In my design process, I give my clients a choice over which collateral items they’d like to include. No two businesses are alike. While I love giving my clients this freedom, there is one collateral I include for ALL of my clients: a business card.
I believe that no matter your industry or niche, a business card is the most important collateral item you have. Here’s why:
Your client experience is so much more than just the product or service you sell. It begins the minute someone hears about your business. Imagine these two situations:
Check out scenario 1: You run into an old acquaintance while out running errands. You’re catching up and you mention that you make custom wedding invitations. Your pal says, “Oh cool! I actually need invitations for my wedding next summer, what’s your business called?” You say, “Oh! It’s kustomweddinginvitations.com but actually it’s spelled with a k, and well, really you should check out my Instagram because I post more stuff there, and oh, here’s my email so you can just email me. Do you have something I can write on? I think I have a pen in my purse…”
Let’s compare that with scenario 2: You run into that same acquaintance who mentions needing invitations. You pull out a business card and say: “I’d love to work with you! Here’s my card. So tell me about how he proposed!”
No contest, right? In scenario 2, you’ve already communicated several things about you and your business: it’s organized, it’s professional, it’s legitimate. And now, your potential client has everything they need to learn more about your business. They’re also able to gauge their connection to the brand based on the visual of your logo.
Attending networking events is great for your business. Plus, it’s really fun to meet others in your field and make new friends. At these events, you can meet several new people all within a few hours and it can be hard to remember who’s who. You increase the chance of others remembering you if you can give them a business card with your branding and information. Plus, you’re sending a message that you are sincerely interested in making a connection and continuing the conversation after the event. One caveat to this: create some scarcity with this. Don’t just pass your business card around without giving any context; it comes off as pushy and unprofessional. Giving someone your business card should be the end of the conversation, not the beginning. It says: “I enjoyed chatting with you and I don’t want it to be the last time I do.”
Other types of collateral (note pads, thank you cards, pdf templates) only work in certain contexts. But a business card works in pretty much any context. Any time you are giving your client something physical, you can include your business card. Whether it’s mailing a physical product the customer ordered or sending a client gift, including your a few copies of your business card is a nice touch and an easy way to spread your brand.
Now, I can’t promise that every person you give your card to will pass it around to all of their family and friends and bring in a ton of new leads. But your business card isn’t really about drumming up new potential clients; it’s about deepening your connection with the ones you already know. Small business is all about building relationships and your business card is an excellent relationship-building tool.
If you don’t already have business cards, what are you waiting for? You can order them through moo.com!