Business Cards can be the most useful contact tool if used to their full potential so why waste any opportunity to present your business?
Business cards are still the most conventional form of gathering contacts and reference to the people or suppliers that cross your path, but with pockets full to brimming how do we stand out in the pile..?
Why do you have Business cards?
What is the point?
Most end up in the bin after being dug out of the pocket or handbag after a networking meeting. If lucky they have been scanned or entered into a database but you’ll only know when you receive the newsletter or email marketing campaign a week later!
When the person receiving it, is standing in front of you and you are exchanging information about what you do, it’s easy and your business card will act as a reminder and a point of contact, hopefully, later….
So how many business cards did I pull out of my handbag after networking for two full on days last week? How many people did I speak to in the course of 6 different meetings in 6 different places?
Can I still put the name to the face, or actually the face to the business?
Looking through the cards, and rereading my notes, I often scribble on them to remind me where, what and who, it struck me that more than half had no clue as to what they actually did.
The name, the company and the contact details were all there but not what the company actually did. No Clues at all! As if Im supposed to remember the company and its business!
The rehearsed reply to ‘ …and what do you do?’, is not your title or ‘I work for…+ company name” but what you actually do….. “I draw pretty pictures to communicate your marketing message to your customers….. “ well, that isn’t what I say but you get the gist… So why not use that description on your business card?
A great tag line can be descriptive, sometimes clever and more importantly memorable. It’s clear, it’s understandable and it will communicate and remind the recipient who you were and what you actually do.
Your business card must sell YOU when you are not present as well as when you hand it over. The quality and design is all important and can give a very clear message to the recipient of how you view your own business and whether you value it enough to invest in the most basic tool your company relies on to communicate.
Ok, it is only a reminder of who that person has met, a point of contact, to jog their memory, but it is essential to create an impression, ideally, a good one, so make it easy!
Don’t however fill your business card with lines and lines of information, its a calling card not a brochure. A ‘reminder’ not a ‘sales pitch’.
Who you are, what you do or offer, what the company is called and how to contact you.
The details should be current and easy to read.
Where you can actually, easily be found, not on an answer phone message but somewhere you can be easily reached. A friend of mine had an answer phone message that went on and on with all her contact details – not many people left a message as they couldn’t be bothered to listen for several minutes to contact details when they were failing to contact her on her primary contact number!
If you want people to contact you make it easy.
Web sites and emails are essential, linked in profiles allow you to be checked out – for credibility this is very useful. Depending on your business and which social media sites are relevant – your Facebook business page url is useful, to encourage communication via twitter, is great, if you are a regular tweeter. Google+ is becoming more useful and you should be on it at least.
So although that is a lot of contact details to consider adding, decide which are the important ones to include. Once they find you online you can divulge all those extra details about you and your business in a much nicer way.
The aim of your business card should be to get the recipient to check you out, whether on line or in person and encourage contact to generate engagement of one kind or another.
Many people use the QR code, its a personal barcode really. For those with smart phones, the configuration of small squares can be scanned which either produces contact details or takes the reader straight to a desired website and further information. Depending on your business, depends on whether it is a useful element to include. However, consider how many people will take the trouble to scan the QR code and make use of it.
Deciding whether to have profile shots on your business card is a very personal choice. Some say its cheesy but depending on your profession it may be essential to encourage clients……(!)
It is actually useful if you are rubbish with names!
Here is a useful checklist of information to consider including but it is in no way definitive and can be completely personalised for your requirements….
Accreditations/qualifications if relevant
….or other forums that are relevant to your business.
Catchy descriptive Tag line
One final tip – have your business cards designed and printed professionally as soon as you can afford it. Free and cheap business cards are conspicuous by size and weight of the card, let alone the similar designs. They shout ‘start-up’, they whisper ‘no confidence’. For the investment a bespoke business card is well worth it!
Read more about business cards and why you should pay for them…