Are you Effectively Using Your Business Card to Get More Clients?
Is your business card generating leads and referrals?
Most of us take our business cards for granted and don’t think twice about what we put on them. We hand them out haphazardly without any real understanding of their value or without giving thought to the potential for a bigger return on our investment.
Since I believe that networking should be a part of every good marketing plan, it follows that you need a great business card to share (but please don’t hand them out to everyone – more about that in another post.)
When you create a business card there are a few key pieces that you obviously need to include:
- your name
- your company name
- your contact information (phone/cell/email)
- your website url
If you have a logo, by all means include it, but don’t think that you need to go spend a fortune to have one designed before you get business cards.
When designing a business card, think readability above all else. Tiny fonts are frustrating for people. Less is more! White space is a good thing: don’t overfill your card with words, colors and images.
[Tweet “When designing a business card think readability above all else.”]
Do not include a laundry list of all of the features of your business. Keep your business card clean and simple.
Think good design for your business card
Regarding style and layout, your business card should match your business personality. If you are a financial planner, your business card should reflect that by being professional not whimsical. On the other hand, a graphic designer should have a creative, colorful card that expresses their design personality.
I personally love business cards that have a photo of the person on them. It helps make a more personal connection and helps me to put names and faces together.
Use a standard size business card. Although fun shapes may be eye-catching, or a large card might stand out in the moment, they don’t fit in pockets, business card holders, business card scanners, or binders, and are more likely to get tossed later.
I am a big fan of using a graphic designer to design your business cards and you can always tell the professionally designed card from the home made card.
Include a tagline on your business card
You should also include a tag line that describes who you work with and gives insight into your niche or ideal target market. Rather than just listing your title, tell people what you do. For example, one business banker might add a line about targeting mid-to-large size companies while another banker might focus primarily on SBA loans. One business coach might work specifically with women business owners while another coach works with serial entrepreneurs or corporate executives. Or it could simply express something about your business philosophy or mission.
Taglines are a great way to call out to your ideal clients.
There is a carpet cleaning company based in Plano, TX called Doug’s Mighty Clean. His tag line is” If it isn’t mighty clean, it’s a dirty shame.” It’s catchy but it also says what Doug’s clients can expect from him.
Use Your Business Card to Educate Your Prospects
One of the keys to successful marketing is educating people about how to do business with you. Use your business card to accomplish that; make it very clear what the next step is that they need to take. Use both sides of your business card to do that. On the back of your card, put an action step that they can take to learn more about you.
Some effective suggestions are: a free offer of some kind if you are in a service industry or a discount coupon to entice them to visit your website or business location if you have a retail business or online store.
The text on the back of the card can be as simple as “Sign up for my e-newsletter today and receive me free report on ’10 Must Have Tools Every Entrepreneur Needs to Thrive.’” Then repeat your url so they know where to go to sign up. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website and get new people to sign up for your e-newsletter or email campaigns.
The more often people see your name and see the variety of ways that you can help them solve their problems, the more likely and more quickly they will do business with you.
Two final design concerns to build a better business card
Don’t fill up the entire back of the business card, leave space to write notes on in case you want to add something to the card, share a referral or the receiver of the card needs to make a note about who you are.
Also, it is very popular to have glossy business cards and they can look lovely but they are not easy to write on. With some printers, you can choose to create the back of the card with a matte finish rather than a gloss finish or you can carry a Sharpie/Ball point pen that is sure to write on the glossy finish. Figure this out ahead of time, you don’t want to hand someone a card written with pen that smears on their hand or in their pocket.
Extra success tip: Have more than one business card. Get creative with your offers or if you service different niche markets or industries, have a card that is unique for each one. Business cards are very inexpensive to print and it is okay to have multiple cards.
Make sure the front of the card always stays the same in general look and feel so it is easily recognizable as yours but vary the offer on the back.
This is also a great way to judge the effectiveness of both your business card and your offer. Which one is netting you the most return? What are people most intrigued by? If you have multiple businesses, have multiple cards – don’t try to put everything on your business card. Remember, less is more!
You do not need to tell people everything that you do on your business card, that can be confusing and overwhelming so think simplicity over complexity.
Two great resources for printing business cards: www.vistaprints.com and www.overnightprints.com. Both offer great pricing and nice templates. They make it both affordable and easy to do business with them. (I recommend not getting their “free” business cards because the put their own company name on the back, pay the few extra dollars to get your information printed on the back of the card. You can usually get 250 cards for under $20.00)
Also, check with your local small business printer, they will often have special offers for local businesses and you get the build a relationship with another local business owner.
Ask Yourself These Questions about Your Business Card:
- Is my business card easy to read or does it have too much information. If it has too much information, what can you cut out?
- Are you using both sides of your business card?
- Does it say on your business card what problems you solve for people or who your ideal client is?
- Do you have a tag line and is it on your business card?
- What can you put on the back of your business card to attract more prospects? Brainstorm at least two different offers that you can make.
- Could you create more than one business card for your business? How would they be different?