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Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about Creating Yourself - George Bernard Shaw

Business Cards - Your First Step to Success

Business Cards - Your First Step to Success

By Chuck Groot

Business Cards are one of the most overlooked marketing areas that we have today. My wife and I went to a Mastermind Entrepreneurial Summit this last weekend in Anaheim, California and I was amazed at how many people who attended, who didn’t have a business card. A business card is an integral part of any good marketing plan. For its size and cost, it's probably the most powerful part.

Not only that, I was surprised by how many people didn’t go and talk to the speakers afterward.

If you are paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars to see someone, at least go and talk to them and give them your business card.

Why didn’t they do that?

What would you do?

A business card is much more than just a card with your name and phone number on it. It is a mini advertisement; it is your “storefront”, your foot inside the door, your way of possibly making a lasting impression. With imagination, you can make it actively SELL you, and your business.

One of the most important avenues we have today of generating business is by networking. I cannot begin to tell you the amazing things that I have been able to accomplish for my business, by the mere fact of introducing myself to someone at a function and handing him or her my business card. This makes an automatic bond; something shared, and come to think of it, indebtedness.

What do I mean by that?

As soon as you give something to someone they automatically feel like they need to reciprocate and give you something in return. Usually they will give you their business card.

From there you have an immediate invitation to contact them and you should. A quick note saying that you enjoyed meeting them and that you look forward to seeing them again soon. Oh, and by the way, if I can be of any service to you, please give me a call.

What are some of the things that you can do to make your card stand out and be kept?

1. Have a calendar printed on the back and have it laminated.

2. Use it to record the time of their appointment with you, on the back of it.

3. Print a dollar amount on the card, that it would be worth $XXX, if they redeem it, or a percentage off.

4 Make sure that everywhere you go, you hand it out to people. You can put it with the tip at a restaurant, give it to a service person who comes to the home, pass them out when you speak at a service club, hand them out at the next dance you attend, the ideas and uses are endless.

What should you do when you are redesigning your card?

  1. A good business card should convey the overall image of your business -- not easy, considering the card measures only 2 inches by 3.5 inches.

2.    A Clear Positioning Statement - What is the one statement that most clearly defines your value and differentiates you from your competitors?

  1. The texture and card stock are vitally important, watch people’s reactions when you hand them a card that is elegant. Remember, your first impression is a lasting one – make it count.
  2. Your business card is more than just your name and phone number, it is an ad. As a matter of fact, your name and number are actually the least important detail, tell people what you do. Even one more sale will pay for the cards a thousand times over, don’t you think? Just think what the lifetime sales from that customer would amount to?
  3. If you are going to have a photo of yourself on it make sure that it interesting or creative. The more interesting you make the card, the longer the recipient will look at it. The more they look at it, the better the chance that they will remember you. A smiling face is nice – but boring.
  4. Put your awards and accolades on your business card. If you had a choice between working with a person who won awards and one who didn’t, who would you choose? Unless you tell people about your successes, how will they know?
  5. If you want people to work with a professional like yourself, you should work with professionals. Pay the extra bucks and have a good graphic designer design your business card and make it a statement. It will pay off in the long run.

What type of things do you think should be on your card?

Go ahead and spend ten minutes right now and write down what should be on your card. Then review it first thing tomorrow morning when you wake up. Read it at night when you go to bed. The following day find a graphic designer and have him/her design your “Enlightened Business Card”.

One Final Tip

Though this may sound like obvious advice, it might cost you another trip to the printer if you don't heed it: Include the essentials. This means your name, title, company name, address, phone number (or numbers, if you want to include your cell), e-mail and Web site. If someone wants to contact you after receiving your card, you sure as heck want them to be able to.

 

Once you've got business cards, make the most of them:

  1. Always give people more than one card (so they can give it to others).
  2. Include your card in all correspondence.
  3. Carry cards with you at all times, in a card case so they're clean and neat.