Some people underestimate the business card as a marketing tool. While most small businesses have them, few maximize their potential in networking and promotion. Business cards do more than provide contact information. They establish credibility and professionalism, and help build referrals. For the cost and ease of distribution, business cards offer a lot of marketing bang for the buck.
Design for Ease of Use
Business cards come in many sizes, shapes and colors. You can printed them on both sides, horizontally or vertically. But before you get carried away with an usual sized, multi-sided card, don’t forget its purpose: to make it easy for people to contact you. Your information needs to be legible and easily located on the card. Tag lines, slogans, photos and other bells and whistles are fine, as long as your prospect can find your contact information.
Provide Value on the Card
Use the backside of the card to provide helpful hints or tips, a coupon or other content that a prospect would want to hold on to.
Keep Cards with You
Keep cards in your pockets, purse or wallet, and replenish them each day so you never run out. Keep a box of business cards in your office and in your car, so you can get more right away. Order new cards long before your inventory becomes depleted.
Hand Cards Out to Everyone
Many small business owners wait for networking events or specific requests for a business card before giving them out. Instead, always have a card handy, and be ready to share it everyone with whom you come into contact. Even if you don’t think the person is a potential customer, give him a card. He may know someone who could be a customer.
Hand Out Two Cards
Provide two cards to your prospect; one for her to keep, and the other that she can give away to someone else who may be interested in your business.
Set a Goal for Distribution
Force yourself into situations in which you’re meeting people and passing out business cards. Make a goal to give a certain number of cards to potential customers each day.
Leave Cards in Public Places
Many stores and offices have bulletin boards or other places to leave business cards. Doctors’ offices, dry cleaners, beauty salons, video stores, grocery stores, convenience stores and anywhere there is a waiting room are good choices.
Put a Card in Correspondance
Even if your contact information is on your stationery or invoice, include business cards when corresponding. Include them in the bills your business pays.
Give Cards to Take Notes
Business cards are convenient for making notes or other information to take back to work or pass along to someone. When a person asks if you have a piece of paper, hand him a card.
Supply Cards to Staff
Maximize your networking influence by distributing business cards to everyone who works for you. That can expand your business reach to people you might not meet, and also make your staff feel valued.