Are Business Cards Relevant?
Making them work for your business in a digital age
“But do I really need a business card?”
A few weeks ago, I was talking with a client about which marketing collateral would best serve her business. Graphics for social media? Of course! A lead magnet for her mailing list? Well, duh! But a business card? That one, she wasn’t so sure about.
In a digital age, you can pull out your phone, do a quick Google search and just like that, have all the contact information you might need at your fingertips. Between websites, email addresses and social media, it seems like it’s all already out there. So why get a business card in the first place?
Less than a week later, I got a call from someone I had given my business card to on a plane. In fact, he didn’t even remember how we had met — but he knew I had a graphic design business and I was the first person to come to mind simply because he had my card! True story.
Even though we carry mini computers in our pockets, business cards are still a useful tool. While we open and close browser tabs on our phones and follow (or unfollow) different social media accounts every day, a tangible card serves as a reminder for the services and products we provide. Especially because we live in a digital age (and are staring down at our phones more than we would like to admit), creating a personal connection is that much more memorable. You can leverage your business cards as a direct marketing tool and establish a lasting impression. Being able to easily pass out your information to a prospective client or customer shows that you are prepared and professional, giving them a great first impression of your brand. Would you rather a conversation end with handing over your card and a handshake, or scrambling to find a pen and something to write on?
Still not convinced? Here are four ways you can reimagine your business card and make it work for you.
Give your clients incentive to pass on your information
I’m convinced photographer Kara Chappell is a marketing genius. When we worked together to create marketing collateral for her new referral program, she wanted business cards that gave her clients and anyone they referred a discount on their next session. Genius, right? Simply by passing out her card, Kara is generating leads for her own business. Take a page from her book and think about how you can provide your clients with incentive to send you referrals. Whether it’s a discount on future projects, or cash back for every referral booked, you create a win-win scenario.
Use them to showcase your work
Since most printing companies offer the option to include multiple designs on one side of your business card, take advantage and use your card to showcase your work. If you’re a photographer, you can include a selection of your favorite photos. If you’re an artist, show your pick a few of your best-selling pieces. Any business with a visual aspect to their products or services can incorporate this strategy.
Include a special discount or promotion
If you offer consultations or strategy sessions for your clients, why not include a promotional code for a free 30-minute call on your business card? Instead of giving them a piece of paper that will sit in the bottom of their wallet or purse, give the people you meet face-to-face a reason to get in touch with you again.
Create an “in-person lead magnet”
Rather than including a link to your website (which anyone could find via Google), why not link to an opt-in page? Tell anyone you give your card to about the awesome freebie they get if they enter their email address at the link on your card. Now you’re not just making connections, but growing your mailing list and paving the way for future sales.