What is the most important marketing item you have? Here’s a hint: It’s small, it’s inexpensive, and you haven’t given it much thought.
It’s your business card.
Most of us think of business cards as just a reference document, a means of conveying basic information people need to contact us. We rarely design our business card with the idea that it will be a marketing tool.
Looking at your business card as a marketing piece opens a new way of thinking about that small piece of cardboard.
Why not have different business cards for different occasions? Perhaps you want one for networking events or trade shows and a slightly different one for clients or customers.
Here’s a business card refresher:
• What to include: Once upon a time, people put only their name, company name, address and one phone number on a business card. Then came fax numbers, e-mail addresses, cellphone numbers, Web sites.
All that information isn’t necessary; too much information forces use of tiny type. Tiny typeface is going to be hard to read. Moreover, all that data mean you’ll likely omit information that’s more important: What you actually do. Add one brief line describing your business, especially if you have a specialty. If you have more than one specialty, have more than one card.
To make room for that marketing line, you may have to get rid of other data, especially for cards you use at networking events. Do you still need your fax number? Can you eliminate your full street address?
• Color: Adding color makes a big impact, and it’s not that expensive. Color is especially good for logos. Be careful to make sure your information remains clearly readable. Light-colored ink on dark paper and pale ink on any paper are hard to read. Choose colors that are appropriate to your line of business.
• Logo: Logos make business cards stand out. If you don’t have a logo, consider designing one or using typeface in such a way as to make “logotype.” Adding a graphic element such as a bold line, triangle or circle adds visual interest and helps people remember your business.
• Reverse: I once had beautiful cards with just my logo against a black background on the reverse. People were frustrated when they couldn’t write on the card. They wanted to jot down something they wanted to remember about me.
That doesn’t mean the backside of your card has to remain blank. Use it to print more information about your business or to offer a discount or to put appointment date. Remember, once someone has put your card in a file or a drawer, they’ll never see the reverse side again.
• Printing your cards: Local copy shops, such as Kinko’s, are fast and relatively inexpensive. They also have designers who can help you lay out a card. Use an online printer, which is less expensive than copy shops. With an online printer, you upload your design or choose from its selection. The quality of online printers can vary, and you’ll be limited in your choices of card stock, colors and such.
Remember, your business card is a representation of you and your company. A little planning can help you make the most of that small piece of marketing real estate.
This entry was posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2012 at 12:00 pm and is filed under Business, Managing Your Business, Starting Your Business, Success. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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