: be sure to give your cards life support! Be careful of the quality. Have them professionally printed, confirm the design elements are aligned and centered. If your card has a bleed, make sure it is designed properly (if you don’t know what a bleed is, ask us).
And, most importantly, “Your business cards don’t do any good in the box.” Business cards are an investment, not an expense. Use care as you would with any investment. Distribute them freely and they will more than pay for themselves.
Need some ideas to restore life to your business cards? Give us a call or stop by and we can help you to generate some life-giving ideas.
By Ed Goodwin
Ed Goodwin spent more than 30 years working as an engineer and analyst before finding his true calling as a small business owner. He and his wife Betty love using their skills and expertise to help others succeed in their calling.