Advice:The secret of effective business cards (part 4)

By , published on 2nd March 2011

The last in this four-part series on the secrets of effective business cards. Your business card is all that’s left of you when you say goodbye to someone at a networking. It needs to create some kind of an impact. It has to make people remember you, and want to call or connect you. Does yours?

1. Spread the word. Depending on your role and your image, how might your business grow if you can give out four or five cards a day for the next 12 months? From putting them in envelopes with payments and letters, to leaving them on tables with tips, to addressing the receptionist when you arrive for meetings and appointments to chance meetings on lanes, trains and waiting in line, there are many opportunities to share your message without being too ‘salesy’. Of course, ramming it down people’s throats is a ‘no no’. Good conversationalists find many openings to share business cards. If they can’t use you, they may know someone that does.

2. Use your logo wisely. A strong logo should be visible on critical points of contact with your clients, customers and prospects. Once the preserve of the big corporations, logos are vital if you want to portray a professional image, a distinctive brand and differentiation from your competition. If possible, it should have some relevance to your business. My logo was professionally designed and uses the molecular links image that (hopefully) gives the impression of connecting and linking, which is what TRIP (Turning Relationships Into Profits) is all about. Whether it’s a standalone image or some version of your company initials, a striking or appropriate logo will strengthen the impact of your business card.

Your business card should be an integral part of your marketing. Its chief purpose is to get someone to contact you when they need something you can do. You want to be front of mind in times of need, and you don’t want to be forgotten and ‘trashed’ the moment you’re out of sight.

The problem is that most business cards end up in the bin or at the bottom of a drawer. Some people scan them then throw them, which is sometimes as bad because you just sit on someone’s database amidst hundreds of other contacts. Is that what you want?

The fate of your card depends on two things:

  1. The connection you make with the person before and during the ‘passing over of the card’.
  2. The degree to which your card is different, useful, striking and ‘keepable’.

The impression you make needs to be impactful, lasting and memorable. Invest in good cards which are well designed, complement your verbal messages, sit nicely with your marketing literature and give prospects a clear prompt that you’re the GTG – the ‘go to guy’ or ‘go to girl’ for what you do. So now you know the rules, why not go and play some cards!

Rob’s quick tips

For now, let’s try and summarise all four articles in this mini-series on the secrets of turning business cards into sales…

  1. Call to action
  2. Use a photo
  3. One more on top
  4. Be different
  5. Share useful information
  6. Keep it professional
  7. Utilise limited space
  8. Avoid a blank back
  9. Be consistent with your design
  10. Always carry your cards
  11. Pass the history test
  12. Make it easy to read
  13. Use other people’s business cards
  14. Use your colours wisely
  15. Use a ‘Non’ business card
  16. Spread the word
  17. Use your logo wisely

And finally remember that the fate of your card depends on the following two things:

1. The connection you make with the person before and during the ‘passing over of the card’.
2. The degree to which your card is different, useful, striking and ‘keepable’.

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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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