As a rule I don’t carry business cards**. When people ask me for one they are shocked. They can’t imagine why I wouldn’t have one… until I ask them how many cards they have at home which they have no clue about who the person was that gave them the card.
So far 100% of people I ask admit this is true.
Then I ask “Why should I want to add yet another meaningless piece of paper to your home?”
The point of this is not to say you should be like me, but to point out that most people have a business card only because they heard (or read) somewhere that it’s one of the first things you do when you have a business.
In the last few years, this same wrong thinking has applied to websites… “you have a business? You NEED a website” And the result is a large population of websites that are nothing more than a giant BORING business card online.
No one ever stops to think about the purpose of the business card (or website) and what is it’s place in your marketing funnel BEFORE you bother to have the card (or website) made.
If you have been following my teachings at the NGH conference, on the Hypnothoughts Internet Marketing Group, and here on this site, you will have heard me talk about the importance of 2-Step Lead Generation.
I won’t go into all the reasons Hypnotists should use 2-Step Lead Generation, but I will say the ones who have listened to me and are using it are going gangbusters even in the middle of a recession. I’m talking 6-figure incomes.
PERMISSION BASED MARKETING
So here’s my point… you aren’t likely to get a sale from a business card. There’s not enough room on it for a decent pitch. But there is plenty of room to get a likely prospect to give you their contact information so you can do follow up marketing.
This is them giving you PERMISSION to market to them. It’s like they are raising their hands and saying “please tell me more”. In sales lingo, you now have a ‘qualified prospect’. A very valuable prospect. And one who is much more likely to buy if you develop the relationship correctly.
So, with this concept in mind… the question becomes “what can I put on my business card to attract the kind of client I would like to work with?” And “what can I offer them of value to get them to give me their contact information”
Think of this as a sale. It’s an exchange of value. You offer them information on how they can solve a very important problem. They give you contact info, which is ‘permission’ to send them follow up information.
As my friend Craig Garber likes to say, even if you are giving something away free, you have to sell it as something of value.
Key Point: Like any sale you need GOOD SALES COPY to increase conversions. This means eye-catching headline, listing of benefits, and an offer… at a bare minimum.
And yes… (almost) no one else does this. That’s why so many business cards are freaking BORING and you can’t remember who gave them to you.
Finally, I leave you with this thought provoking video by Joel Bauer. Joel is a magician who got tired of barely scraping by and studied Direct Response Marketing. He now works trade shows and gets at least $10,000 a day. He does this by guaranteeing tons of traffic for the booth, which is what all business want who spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars on a trade show.
I have his business card and saved it even though I’ll most likely never hire him. It’s one of the few worth showing to other people.
** I do use highly specific and niche targeted business cards when I speak at conferences. Each card has a headline, and an irresistible offer. The offer is tracked by using a keyed URL so I can measure conversions and ultimately determine ROI.
I also put my photo on the card so people know it came from me and I make it brightly colored and unique so it stands out from the pile.
I don’t give a rat’s whisker about image or “looking professional” (whatever the hell that means), I only care about effectiveness of the marketing piece.