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OK. Last week I talked about printing a business card for a specific project (remember MarketingHack#29) and from my experience, many people I speak with think that business cards are not important in today’s digital world. I can just hear you say: “And now you’re saying how I read someone else’s business card is important to my brand? Come on – I mean it’s a little piece of paper, that we’re not quite sure to do with, once we walk out of a networking situation.”
Let’s back up a bit. Marketing is “the process of promoting, selling and distributing a product or a service“. So how does the other guys business card fit into this definition? Knowing your target audience is vital, but don’t forget that this group is made up out of individuals. The more you know about each one of them, the more you know about the whole, right?
Usually a business card has at least one way of contacting this person, often more than one: email, phone number(s), website, mailing address, ect. It’s a virtual goldmine of avenues to connect with that person. However, if you just toss these little cards into a box or go as far as sticking them into a Rolodex (Do you even have one of those?) they won’t do you much good. You got to be able to have the information at your fingertips to be useful, which means the phone number needs to be in your address book; the address should be linked to the account in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. It would be even better, if you could connect with the person who handed you the keys to their kingdom, aka their business card, on Social Media, but in reality who has time to enter all that info in the correct places every time, without forgetting to do so?
Make this a habi-matic (and no, that’s not the latest kitchen appliance as seen on TV). It’s a habit, you make automatic: Here’s what I mean – can you image a utopian world, where someone hands you a business card and while you are talking with that person, your staff automatically…
…quickly enough, that you can actually ask the person, if they would like to connect on LinkedIn. Sounds impossible, right? Check out a screen cast of all this happening inside of one minute:
Using this opportunity for more than just accepting a slip of paper, but connecting (and then following up on that new connection), shows someone how serious you are about keeping in touch with them, it gives you all the info you need to promote, distribute and sell your services and that’s the definition of marketing.
So get off your butt, start developing a habi-matic and show your prospects how efficient you are.
You can read how this process actually happens in the first post of my new blog series “Solving the productivity puzzle“.
“Really? In today’s digital fast paced world you’re telling us to create a business card?” I can hear you think “Man, that’s so old school.” Ok. So I’m not advocating to make a card for every single job you’ve made, or even for your best ten or twenty images.
I’m talking about that one signature video or image, that’s out of this world and really stands out. Use projects that give you instant street cred. Something that is so unique, that your audience identifies your brand with the project. “You’re the guy that shot the _______________.” In my case it’s a short documentary film I created in Afghanistan a few years ago.
I often give this card, right after I’ve handed my regular business card – and it stops people in their tracks and it answers a ton of potential questions in about 2 seconds:
“Ok, so he’s shot a video in Afghanistan, that means he can produce my project that requires some production or travel.“
“Wow. The image is pretty powerful and that single frame already tells a story – looks like he’s got his cinematography down.“
“Hey look a national award. This must be a good film.“
This is one of those business cards that people keep and it instantly brands my business into their brains. I love the face of this card. It’s simple, powerful, makes an immediate impact and is very memorable.
As for the back, I’m always surprised at the question I get, once people have flipped the business card over: “Where can I see this video?” Really? The URL is right there!
I also need to redesign the other elements. By now the film has won 3 more awards. It’s been the topic of a TEDx talk. The social media accounts printed on the back of the business card are no longer the accounts I push.
Guess I’ll need to redesign the back and reprint them.
Remember MarketingHack #17 “Link your postcard to the cloud” That’s a printed postcard I use to get my target audience to engage with my brand online. The sky is the limit – posters, shirts, stickers, ect.
If I need a new business card, stationary, poster, ect. I print all of those with Vistaprint. Their quality and price are fantastic, their customer service is great and I’ve been happy with every interaction we’ve had. If you have something that needs to get printed, use this link for $10 off.