Sunday, April 29, 2007

5 Tips on Utilizing your Business Cards in your Urban Botanic Business

Your business card screams to the world upon first glance whether you are just "playing business" or if you are in it to win it. A well-crafted business card speaks volumes; it is a great, yet, inexpensive marketing tool. Conversely, you can loose a customer without ever uttering a word if your business card is not up to par. If your business cards are of poor card stock (flimsy), contain any grammatical or spelling errors, have outdated information, and fails to reflect the brand of your business stop reading this article right now! These issues need to be addressed immediately, as this article deals with those who are looking for ways to increase the impact of their business cards, I am assuming that the basics are already taken care of. So, for those astute business owners looking put your business card to work, here are 5 tips that will surely help:

1. Give Out Two. When you meet someone give them 2, not just one card, don't be stingy! What this does is allow that person to pass one on to any others that may be interested in your product or service. Now, don't get carried away and give them all the cards in your wallet, that is unprofessional. Make a habit of giving out two cards, not only is it smart business, but it is efficient. Encourage your networks to work for you!

2. Put Something On the Back. Every business card has two sides, there is no reason not utilize the back of your business card. If you are not utilizing both sides of your card you are wasting valuable advertising space. You can use this additional room to add customer testimonials, a brief product list, tips or anything that will provide a value add to the person reading it. Calendars, appointment reminders, kitchen measurements and sports schedules are other practical ways for using the back of your business card. Yes, it may cost a little bit more, but it is well worth the expense.

3. Go For Quality. Your business cards may be of professional quality. But if you are in a saturated industry such as real estate then you should seek to add a little something extra to your cards to make you stand out among the competition. This could be as simple as switching from a plain to a glossy business card stock. Or as dramatic as getting a complete business identity overhaul by a professional and utilizing professional printing services with all the bells and whistles. You may want to even look at the business cards you have from others, and jot down notes on what works and what doesn't work and begin to adjust your own cards based on your analysis.

4. Make It A Magnet. Let's face it, even well-intentioned people loose business cards. They wind up in a shoebox, a Rolodex that never gets used just or scattered all over the place in cars, chair cushions, utility drawers, toy boxes, you get the drift here. Consider ordering business card magnets. If they can be stuck to something, say a refrigerator, the higher the likelihood your card will be retained. What is even better, is that your card will be highly visible! The great thing is that business card magnets are fairly inexpensive, but as with anything, go for quality even if you have to pay a tad bit more.

5. Be Different. Your business card is your chance to shine, to show your uniqueness, your personality so you can let your customers know what makes you better than the rest! Do something extra, something memorable. Since horizontal business cards are the norm, consider going vertical. As a mortgage consultant, specializing in working with women, I have some of my business cards attached to a chocolate treat of Hershey's Kisses wrapped in tulle. It is a hit with virtually everyone. While this works for me, it may not work for a man who owns a construction company. So be creative, but keep in mind your customer, your industry and your brand. The sky is the limit.

Now that you have been equipped with 5 powerful tips to make your business card work for you, get to it! What changes can you make to increase the impact of your business card? Enlist trusted family members, friends and colleagues and ask them their opinion of your cards. Ask your customers their opinion too. I challenge you to jot down at least 5 ways you can update your business card to increase impact right now. Enjoy the process!

Shawna's Note - using the perfume vials clipped to your card is a GREAT way to become memorable :)

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