The three answers I get when I ask how someone sees their
business card are:


  1. It reminds them we met
  2. It’s how to contact me
  3. It tells them what I do.

I can count on ten fingers how many people say “it’s part of
my marketing campaign; it states the benefit they’ll get when
they do business with me.

 

How do you see your card? Is it just to communicate your name
and contact information? Or, do you see it as a value-added,
visibility vehicle, poised to solve their problem and fill their
need? Is it just to list the products and services you offer, or
does it show how you can benefit their lifestyle and bottom
line?

 

Please take out your card and look at it carefully and
honestly. How effective is your card as a direct marketing
vehicle; a person-to-person sales call; a networking tool; a
lead generator; a mini-catalogue of goods and services; a
reflection of the quality of your service; an image builder; a
tangible vision of who you are and your passion and purpose in
doing business?

 

When you place it in another’s hand, are they captivated by the
use of color and meaningful images, Do they linger over a
picture or image that satisfies needs, wants and desires?

 

Most of all, do your see your card as merely a leave-behind, or
as an invitation to discuss business, perhaps right on the spot
or at a later time over a meal, a cup of coffee, a golf game or
just on the phone?

 

If these questions evoke a no from you then please,
think again
about why you hand them out.

 

The marketing gurus say it takes seven times or imprints before
your information sinks in, brain researchers set absorption
levels at twenty-one imprints. What this means is that every
three imprints only count as one. To say it another way, three
imprints convert to one. Three into twenty-one is seven.

 

Besides the seven/twenty-one imprint ratio there is another
level of imprinting that influences the ability to remember your
message. This is the phenomenon of the auditory, visual and
kinesthetic learning modalities. In other words, using words
that mirror sound (auditory), words that picture (visual), or
words that ooze touch or texture (kinesthetic).

 

A great business card can leapfrog your competition. The
following elements contribute to those seven to twenty one
imprints and the learning modalities.

 

Sometimes subtly, as in the case of texture or sound, other
times overtly in the case of a picture. Try using as many as you
can, and see how it opens the door for more business and better
networking.

 

Pictures. Show your pools with clients in it. Or put an animal
on a raft with sunglasses and a tall cool drink. Show your
employees waving c’mon down in front of your store. If you’re a
magician, show you weaving your magic. Remember, a picture is
worth a thousand words, it gets the visual and emotional juices
going.

 

Logos. It’s stronger if your logo depicts your product or
service rather than generic graphics with no connection.

 

Back of the card. This is prime marketing real estate. Use it
to encourage the recipient to keep your card. Use it for client
testimonials, product descriptions, or a map to find you. Punch
a hole each time a purchase is made and you pick the number to
reward with something free. Create a discount coupon redeemable
in-store. Print emergency numbers, a calendar, tipping
guidelines, an appointment reminder, or sports activities.

 

USP- Your Unique Selling Proposition. The best USP is a phrase
or slogan that appeals to emotional needs. It’s what makes you
unique. Gives your benefits. Defines your strength. Makes claims
like guarantees, savings or assurances, i.e., Domino Pizza:
“Your pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free!” Fed Ex: “When
It absolutely has to be there overnight.” And Intrashred, ”
Better shred than read.”

 

Color. The Color Institute surveys say goldenrod yellow is the
most responsive color. Use color ink for accents. Gold or silver
adds an elegance and electricity. Neon makes a great accent but
avoid neon card stock. Even though it’s easy to locate in a
pile, it’s too hard on the eyes to read, and the print is
difficult to read.

 

Fonts and Print Size Test the print size on friends who wear
reading glasses. 12pt or above is best. Use thicker letters,
rather than fine, skinny letters. Raised lettering adds texture,
a bonus imprint. ALL CAPITOL LETTERS IS TOO DIFFICULT TO READ.
Use fonts that don’t have the curlicues like Times Roman or
Arial. Mixing fonts doesn’t work for the higher good. In such a
small space consistency rules over variety.

 

Uniqueness. Try mylar or plastic, but remember that these don’t
work with Card Scan. Shape your card like your product. Make an
audiocassette business card about your products, services and
benefits. Put your card on a magnet.

 

Dos and Don’ts. Avoid larger cards. If you use folding cards,
put all the pertinent information on the same half. Redo cards
if your contact information or names change. If you’re in a
multicultural community, have cards printed front and back in
both languages, and be extra careful with the translation!

 

As you can see, there are infinite possibilities and diverse
roles that your card can play. Think of your business card as a
mobile, multi-dimensional version of yourself. A miniature of
you not waiting to happen but present and accounted for. as long
as the card is in circulation.

 

An effective card is arguably the most valuable marketing tool
you can have in building a business. So, does your business card
present exciting marketing options for you?

 

Maximize Your Biz-Ability Through Viz-Ability…. Promote &
Prosper!

 


 

Raleigh Pinskey is a consultant and speaker on the topic of PR
for Wealth Building, Director of the PR for Wealth Building
Summit and Mentor Program for businesses, authors and speakers.
She is the author of the best selling 101 Ways to Promote
Yourself
, 101 Ways to Get on radio and TV, 101
Ways to Write
Foolproof Media Releases
, and 101 Ways to Market Your
Business
on the Internet
.

 

Raleigh Pinskey, www.promoteyourself.com, 480-488-4840
raleigh@promoteyourself
.com