How to Use Business Cards to Grow Your Business
BY: JAVI CALDERON ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2010
Creative Ideas for Getting Your Business Card into the Hands of Your Customer
The most important tip anyone can give you about business cards is to USE THEM. Far too often business cards are left in a person’s wallet, on their desk, or in a drawer. What is the point of having them if your customers, or even more importantly, your prospective customers never get to see them? Find any reason to get your card out there and into people’s hands.
5 Ways to Market Your Business Using Business Cards
Now, I want to be clear, I’m not advising you to stand on the street corner handing out your business card to anyone who walks by. Let’s be honest, most of them will end up in the nearest trashcan – or on the ground. Consider these helpful tips for distributing your business cards:
1) Think of business cards as a small billboard for you and your business. It represents you.
Make sure you have a professional business card: your name, phone number, email, fax number, and, of course, the name of your business, should all be on it and legible. Using a professional business card service is much more visually appealing than printing them from home. After all, people are impressed by looks. The more aesthetically pleasing and professional your card is, the more the customer will hold your business in high regard. On the same note, using a business card case is also a good idea. Wrinkled, bent, smudged and dirty cards are not very impressive. You work hard to make yourself look professional; your business card should give people the same impression.
2) As I said before, get your card out there!
If you are out for lunch, and you see a bulletin board in a restaurant, tack your card up there! This can be especially profitable in areas like New York, Chicago, Illinois, or Washington D.C. that are big cities with close local communities. Someone looking for exactly what you offer might see it and call you, especially if you are nearby. When you pay bills, or answer correspondence, put your card in the envelope. Most correspondence these days is done through email, make sure you have email signature at the bottom of your emails that include your name, phone number, fax number and business name. Emails are a great way to get your name, and the name of your business out there, and the email signature serves the same purpose as a card. You went out of your way to buy business cards, use them!
3) When you meet someone, hand them your card.
If you are at a convention, a doctor’s office, one of your kid’s soccer games – give the people you meet your card. Now don’t be pushy, make sure the time is appropriate, but if you find yourself in a pleasant casual conversation hand the person your card. Especially if they hand you theirs, hand yours over in return. Doctors will tend to use a patient’s service in return, especially if they know them well. You trust them with your well-being, and they will return the favor if they find themselves in need of your service. Your child’s school teacher, your plumber, or businesses in the office building next door – you never know who might be in need of a service that you offer. Local businesses are a great place to leave your card, if they find themselves needing your service, and you are the closest business offering it, they will probably come to you.
4) Have business cards printed for all your staff.
Having cards printed for all your staff serves two purposes: first, your staff will be places, and go places, and meet people that you never will. They are a part of your network, and having that many more people marketing your business, and getting your name out there will certainly drive more customers to your business and lead to more opportunities. Obviously, give them tips on decorum. There can always be bad and inappropriate marketing. But if you trust these people to work for you, you should also be able to trust them to market your business professionally. If your employees have business cards they will feel enticed to hand them out, thus putting the name of your business in many more people’s hands. Giving your staff business cards will also make them feel like they have a greater stake in your business. They will feel more valued and appreciated. Employees who feel valued are happy employees.
5) Give people a reason to hold on to your card.
You’ve probably seen people handing out flyers or coupons on a street corner, and then watched as the passers-by took the flyer and deposited them into the nearest trashcan. Find ways to keep your card in people’s hands. If you’re writing down your personal number, write it on the back of your card. Need to make a note? Instead of scrap paper, write it on the back of your card. The back of your business card is blank, free space! Print a coupon on the back, redeemable if they return the card. A tip calculator, phone numbers for local restaurants, a list of the services you offer – Business services marketing can go a long way! This is a great place to be thoughtful and creative with your business card ideas. The point is to give your business card value so that people keep it around instead of throwing it away.
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