WHAT IS BUSINESS CARD?
A business card is a piece of your brand or company’s marketing plan, such as letterhead and envelopes, to portray your company’s values and its approach to business.
a business card is usually printed with one’s name, occupation, business address, They are shared during formal introductions as a convenience and a memory aid And serves as an alternative to electronic communication and digital informations.
IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS CARD
Despite all the technological advancements, business cards are still irreplaceable. It seems that no amount of automation is going to take their place. Most company officials keep some cards in the pocket and hand out the cards when shaking hands with the potential client. Cards come handy to promote business during a trade fair, seminar, or a business meeting.
Ease Of Giving Contact Details
A reason for business cards still in circulation is that they deliver contact information with ease. A company’s contact information is vital to clients. All of your contact details such as email address and phone number are available on the card. The recipient can put the card easily in a wallet or office drawer. These cards thus come handy in finding out a company’s details quickly.
Some digital devices such as iPhones and Android phones can send information to another phone. But that happens only when the other device is compatible. Not all of your potential customers may have compatible phones. That makes these cards essential for all businesses.
02. Give A Personal Touch
When handing out a business card, clients do not merely get the contact details. A lot of handshakes go with exchanging these cards. Both the parties give thanks and greet each other. Moreover, they spend a good time while talking and connect well. They share their contact information through the cards in a friendly environment. This warmth helps in building a relationship with a client.
However, do not forget that the quality of the cards matters. While personal warmth in sharing the cards is necessary, their quality material and design remind the clients of your professionalism. A prominent speaker & author on startups and economic development, Beth Ramsay advises to use metal as a material to create the cards. He says, “Metal business cards are a good investment, especially if you were to meet Magneto. He would have no other choice but to be attracted to you.”
03. Make A Quick First Impression
Every seriously conducted business must grab the attention of its target customers. People’s attention span is already increasing due to many distractions. Therefore, instant first impression on a target audience becomes all the more essential.
An attractive and well-thought-of business card design catches the eye and builds a favorable impression of a business. A company logo, tastefully displayed company details, use of the right brand colors and typeface surely give the card a professional look. It makes a brand recognizable for customers.
04. Appropriate In Some Cultures
In some cultures, business cards hold a prominent place. For them, the cards are part of business rituals. For example, if you do business in Hong Kong, you must offer your business card in return when someone gives you the card.
You will surely lose the client if you do not share your card. Similarly, in Japan, clients see the quality of your card paper to judge how efficiently you run your business and conduct yourself.
However, when creating your business card ideas, it is essential that your logo design appears on one side prominently. That logo and contact details are the reasons you created the card for.
05. Turn Them Into Direct Marketing Tools
A modern custom business card is a direct marketing tool. While search engine optimization, email marketing, and other marketing methods fetch leads and potential clients, still business cards are more effective. This is because of the in-person meeting that goes with sharing of the cards.
When you happen to meet a potential lead anywhere including at airport lounges and industrial conferences, just give your card to them. Just have some cards always in your pocket to hand out them to prospect directly wherever you find them.
06. Make Your Business Referable
Business cards should also mention what skills you or your business possesses. Giving your company name and contact details are not enough. If your card lets the recipient know about your extra skill, it helps create referrals. The recipient person can refer your business and skills to someone who is looking for those set of skills. This is important that you come across with people from a variety of backgrounds. They can refer your business to others.
But first, make sure that your card design is good enough to compel referrals. So, hire competent graphic design services provider who can create the desired impact from the design. Use the elements of colors, text, images, and logos wisely to convey your brand message effectively. If the card recipient is impressed, your chances of getting more referrals go higher.
07. Building Trust
Because of a highly competitive market environment, customers must have trust in a company and its products. If they do not have faith in the offerings of a company, they will just buy. Business cards can bridge that trust deficit to some extent.
Since there is a lot of warmth and personal greetings exchanged when sharing the cards, it helps in building a fair amount of trust. Moreover, a professional graphic designer knows how to incorporate colors etc. in the card design to evoke trust. A card design that appears as organized speaks well for the business.
08. Turn It Into Your Networking Tool
Most businesses happen virtually in today’s digital world. This has helped in expanding the network of companies tremendously. You can make virtual contact with hundreds of people through emails etc. quickly. But this eliminates the chances of meeting customers personally. There is no alternative to the face-to-face networking that has been the proven conventional method of building relationships.
