Advice:The secret of effective business cards (part 1)

By , published on 14th February 2011

Whether you run your own empire and do your marketing on a shoestring, or you work for a large corporate outfit with money to burn on marketing, your business card is a key marketing tool in your business developing toolbox if you use it right.

Traditionally, people in business for themselves have had more to lose from business card blues. It’s no good being brilliant and remaining the best kept secret in the world. You’ve got to tell people. And networking is a terrific way to do this IF YOUR BUSINESS CARD BACKS YOU UP!

They say you will look at someone’s business card three or four times:

  1. When they give it to you.
  2. When you return from the event and look at who you’ve met.
  3. When you decide to file it, scan it or throw it away.
  4. When you want to use it or pass it onto someone.

You must increase the likelihood of people keeping and acting on your card if you’re going to make your networking time count. Remember, your business card is all that’s left of you when you’ve met them, talked with them and said your goodbyes. So what do they think of you when you’re long gone? Will you be remembered? When they need what you do, will they call you first? Here are my very best tips on how to get the most from your business cards.

1. Call to action. What do you want people to do with your card? Call you? Invite them to your website? Request more information? Decide on your ‘most wanted action’ and consider how you can get people to do just that. The best way is to simply tell them what you want them to do!

2. Use a photo. Research shows that business cards with photos are much more likely to be kept and referred to. It also makes you more memorable. These days, most business is personal, and your bc is part of your personal brand. Even some of the bigger financial institutions are beginning to see the value of this. After all, you have your photo on your website, so why not on your cards? One word of warning. Make sure it’s a really professional image, not from a holiday snap.

3. One more on top. If you ask for more than one of their business cards, the likelihood is they will do the same to you. By saying something like, “That sounds interesting. Do you have a card? In fact, give me a few. If I come across anyone who could use you, I’ll pass them on.” If you give out more than one, there’s a good chance they’ll do the same for you. Of course, if you feel someone might be able to refer or connect you, offer them extras with the line, “Would you mind if I gave you a couple? Only a lot of people end up passing them on, and it’s always good to introduce someone to a another great supplier/adviser/professional.”

4. Be different. Different sizes, designs, formats (CD cards) and sizes can be another way to your card being kept and acted on. Depending on your personality, a gimmick might work. If you’re in property, a card in the shape of a house might fit with your personal brand.

Rob’s Quick Tips

In summary then:

Don’t forget that your business card is all about you and all that’s left of you when you’ve met with someone so make it memorable!

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Rob Brown

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown is one of the UK's leading authorities on business networking and referrals. He is an inspirational conference speaker and author of over 40 publications, including Amazon best-seller How To Build Your Reputation and the free ebook: 'The 13 Commandments of Turning Relationships Into Profits'

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