A few months ago, I attended an event in NYC bringing together professionals from across the region to discuss social media and the future of marketing. There were excellent presenters and the room was packed with interesting people.
After the presentation, I went up to introduce myself to one of the panelists, the Social Media Communications Manager of a very prominent corporation to see if he blogged. He did and I offered my business card, asking for his as I was unsure of the spelling of his last name. He did not have a card. I was a bit surprised but he was a prominent person in a huge multinational corporation in a very visible position, I guess he really didn’t need to worry – anyone could always Google him.
A few weeks later, I attended another conference, this time in Calgary (long story!) with a roster of international business speakers – each more interesting than the last. It was a multi-day event and between speakers, I met and networked with many interesting business people from around the world. I was amazed at the number of people that did NOT carry business cards! Now, these were not the presenters (they had lots to hand out – no business cards needed) but other conference attendees. These were people that were missing an opportunity to connect and share their info with literally hundreds of other people with similar interests. It was a networking and marketing opportunity, lost.
How many marketing opportunities do YOU miss because you do not have business cards with you?
I usually write about online marketing and social media but these events made me realize that while we may be living in a digital age, there are still many instances where a business card is a valuable marketing tool!
Marketing isn’t just about your website or social media presence. It is everything you (and your employees, if you have them) do. And every time you meet someone or get a chance to share your information, you are ‘marketing’. Be prepared! This means being able to explain how you help people (in 30 seconds or less) and being able to give someone all the relevant info they need to find you again if they, or someone they know, needs that help. In a live networking situation, business cards are the quickest, easiest, least expensive way to do this!
Business cards can often cost as little as a few cents each yet can be a tangible reminder of you and your services for years! Here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
- Include your Contact info – make sure someone can find you again. A card that just says “XYZ Corporation” is not very helpful.
- Include your social media links (see sample below). More and more people are networking online, let them know where to find you!
- Make sure it is legible. A beautiful card can be great and I am a big fan of unique design (a topic for another day) but in the end, make sure someone can see and read the information given. This means no script fonts for web addresses (I HAVE seen this and it is not a good idea!), no text smaller than 8pt (some would argue for nothing smaller than 10 or 12) and good font to background color contrast (this is something that can be improved on my own cards).
- Invest in good quality, well designed cards that speak well of you and YOUR business. Free cards, as tempting as they may be, usually have the printing company’s name on the reverse side of the card, so you are essentially advertising for someone else each time you distribute them.
- Carry them with you at all times! They are really of NO use if they are just sitting on your desk.
Even if you are a high level person in a prominent organization, people will appreciate having a clean, clear reminder of who you are and how you can help them. Keep these things in mind and you will be able to seize all marketing opportunities!
LMDD Business Card – Front
LMDD Business Card – Back
(arrow for clarification)
Business Card Design Tips
from Phillis Stacy-Brooks of www.mainstreetgraphics.com
- Stay consistent with company branding
- Always use the back of the business card
- Never overload the card with too much information, be brief and to the point
- Never use too many fonts or fonts that are hard to read or are too small
- Use a standard size card, much easier for storing.
And her last bit of advice – When in doubt, hire a professional to design your cards!
Here are some fun samples of her work…