Business cards play a significant role in creating opportunities. They help increase sales due to the power of personal networking. Remember that with a solid networking plan, your business can build a true brand identity. Business cards help significantly in creating a chain of personal relationships.
PROS AND CONS OF BUSINESS CARDS
Advantages- Let’s consider some of the reasons why a print business card might be a good pick for you
- Deliver Important Information- Having a business card to hand out can make you look more professional. It provides essential details about your business including website, address and phone number.
- Memorable- A business card is an unbeatable tool of human networking that creates a positive impression, have a personality, different shades of colors, personalised feel and are memorable.
- Save Time- Rather than wasting time on writing your contact number, website and address on paper, you can simply hand over a card to your clients in no time.
- Design Options- You get many options in design, and as per your requirement and budget, you can customize your own stylish designs which make it look unique from any other card around.
- Effective- Printed business cards are really effective if you are in an offline industry. Creative industries such as arts and crafts companies, graphic design firms, and painting services can showcase their unique talent, creative ideas and service in the design of a printed business card.
Disadvantages- Before you take out the decision of going for a digital card. Let’s have a look at some of the disadvantages you need to keep in mind.
- Cost- Business cards are cost-efficient only when they ordered in large quantities which is useful for established businesses. On the other hand, small businesses do not need large quantities of cards at one time. Ordering them in small quantities can make them expensive. Moreover, there are situations when your phone number, address or any other information changes. You have to waste lot of money printing new business cards
- Accessibility: There are chances that you may forget to take your business cards with you. In this situation, you end up writing your telephone number and address on a piece of paper, which doesn’t look professional.
- Limited Space: Printed cards offers a limited amount of space which is not enough to showcase products and services.
- Organisation: Digital cards are getting popular nowadays because you do not have to carry them with you every time, you can send it to many numbers of receipts simply with a single click. There is no need of spending money for reprints if any information changes. Moreover, you can change them for free in just a few seconds.
20 ways to Market Your Business Cards the right way.
1. Find Inspiration
One of the best ways to fuel your inspiration is to create a collection of business cards that have caught your eye. Lay them all out and take notes on features you like and those which you think don’t work.
Pay careful attention to cards from your close competitors. What design principles are they using to make the card stand out?
Your goal is not to copy a design but to emulate the elements which make the card memorable.
2. Include the Most Important Information
Most often, you will be handing out your business card to already interested prospects. This means they have previously encountered your company and already know something about your organization.
Don’t clutter your business card with unnecessary details. If the information doesn’t add to the card’s value, take it out of the design.
3. Professional Printing
In the days of cheap printers and card stock, it’s tempting to print off your own business cards. It’s easy to spot a DIY business card, and you risk coming across as cheap. Use a professional service to print your cards, and you will always make a great first impression.
4. Include testimonials
Potential customers are always interested to know what your previous customers have to say about your products or services through testimonials. Testimonials are included on brand websites to increase credibility and reliability so why not include some on your business card. Including one or two of the best testimonials, you have received on the back of your business card will speak volumes about your brand and receivers don’t need to go online to check your credibility.
5. Make your cards multi-functional
The end goal of making your business cards multi-functional is to make the recipients interact with them more times than they would interact with a typical business card. The more the interaction, the more your brand is memorable.
Ideas for a multi-functional business card are designing it as a bookmark, a sticker that they can put in their car or on their desk, a note card where they can write something they need to remember, and so on. Make sure your card can be used in more ways than one, or else you risk them looking at it once and either losing it or throwing it away.
6. Provide links to online marketing
Is your brand present online? Your business card can be the best tool to link your offline marketing efforts to your online initiatives. If you have a website, provide a link. Also important are links to your social media pages. Most people receiving your cards are on social media and social media is arguably the best lead generation tool.
7. Put your face on your card
Can you remember all the faces behind the business cards on your desk? It is difficult to put faces on business cards long after you met them. The same applies to them putting your face on your cards. How about putting a photo of yourself on your cards? Your potential customers will remember you many months after your brief interaction and feel familiar to your brand. This can give you an edge against your competitors who cards are not recognizable.
