Business cards are the staple of any business. Once one goes into business for oneself, one of the first things that is done is the design and production of a business card. If done correctly, it could be a very valuable tool for marketing your business.
However, in my opinion, business cards done the traditional way serve no real purpose. What do I mean by that? Usually a business card has very little information that will drive the recipients of this card to action. It provides them with your name, the name of your company, and your contact information; beyond that, there is little else.
Why not put this little billboard to work for you? Instead of just supplying the basic information, invest in a card that is either 2-sided or a fold-over style, so you can put more riveting information on the card.
Denise, you ask, what do you mean by riveting information? I’m glad you asked!
I like to use a business card to guide prospects to take action and not just look at the card, then put it in their George Costanza-style wallet (any “Seinfeld” fans out there?) that is overstuffed with cards and pieces of paper they will never look at again. I recommend putting an eye-catching “headline” or a tagline that targets your niche market.
As an aside, let me briefly touch upon the idea of a niche market. While I know that we in network marketing like to think the world is our niche market and that everyone can benefit from what we have to offer, I recommend breaking the world up into categories. You will be more successful with your prospecting efforts if you identify a target audience, figure out what they need/want, and fill that need for them.
A good example of a niche market is Moms. If you want, this can be further broken down to more specific categories: working mothers, stay-at-home Moms, single/divorced Moms. Each group has their own set of needs and desires: the working Mom yearns to stay home with her children; the stay-at-home Mom wants to earn a living but not leave the nest so as to be close to her young; the single/divorced Moms need to generate income AND figure out a way to be present as a steady, guiding force in their child’s life. Getting extremely specific with your target market and letting them know you have an answer to their problem(s) is a much more effective way of prospecting than to just hand out a card with your name, company and contact information.
Once you carve out a niche you would like to target, design your marketing material that you create yourself (as an addition to the marketing material the company provides for you) with that group in mind. If you market to more than one niche (there is no limit to how many niches you can target), I advise creating different business cards for each target market in such a way that each card somehow catches the attention of that group by addressing a specific need or desire unique to each niche.
The center of your card does not necessarily have to focus on you or your business. Perhaps this information can be put off to the upper and lower corners, so as to allow for an eye-catching image that will appeal to their aspirations. Pictures, not necessarily of you, but of some desirable scene, can often be more effective than plain white or cream-colored stock
Consider adding a tagline to your company’s name (pending their approval, of course). The name of your company, in and of itself, may not be instantly recognizable. If they put this card away only to take it out a few weeks later, there should be something on there that reminds them of the conversation they may have had with you, or that indicates what the company can provide or do for your prospects. Otherwise, chances are they will just toss it and never follow up with you.
Be creative with your title. Are you a mentor in your business? Then say it. Do you teach people how to create wealth? Then say it.
Use the other side of the card, or better yet, use a fold-over style card, and inside you can ask a question that intrigues the prospect or addresses a concern of theirs along with a few short, bullet-pointed answers to the question that demonstrates you and your business have the solution to the prospect’s problem.
I’m going to give you a few examples of how I used the above guidelines to create an effective business card for myself:
1) I used a tagline under my company name that reads, “Your Road to Retirement.” Happily, I did not have to create this tagline or get it approved, this company uses it, and I felt it was effective. This will immediately raise eyebrows to anyone who is looking to get out of the rat race, and I’d say that’s a pretty large part of the population.
2) To match that tagline, I used the image of a beautiful tropical beach with gorgeous blue water, fine white sand, and palm trees. With the exception of people who live in that type of paradise all year long, this is what a good majority of people think about when they think of retirement. So, the image matches the tagline.
3) I gave myself a title: Recruiter and Mentor. I want people to know I am an expert at what I do, and I will help them do the same. Remember, in the end, people don’t just want to go into business for themselves and figure it out the hard way. They want to join a successful person. They are joining YOU. I find that much more emotionally appealing than something like “Independent PC.” To someone not in the network marketing industry, what does that mean? Professional corporation? What EXACTLY is a PC?
4) My contact information includes, besides my phone number, the domain name I picked that is specific to the niche I chose. This is linked up to the automated marketing system provided by my network marketing company.
5) On the reverse side of the card, I ask an intriguing question that is related to my domain name. I ask, “What Do YOU Want to be Free From?” I then give them simple instructions how to take action.
The old model of business cards that most people follow is based on image advertising. Small business owners, to which I include network marketers, cannot afford to effectively advertise by just spreading an image. We are not a name-brand athletic shoe or a famous soda that can be identified just by the shape of its bottle, nor do we have the kind of capital that those companies have to put into an image advertising campaign (think Superbowl Ads at the most extreme). We need to think outside of the box and provide more information on these little tools which will entice the recipient to take action, all within our own marketing budget.