11/1/2011 1:58 PM
This article is the first of a series on building your marketing tool kit. We'll present the necessary tools along with some 'less necessary” but still important ones. To begin with let's start with the obvious, the business card.
To many this marketing tool goes without stating, but many don't realize the importance of having a GOOD business card. In “face to face” marketing situations, your business card is your second impression (your actual face or personality being the first). In most cases, your business card is integral in your lasting impression since it's the “take-away.” So, is your business card all that it should be?
Business cards are easy and inexpensive to create using online services. But in most cases, easy and inexpensive are not the impressions you want to give. More often than not, easy, inexpensive, online business cards using templates give an impression that you don't care, or you are not professional, or you are not very successful. Again, not the impressions you want to give. So how do you keep the price reasonable and give the right impression?
The design is the most important thing to consider when preparing your business card. Hopefully you have a professional logo which should definitely be prominent on your card. You should strongly consider using a designer to do the business card layout. A professional designer will consider things like balance, color, space (and white space), scale, etc. These are the nuances that non-designers will overlook and the very things that will make the difference between a professional and non-professional looking card.
You've probably heard that content is king. Well first impression is king in business cards, but content is a close second. You need to balance between the necessary information and the design. Don't forget that you can utilize the back or even do a fold-over card if you need more space. It's hard to come up with a list of necessary information for business cards because different professions may benefit from different things. For some your position may be necessary. For others your cell phone may be necessary. Some may need a pager number while others may benefit from a Twitter ID. My best recommendation is to look at cards from others in your profession and identify the things you believe will be beneficial to your prospects (yes, I said beneficial to your prospects, not to you).
As far as printing goes, many online printers will do a fine job. Just follow these few tips in choosing your printer and ordering your cards.
- Get samples of the printers work including variations in paper weight, texture and color.
- Never go with the “free” cards that include the logo or web address of the printer. Why would you advertise their company to save a few bucks?
- Go with a paper weight of at least 100# card stock.
- Don't use the printer's templates to design your cards. No matter how unique you think they look, they still look like templates.
- If full color is available, use it (but use it well, remember to use a designer).
- Check to see if die-cutting with standard dies are available, this can really make it stand out if used appropriately.
- Finally, make sure you know the shipping fees when comparing prices. Some printers will make up for their low printing prices with high shipping or handling charges
Finally, don't be afraid to change your card. If you don't get a positive reaction when you hand someone your card it's probably time to reconsider whether it's working for you. You want to at least hear “nice card” when you hand it to someone. You may want to add your photo to the card or a useful or unique graphic (like a calendar, appointment section, a quote, a comic – be tasteful, or some image that makes the card useful in some other way than just informational).
Here at Budget Business Marketing we offer design services for any marketing tools. We also represent several large printers with very competitive pricing. Feel free to contact us if you would like to make more out of your marketing tool kit.
Chris Meyer, Editor
Copyright ©2011 CD Meyer, Inc.