Why Would Anyone Want Your Business Card?

Do you remember how proud you were the first time you saw your name in print?

Most entrepreneurs feel that same flush of pride when they gaze on their new business cards. That small piece of paper represents years of planning and effort and hard work and dreams. The thrill of seeing "your name in print" on a business card is hard to beat.

Unfortunately, other people couldn't care less. Your business card, the one you're so proud of, is just another advertisement ? another piece of clutter to file. It's no more or less important than any of the many business cards that cross a prospect's desk at any given point in time.

So how do you make sure that your card is one of the few that attracts attention, gets kept, filed, and actually used when your prospect needs your product or service?

It pays to think about the reasons people keep cards to begin with. Often, it's not for the reason you expect. Understanding this critical concept can dramatically affect the design and ultimate effectiveness of your card.

Let's say that you install and maintain swimming pools. You meet Nancy Newcomer and have a great conversation about landscaping around in-ground pools. You're eager to conclude the conversation by giving her your business card because she certainly displays a lot of interest in your service. She's a "hot prospect" for sure!

Not necessarily.

Nancy could just as easily be asking because her neighbor has a pool, or because her mom had a bad experience when they installed their pool, or because she's always liked to swim and loves plants too, or because she collects business cards and doesn't have one with a pool on it, or because she's new in town and you're the only friendly person she met today.

In fact, according to Dr. Lynella Grant, author of "The Business Card Book", there are eight reasons that someone may decide to keep your business card.

1. As a link to a potential customer or client

Let's say you're in network marketing, and John Johnson mentions that his wife used to be in MLM, too. She liked the business model but just wasn't happy with the company. Odds are you'll keep John's card because it's a means of contacting John's wife about your own business opportunity.

2. As a link to a resource or a supplier

If you're in the construction business and meet someone who sells hard-to-find lighting and fixtures, you'll probably keep their business card.

3. As a link to a colleague

Many business people keep business cards of colleagues and competitors. Perhaps you refer business to each other during busy periods, or work together as members of an industry association.

4. For social, non-business reasons

Maybe you couldn't care less that Kelly sells car insurance. She's awfully cute, though...

5. For referring business - it may be passed on to someone else

If your neighbor has had a hard time finding someone who washes windows, and you meet someone who's just started a residential window washing service, you'll probably accept their business card and pass it on to your neighbor.

6. To update information they already have

Maybe they have an old card of yours with your old phone number on it, or without your website address.

7. "Just in case"

Some people have a hard time parting with anything because they might need it someday.

8. Finally, a business card may be kept because of something likable, unusual or useful about the person or their card

I kept the business card of a police officer named "Sarah Justice" just because I think she's got a great name for her line of work (it's called an "aptronym"). Other people keep business cards that contain useful information such as amortization schedules or lists of emergency phone numbers.

Keep these reasons in mind when designing your card. Make it clear what you do and who you do it for. Your card may be passed on to someone else, or the recipient may be trying to remember you later after a long day of meeting people at a convention.

More strategies:

  • Add useful information to the back of your card.

  • Get in the habit of jotting notes on the back of business cards ("Likes football. Send catalog.") Encourage card recipients to do the same.

  • Ask people who receive your cards to pass them on and reward them for referring business to you.

  • Develop and memorize a catchy tagline to say as you hand out your card, especially if your card isn't particularly unusual or useful.

Stuck with boring or generic company-designed cards? Create your own online and choose from thousands of business card templates for a truly unique design.

About The Author

Diana Ratliff of GreatFX Business Cards helps business people get great business results through effective business card marketing. You can get more free articles and order business cards online at the company website, http://www.greatfxbusinesscards.com.

[email protected]

In The News:

What Digital Advertising Gets Wrong  Harvard Business Review
Advertising predictions for 2021  The Financial Express

Direct Mail Rules of Thumb

First and foremost - You should identify your target market.... Read More

Using Ad Agencies and Designers

Advertising and promoting your business is expensive, so it's important... Read More

The Ultimate, ?Must-Have? Home-Based Business for YOU

The Ultimate, "Must-Have" Home-Based Business for YOU a Underemployed, Unemployed,... Read More

The TV Shoot, The Spoiled Brat, And A Painful Lesson

It was two days before our shoot. I was in... Read More

How To Write Eye-Grabbing Headlines That Catapult Your Prospects Into Your Ads

If you're interested in improving the selling results of your... Read More

In Advertising Bigger isn?t Always Better

If you have been following the recent advertising news you... Read More

Effective Promotions Through Local Classified Sites

Today's online marketplace is extremely competitive. People want to market... Read More

How To Tell If An Advertisement Costs Too Much

People say it all the time: "This advertising costs too... Read More

Secrets And Top-Tips Of Mail Order Advertising

Good Advertising creates more production, thus greater consumption, faster turnover... Read More

Raising Funds For Your Nonprofit Using An Annual Direct Mail Program

A good annual direct mail solicitation program can produce unrestrictive... Read More

Why Hire an Advertising/Marketing Consultant?

As a business owner, you have the option of taking... Read More

If You Invest Money on Advertising, then You could Save Thousands through this Simple Little Secret

A few years ago, I analysed the statistics of where... Read More

3 Things Every Yellow Pages Advertiser Needs to Know

Too many business owners and marketers know that Yellow Pages... Read More

6 Ways To Get More Sales From Your Advertisement

To bring great sales success, a great advertising technique is... Read More

Driving Customers to You - Your Car as a Marketing Vehicle

You can turn your vehicle into a rolling advertisement. Costs... Read More

Latino Television Programs Fill a Void in Hispanic Advertising; While Advertisers Look to Attract

Advertisers that are beginning to focus on the young Hispanic... Read More

Online vs. Offline Advertising

Let's face it. Email marketing and publishing have became very... Read More

Advertising Primer for Fast Learners

Advertising, when done well is a very effective way to... Read More

Double the Effectiveness of Your Company Brochure

Let's face it - most brochures go straight into the... Read More

Design Your Own Newspaper Ads

Many people in business lay-out (design) their own ads. That... Read More

Humor in Advertising

Many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to... Read More

10 Ways To Improve Your Print Ads

1) Include a coupon in your large ads. This can... Read More

The Skinny on Billboards

Several years back the billboard people put a big picture... Read More

Advertising Basics for Beginners

So many of us who have decided to do business... Read More

Advertising Agency In Boston: Tips and Tricks

The big news on Wall Street last year was the... Read More