by Mira Reverente
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I just gave out my last one.”
“I haven’t ordered them. Can I write down my number on this Post-it/flier/receipt?”
“I have some in my car. Want me to get it?”
Have you ever heard one or all of the above at a business or social event? I have. And here’s my two-cents’ worth: Lost opportunity!
Business cards may sound obsolete for some, but it’s still one of the best marketing tools out there. They’re a gentle reminder to people of who you are and what you do. And if you made a genuine connection at a face-to-face meeting, chances are you will hear from them, or the other way around, as soon as possible.
In the last two weeks alone, I heard back from three potential clients. They all kept my business cards and remembered the services I offer. We are currently ironing out a few details but it looks like we will probably be working together before the year ends.
Here are more reasons why you should always have your business cards with you:
- It shows professionalism. Post-its, fliers or any type of paper not related to your business won’t cut it. It shows you are not serious about being contacted or hired.
- It shows you are prepared to do business. Remember the saying “great minds think alike?” Go-getters are attracted to fellow go-getters.
- I will say it again–you lose out on business opportunities. If they can’t find your contact info, they won’t hire you. Enough said.
Some tips on how to maximize this tiny piece of paper real estate:
- Choose an easy-to-read font like Arial or Times New Roman in 12 pt at least. Not everyone has perfect eyesight.
- Have more than one way for people to contact you. Some prefer phone calls. Some prefer to email first. Give potential clients and business partners a choice for getting in touch.
- Specify what you do, especially if it is not obvious from your business name or logo. Unless you’re Apple or Google, add a tagline. Example: Juanita’s, “Downtown LA’s First and Finest Mexican Food Truck”
- Make your business cards fun or memorable. Choose an unusual size or choose bright colors if it goes with your logo. Make it an extension of your web site and other marketing materials. Other people make their business card dual purpose like turning it into a book marker or a fridge magnet.
- Make the back part blank for notes. I’m a bit torn on this because mine isn’t blank. The back side of my business card has my book cover on it because I want people to connect my blog to my book. If your business only has one component to it, go ahead and make the back blank so potential clients can write their own little notes on it to help them remember you better.
Sound off and let me know how your business cards have worked to your benefit! Also, what other marketing tools have you used to stand out from the competition?
Mira Reverente is associate editor of CVH and a longtime journalist whose work has appeared in many local publications. Her first book on money came out last fall. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for more money savviness tips or check out her new blog.