If small business owners can refer customers to their websites, email, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, why would anyone need a technological dinosaur like the business card?
Here is why: We simply cannot transfer all our digital information via telekinesis.
Without a business card, you are left with the following options to transfer all the digital marketing platforms you worked so hard to create.
- Scribbling down your website or e-mail seems unprofessional, and worst yet unprepared. Not to mention they have to read your handwriting. And I don’t know about you, but with the quality of my handwriting I might as well write my contact information in Egyptian hieroglyphics.
- Rely on someone you want to do business with to do the work for you! That is, if they have a charged smart phone with them.
- Ask for their data, so you can forward them the information. This can make a customer feel pressured to start doing business with you because by giving you their contact information they have opened the business flood gates, so to speak.
- Or you can simply give them a business card with all your data on there. You can even start with free business cards, so what’s your excuse?
If you think the first three methods work just fine, you really are limiting your business in an unnecessary way (especially since you can get free business cards). A survey from Moo, an online printer, found business cards to be a “very impactful” method of networking, according to one third of SBO’s. People in the same survey found that their business cards helped them get more work, establish a brand and lay a critical foundation for networking. Let us explore how business cards help you in all the previously mentioned qualities.
★ How Business Cards Help People Get more Work
Passing out a business card used to be proper business etiquette. You were giving the people you were talking to face-to-face the means to communicate further with you if they wanted to without pressuring them.
While the online world serves for that function almost better than business cards, the thing is all the people who are used to receiving business cards are not gone yet. For a lot of not-so-old people, business cards are just expected from people. Not tapping into that market is limiting the people you reach. Also, it can make people think you do not know how to conduct yourself in a business setting, which reflects poorly on you.
Business cards are a cheap way to post ads at other local business. You can’t put a digital ad up in local stores. Putting out business cards will give people a chance to learn more about your service, and for very cheap.
★ How Business cards Help Create a Personal Brand
Just like how business cards used to be the common method of exchanging contact information, now the online world is. yet, there are only so many email addresses, websites and businesses that the average person can organize effectively.
Business cards help you to stand out from your competition, who may have gone strictly digital. Giving customers a tangible method of referring to your business will stick out from their very full online contacts list.
You can also make the design of your business card part of your branding efforts. There are lots of people using innovative technology and designs to create unique business cards that really stand out. One hotel worker made business cards that looked like hotel keys that people loved! There are lots of creative ways you can make your business cards be unique, and even market them a talking piece among those who you pass them out to.
★ How Business Cards Help with Networking
Pass your business cards out to everyone! People are less likely to get offended by a business card than an email. At the worst, they will throw it away or put in a drawer and forget about it.
The same cannot be said for marketing emails which people absolutely hate according to The Digital Advertising Attitudes Report 2012. According to this study, 20% of users in the United States will stop using a service or product if they receive what they perceive to be too many emails from them.
In addition, business cards give people a resource to refer others to you without much effort. Passing on an email or website to a friend looking for your services can be considerably more difficult than just passing over a business card, especially if the person has not entered your information into their computer and/or phone. It all depends on the customers, as you want to accommodate the needs of all customers for referral purposes.
When people say the business card is dead on articles and blogs, I have a hard time believing they have any real world experience. As mentioned in the first part of the article, even if business cards are not your primary method of marketing, they still serve as a practical means to exchange information.
You can try this method of marketing by getting some free business cards for yourself. You will soon see how positively people respond to receiving your information. In the end you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain from trying this method of networking.
Tell us about your experience with business cards or lack thereof. We want to know what you, the readers, think about business cards.