Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Are You Using Your Business Card For?

How to Turn Your Business Card Into Powerful Marketing
By Allison Babb

Take a quick a look a couple of the business cards scattered or piled somewhere in your office.   Have you ever wondered what those little cards are supposed to do?  Few business owners give much thought to what business cards are (and what they’re not.)

Your business card is not just a “contact card” to showcase your name, your business name, your lovely title, and your catchy one-liner.  In reality, your prospects care very little about any of those things.  Well, ok, maybe they do want to know your name but all the other stuff is largely irrelevant, or at best, secondary to what really matters most.

A business card is a marketing tool and I would invite you to give your business card a little makeover so that it accomplishes the job that great marketing ultimately accomplishes – attracting clients.  If it’s an effective marketing tool, then it should contain the components of effective marketing.  So here are 6 things you can do immediately to turn your business card into a powerful marketing tool:

1.  Use all the real-estate you’ve got

First, get ready to use all the real estate you’ve got.  Most business cards are  full of contact information on the front side, and completely blank on the back side and.  Yes, I know you’re supposed to leave the blank side so people can write stuff about you.  But, know what, few people do that, so why not use all the space you’ve got.  Hey, you paid for it, right?  Some of the suggestions included in this article will require you to use both sides of your  business card.

2.  Highlight the #1 problem you solve

It may seem strange to think about putting the problem you solve on your business card, but like any other type of effective marketing, the top 3-5 problems you solve for people is what pulls people toward you.  I’ll confess I break all the rules for business cards so those little biz card scanners tend to get all confused if you try to scan my card in.

On my current business card, highlighted boldly is a title – not my own title, and not  my business name.  Rather, it’s the title of the #1 problem I solve for people.  That’s the most prominent part of my business card.  If the person holding it has that problem, they’re inspired to read more.  My own name and business name is secondary to that “problem title.”

So if you do tax preparation services, your #1 problem may be “How to Save Thousands on Your Next Tax Return.”  Yes, I know, it’s odd to see that instead of your business name prominently displayed on your business card, but like I said, I break all the rules.   When it comes to marketing, I don’t conform to “pretty looking.”  I tend to go with what actually works instead.

3.  Name Your Target Market

Many business owners remain stuck in the mindset of “everyone can use my services.”  Truth be told, that thinking dilutes your marketing power.  In my experience, the  more you niche, the faster you see revenue.  So just below the boldly highlighted #1 problem I solve is the answer to “Who are the people that I help?”  I specifically say who they are and include a few examples.

One of my former clients is a very talented photographer for newborns.  So on her business card, she can say something like “Exclusively for New and Expectant Moms.”  There would be no doubt as to who her business is set up to serve, and when you’re that clear on your target market, they begin to show up in larger numbers.

4.  Share the top 3-5 problems or burning desires

This where all that empty space on the back of your card can be used (or even the front for that matter).  On my business card, I say “If you are frustrated with…” and I proceed to include 3-5 bullets in the language of my target market (not my view of the world). Using their language makes it far more powerful than some polished version of the problem.

And by the way, let me underscore that the 3-5 bullets are PROBLEMS and not catchy sentences/phrases.  It’s the top 3-5 things my prospects repeatedly tell me that they’re grappling with, and I say it in their words.  You know you have some client-magnetic sentences when those words ARE what your prospects say they want help with when they show up to do business with you.  Immediately following that list, I say something like “Please know you can instantly access…” and I include my “Call to Action.”

5.  Include a “Call To Action”

If you’re unfamiliar with the marketing term “call to action,” it simply means inviting the person to take action after they read your card and this is a must-have ingredient in any type of successful marketing.  The best type of “call to action” on a business card is inviting them to get your “free offer.”

That free offer has to be quite enticing, and in alignment with the key problem you solve for people.  For example, on my business card, I invite the reader to get  my free training (audio and videos) on how to attract a steady stream of clients.  The key here is to make sure that your free offer clearly addresses the #1 problem or burning desire you help with;  that is what piques interest and authentically inspires desire for your free offer.

By the way, people tend to be less responsive to “free consultations” because they think you’re going to try and pressure them to buy something.  In my experience, giving them a free educational download or something they can get on their own tends to be more effective.  However, if free consultations have been working fabulously for you then by all means, go ahead and use it.  But I’d make it say something like “Free Consultation on How to……” so the reader knows it’s focused on solving their key problem.

6.  An advanced maneuver – online tracking

One of the most powerful things you can do in your marketing is to track your results.  How would we ever know what’s working and what’s not if we don’t track.  Now I’ll admit this particular way of tracking may be an advanced maneuver for some and isn’t absolutely necessary.  But for those of you who are savvy with internet marketing, this would be pretty easy.

Remember the free offer?  Well, how about sending the reader to a special trackable URL to get that free offer?  That would be a website link that is used only on your business card.  That way, you know exactly how many people were pulled in by the offer on your business card.

So there you have it folks – a mini-makeover for your business card to turn it into a powerful marketing tool.  And it works!  Here’s an example for ya.  Now bear in mind I made up all the data on the example card here.  I’m not a tax preparer so I’m not sure what would indeed be the top 3-5 problems you solve if you’re in that industry, but I wanted you see what the front (with the red) and the back of a client-magnetic business card may look like.

Copyright © 2011 Allison Babb International LLC
Allison Babb Phillips is an internationally recognized author, speaker and Business Success Coach.  Allison publishes the “Small Business Success” weekly Ezine on how to create a steady stream of clients for your small business at: www.GreatSmallBusinessAdvice.com

I think that this is a marvelous idea. Going to work on a new business card using Allison's idea.

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