Art is Not Branding But Branding is An Art

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I recently saw someone posting on Facebook about their new business cards. There was a link to their newly designed marketing collateral, and I had to agree with their remarks that they were indeed gorgeous.  These were not your run ofthe mill cards from VistaPrint!  But they weren’t what I would use to promote my business.
 
As pretty as they were, I noticed immediately that they were missing many elements of an effective business card.  Immediately you would have noticed as well their tasteful design, which no doubt cost a pretty penny, Graphic design can be beautiful, attention getting and fun, but graphic design alone isn’t branding, or strategic marketing.  An effective business card needs to be strategic.
 
They are tangible representations of a business and can create a crucial first impression when meeting a potential client.  Many people obsess about which colors, design and logos to use on their cards, but forget very important details which can make even more of an impact than the design.
 
Of course you want to include your name, business name, phone number and website address.  But there are other details which are often overlooked and can make the difference between simply handing out cards which will probably be tossed, or increasing  the opportunity to get a client.
 
Business cards can be a relatively inexpensive marketing expense which has great potential for providing a lucrative return on your small investment.  Here are the top four elements for a business card that will turn contacts into clients.
 
  1. Add your photo: Have you ever gone to a conference and returned home with a heap of business cards but couldn’t connect the cards with a face because it didn’t have a photo on it?  Be sure you aren’t forgotten by your new connections either.  Add a smiling, friendly photo of yourself which is clear, crisp, and puts you in your best light.  Hire a photographer and update your headshots.  Don’t use a caricature image in place of a photo or only include your logo.
  2. Include your USP: What is your unique selling position? Be sure to include it on your card.  Spell out what sets you apart from your competition. Some unique propositions from well known companies:
    • Domino’s Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.”
    • FedEx: “When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”
    • M&M’s: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”

    If you don’t have a USP, spend some time working on a simple and succinct description which describes how your service or product will help your ideal client get the results they desire and makes your business stand out in a crowd.

  3. Offer your gift: Direct people to your website, preferably an opt-in page, where they can get your compelling and enticing free gift!  Your website should offer a fantastic and valuable gift which is irresistible to your target market, and your technique for lead capture.  Don’t overlook this powerful marketing strategy when designing your business cards.
  4. Build the Relationship:  Consider providing a live Q & A hotline of your most frequently asked questions.  This allows people to have a personal connection with you by hearing your voice, and you can include a call to action to encourage them in taking the next step toward working with you.

If your business card is missing these marketing elements, it’s time to call your printer and get some new business cards ordered which will have a better chance of converting your contacts into clients. A business card which isn’t working hard for you is just a waste of paper, ink, money, and your time as well.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your invaluable knowledge I really need it!

  2. Cheryl,

    Excellent Post!

    I actually talked about this in my latest post (Paid Traffic vs. Organic Traffic: You Can’t Buy Friends) briefly. It is so true that some people forget the power of offline marketing and how successful that approach still is.

    Thank you for this article and look forward to hearing more from you!

    Sincerely,

    William Ballard
    Writer and Author

  3. Thanks for the comment Asha. Glad you enjoyed the tips.

  4. Thank you! You provided some suggestions I had never thought of that I can see so much value in. I support women to be ON FIRE with their Purpose, Not Burnt Out. So what that means is I’m often sharing my contact information with powerful heart centred women who are driven to make a difference, are often juggling many balls in the air, and feeling perhaps overwhelmed, unclear or nearing support in stepping out in a larger way. All reasons why they may look at my business card a week later and not necessarily connect with our conversation!! Looking forward to diving into my business card again and setting up a Q&A line … another amazing suggestion. Many thanks! Asha.

  5. I really injoyed your suggestions on the business cards … things I would not have thought of and yet really resonate when you described them. I support women to BE ON FIRE with THEIR WHOLEHEARTED PURPOSE, NOT BURNT OUT. What this means is my cards are going to women who may be feeling confused, overwhelmed, a little burnt-out … so your suggestions are amazing and right on track with what would be needed for them to remember our connection. And I love the Q&A line. That feelings really powerful too! Feeling inspired … thank you!

  6. Hi Kathy, Thanks so much for the question, yep, that was a typo.
    Always direct people to your websites, preferably an opt-in page
    which will build your list faster.

  7. Hey Cheryl!

    I just found your site through Baeth Davis, yay! Happy to see another Michigander 🙂

    I enjoyed your article on Business Cards and found it really helpful as I’m redesigning my cards right now. I have a question…On point 3 you said “Offer your gift: Direct people to your business card ..” Did you mean Direct people to your website? (where they can then find your offer)

  8. Next time Peg! Thanks for the comment, I’m glad this is helpful.n 🙂

  9. Thanks for the comment Leanna, I used Google voice to record mine.

  10. Good Afternoon Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for this! These are some excellent tips. I have been doing some rebranding of my business and was in the process of getting new business cards. I was stuck on how I wanted my new business cards to look like. You article came right on time. This article provided the necessary direction and information I needed to create a successful and productive business card. I do have a question. How can I get a hotline? Thank you.

  11. yippee! I just received my new biz cards and they have everything listed except a free offer. Just not enough room. This is great advice. Thank you!

  12. Love this article! I will be using this to redesign my business cards. Does anyone know how to go about recording a live Q&A? Computer? Special phone line?

    Thank you!!

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