Business cards are just like a handshake. They are a form of greeting that makes an actual physical connection, and can be the most important part of establishing a positive “first impression” with a client. While there are many new ways to connect digitally, the printed business card still stands as the most useful and powerful tool of your initial marketing contact.
Yes, there are cool, new digital ways to pass information. You can “bump” your iPhones to share contact data. The site IdentyMe seeks to unite all your online profiles and serve as your digital business card. Even social media sites liked LinkedIn serve some of the same purposes as the standard business card. All useful – and yet they don’t ever replace the experience of giving your printed card in a face-to-face meeting. It is, in essence, a gift (read about how Japanese business card etiquette and the respect and ceremony with which they view this formality) – so be sure you gift does three important things:
- BE INFORMATIVE – After all, that is the purpose of this little piece of paper – to place in someone’s hand information about how you want them to connect with you. Today that info includes not only your phone and address, but potentially your email, website, blog address, Facebook or LinkedIn account, YouTube channel…. many more paths of connection than ever existed before. And all the more reason to have that information handy and easily transferable!
- BE BRANDED – your card needs to clearly and powerfully represent your brand. As a physical card, it probably gets more actual viewing time than any of your other marketing efforts, so it needs to clearly depict you, your brand, your mission.
- BE CREATIVE – you can relay across your information in plain, clear text. But unless “plain” is the image you want to implant in someone’s mind, use this opportunity to get noticed and remembered. Try a folded card, a die cut shape, thermography, foil stamps, non-standard sizes. What about a card that is plastic? or wood? or corrugated? Think about what represents you, and be open to more creative ways to get that across in a memorable way. After all, your potential client or customer will be holding the piece in their hand. That moment is something a website cannot duplicate. Make the most of it. It will represent you in their mind.
Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.