8. Mention a cause you support
Letting people know about the causes you support can be great for your business. For instance, your brand can have an immediate impact on a potential customer because they are passionate about the very cause you support. It also gives people a glimpse of what drives you and what you and your business stand for. Examples of causes that will resonate with your target audience are charitable causes and environmental conservation causes, especially against climate change.
9. Give recipients a challenge
Everybody likes to test themselves and surprising recipients with something to tease their mind can go a long way. Be creative about it but make it related to your business. It could be a tricky question or a fun fact that will amuse them.
10. Give special offers
Your business card is likely to have a bigger impact when accompanied with a special offer. You could offer a free gift or a coupon for products on your site. Although costly, this will make recipients think highly of you and your brand.
11. Monitor your business card
Track your business card’s conversion rate. You can do this by plastering SKU or QR code on it. And whenever you distribute the cards, promise the recipients some impressive discounts or coupons for heading to your business website. This technique can give you a benchmark to improve things. For example, if the business card doesn’t convert as required, you can use another strategy.
12. Increase your business card’s recall value using beautiful design
Make use of design to curate a business card that beats the competition. You don’t have to pay a web designer to create a beautiful business card design for you. There are free websites out there that offer beautiful templates to create business cards. All you have to do is choose the style, color, and size of font. However, if you don’t want to spend time doing it yourself, you can get a good web design out at a really reasonable price.
13. Keep your business card simple
The primary reason for creating business cards is to get prospects to contact you. That’s why you need to put more emphasis on the information that will enable that. A long time ago, information such as fax number, address and the business name was the main aspects required for a business card.
These days, there is a bit of a shift. Business cards give you the freedom to customize them. So you may include information such as your name, your title, your business name, your email address, your phone number and your website URL on the front of your business card. Prospects can find other information such as fax, landline phone numbers, and address when they check out your URL.
14. Include your social media handles
According to Isentia, Social media is without a doubt, a valuable marketing tool today. So it’s prudent that you include your social media handles such as Twitter and Facebook, so that prospects can follow you there. Prospects can get a lot more information about your business on your social media pages. So together with your business card and your online marketing channels, potential customers can see a much broader look at yourself and your company.
15. Use quality material to make your business card
Although the information you include on your business card is the most important for generating leads and customers, it is also important to think about the physicality of the business card.
Many business people try to cut costs by using low-quality materials to make business cards. That’s only going to ruin your business reputation. A big percentage of mediocre quality business cards end up in the dustbin. Prospects will also judge you by the quality of business cards you give out. They will conclude that your products and services will not be any different if you give out poor quality business cards.
16. Use an Appropriate Material and Finish
It can be tempting to use a flashy finish that looks more like a party invitation and not at all suitable for the image you are trying to convey.
However, if your industry warrants a more creative approach, there are tons of design options you can consider, such as rounded corners, foil accents, embossing, and alternative sizes. Most importantly, always have a reason to include a design feature.
Make sure your business card sets the right tone for your business. Modern printing methods allow you to use just about any material for printing. If you are going for a unique look to appeal to a more modern audience, then consider using wood, transparent plastic, and even metal in your design.
17. Choose the Best Shape and Business Card Size
If you want your business card to fit inside a wallet, then it will need to be a standard size. If you need your design to stand apart from the competition and find a prominent place on the refrigerator, then feel free to play with the business card size by using crazy shapes and dimensions.
18. Maintain Brand Identity
A business card is one element of a much bigger marketing effort, so the design should follow the organization’s style guide to maintain consistency. Keeping your branding on point is incredibly important as it helps differentiate your business in the marketplace.
19. Include a Tagline
The goal of a tagline is to establish your brand’s value in the marketplace and further differentiate you from your competitors. For example, Coca-Cola has had many tag lines over the years, such as “Life Tastes Good,” and “Open Happiness,” while Nike will always be remembered for “Just Do It.”
20. Proofread and Proofread Again
There’s nothing much more disheartening than finding a spelling mistake or grammatical error on your design after you have taken delivery of a batch of 5,000 business cards. Once you have checked your card numerous times for any mistakes, get two or three others to double or even triple check the content.
also read How to Start a PC Repair Business
Although people are opting digital cards because of its cool and great features However experts are not ready to let go of the traditional and classic printed business card that is why you should always keep your business card to yourself until someone asks for it.