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Use your business cards more effectively: our 5 tips

When used effectively business cards can be a great marketing tool. In this article we will discuss 5 of the most effective ways that you can use your business cards everyday.

1. Be Creative.
Be creative in the design of your business cards. Business cards do not just need to be bits of paper with your contact details on them. Be creative and give your business cards a use and purpose. Make them a powerful marketing tool in the promotion of your business.
Your aim is to make your business card something that the receiver will want to keep and make use of. This is the difference between a well thought out and designed business card and a piece of paper with your contact details on it that will probably be thrown into the trash.
Give the recipient of your business cards a special offer. For example if you are a school/training centre you may offer 'first lesson for free with this card' or if you run a shop maybe you will offer '10% of any purchase over $50'.
Whatever your business, there is a creative way to give your business card real value to the receiver. If you can think and implement these new creative ways before your business does, you will have an instant advantage in that area of business, and should definitely see a rise in business if you have promoted you cards correctly.

2. The 1 minute rule
The 1 minute rule basically says, if you talk to a person for longer than 1 minute they should already have one of your business cards in their hand.
This means in conversations you need to find a way to talk about what you do, and be in the position to be able to offer one of your business cards to the person you are talking to in the first minute of conversation. This can be likened to a conversation you may have with someone at the bus stop or on the elevator. The conversation will end in a very short time and you only have a very short time to get your message across, or in this case get your business card to the recipient.
The 1 minute rule is basically just practice to get your business card out there as much as you can. Many people go through all the trouble of ordering business cards just to let them sit in a corner of their office. To use business cards effectively you must be giving them out at every opportunity that you have.

3. Make them keepers
Once you have given your business card to someone what is going to keep it from being thrown in the trash or forgotten about. Unless you are selling necessities it is probably fair to say that most likely they do not need the product/services you are offering at the present moment. Hopefully though in the future will come a time when they are looking for that product/service and that is when your business card still needs to be in the hands of the person.
Why does someone want your business card? If you cannot answer that easily, maybe it is time to think about a new business card design.
Does your business card have valuable information on it? By valuable I mean a map, discount, calendar, measurements, charts or anything relevant to your industry? If it doesn't, you may want to think about adding a value feature to your business card.

4. Leave them everywhere you go
During a number of trips around a number of businesses in my local area I have noticed piles of business cards on the counters of various businesses. For example a recent trip to my accountant I noticed they had a few piles of business cards on the counter for mortgage lenders, home loans, etc.
This can be likened very much to link swapping that goes on with webmasters looking for business referrals from similar businesses.
Every place that you frequent, you should ask if they mind you leaving a stack of you business card there for their customers. You could try this at your doctors office, your dentist, accountant, lawyer, beauty saloon or hairdresser.
For similar businesses (e.g. accountant , lawyer or money lender) maybe you can arrange to have a stack of their business cards displayed at your business when they offer your business cards at theirs. This can be a very effective way to use you business cards and can have great returns.

5. Ask for an opinion
'Do you mind if I ask you a quick question? I'm looking for opinions on my new business card'. After asking the question and bringing the topic up hand them a business card. Make sure that they keep it, even if they try to hand it back to you tell them that you have thousands printed already.
Thank the person for their time, and if they ever need the product or service that you are offer that your contact information is on the business card. Even if that person may not directly contact your business, there is always a chance that they may pass your card or business name onto another party.
Even in the worse case they may go home and tell their friend how a nut just came and talked at the bus stop and handed them a business card for his lawn mowing service. That friend may say, 'I've been looking for a good lawn mower'. 'Here's the business card I got'. And there is a situation where you may still even get business out of handing your business card to a stranger and even a disinterested stranger.

By following just one of the above five ideas each day, you can turn your business card into a great marketing tool, and see an almost instant increases in business.

24.09.2008. 04:48

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