After your logo and USP (unique selling proposition) have been established or reinvented, it’s time to move on to your first marketing piece – your business card. Most cards don’t accurately present what someone’s business is all about. I see so many bad business cards that I’m shocked! And I know if there is a problem with the business card, the rest of the marketing is likely to be a disaster, too!
Your business card may be the first visual connection a prospect has to your business. Your card will either promote or deflate your professional image. As an expert, you can’t afford to get this wrong. People will be judging you at first glance and the image of your card will quickly showcase the level of success you have in your business. If a prospective customer views your business image as unprofessional or confusing in any way, they simply won’t show interest in what you have to offer.
Very few business cards that I’ve seen send a clear message that would make someone jump at the chance of doing business with this person. Most cards are simply used for contact information and miss the mark on marketing all together. Manylack a strong visual logo, branded image, or benefit-rich statement plus a strong call to action.
Effective marketing is critical to building your expert brand
The goal of your business card is to make a powerful first impression. It must visually showcase what you do, share a message that sets you apart from the competition, and offer a call to action to get the prospect to your website.
Most of us are so close to our businesses that we don’t see the obvious mistakes that could be costing us in lost business. The reason for this is that we don’t always look at our business through our prospects’ point of view. We often view it from a very narrow focus – our own.
A great place to start improving your business image is to take a close look at the business card you already have as if you were a prospective customer who knew nothing about your business. Compare it with the top 10 business card mistakes below, and then take my quick Business Card Improvement Quiz’™ that follows.
The 10 most common business card mistakes
- Images are scrambled with inconsistent design elements.
- Services and/or products are not clearly defined.
- It does not showcase what’s unique about you or your business.
- The expert brand and/or tagline doesn’t stand out or is not professional.
- It indicates unflattering things about your business.
- There is no call to action to connect a prospect to your website.
- It shows a cluttered impression with mixed messages.
- It’s filled with non-essential information or omits important marketing content.
- It looks out of date or unprofessional.
- It lacks a point of interest and doesn’t easily connect to the prospect.
How does your card rank?
Answer the 16 questions below to see how your card ranks. Simply answer YES to all that apply. Be honest with yourself as you reply. Then count all your YES responses and score your business card below.
Business Card Improvement Quiz
- Does your card present a positive, interesting, and professional image overall?
- Does your card feature an updated, professionally designed logo?
- Does your logo fit your business image and does it make a good visual connection?
- Do you have a USP or marketing message that best describes your business?
- Is the font and text size easy to read at a glance?
- Do you offer a call to action to get prospects to your website?
- Do you extend a free expert offer to get prospects to your website?
- Are all of your marketing materials consistent with your business card image?
- Is your website featured in bold text to stand out?
- Has your business card been updated in the past year?
- Are you utilizing the back of the card for additional marketing information?
- Do you feature your expert tagline that describes your unique expertise?
- Do you feature your photo on your card to make a personal connection?
- Do you often receive compliments on your business card?
- Do prospects show interest right away and ask you more about your services?
- Do you act upon every opportunity to proudly pass out your card?
Now count all of your YES answers and see how your card ranks below:
16 – 13 YES Responses = You have a professional business card that will help you turn more prospects into buyers.
12 – 9 YES Responses = Your business card needs some work. Redesign your card to help you stand out as a professional expert.
8 or Less YES Responses = The business image you are projecting is costing you opportunities. Get to work! Re-evaluate and redesign your business card and all of your marketing materials to improve your prospective opportunities and income.
Set up your expert calling card design
Now that you’ve rated your business card, it may be time to create a new design. You must have completed all of your branded images and USP statement before starting your new business card design. And if you don’t have an updated photo of yourself, schedule a professional photo shoot to have a new headshot image created for the front of your card. If YOU are the personal brand of your business, this will give your card a personal connect to you as the expert.
On the front of your card, you’ll want to list your USP message at the very top. This will tell prospects instantly what you are all about versus them trying to figure it out on their own. Below the USP message, post your new logo and your photo. Under the photo, add your name and professional credentials. Below that you may also want to add your tagline, such as professional speaker, author, consultant, expert or branded tagline. For example, as a branded tagline I use ‘The Expert of Experts’. Create a branded tagline of your own that makes you instantly recognizable to your target market.
At the bottom front of your card, list your email and phone number. Your physical address is optional unless you do business where clients come to your location.
Next, create a call to action such as this: “Contact us to learn more about our programs and services at YourBusiness.com”.
On the back of the card, utilize this space for another call to action. (Suggest: Utilize the space on the back of the card for another call to action.) You should create a free offer on your website to get prospects to sign up. Your free offer may be a guidebook, e-book, special report, or audio program. Create a call to action such as this: “Get your FREE Guidebook” (add title of the offer here) and your website below it. Add your corporate website or landing page to create data capture from leads that come from your business card. It’s always good to have a visual; therefore, add an image of your free offer. Another item to add would be a QR code that directs prospects directly to your website from their iPhone. Prospects will then be able to easily scan the code to go to your website instantly. To create a free QR code for your card and other offline marketing materials, go to www.QRStuff.com.
Your improved expert card will instantly start connecting with more prospects and get them to take the right action that builds your database. Your card will showcase your brand effectively and feature YOU as the go-to expert. It will also offer a strong call to action where prospects can instantly learn more about you and your expertise on your website. And your networking opportunities will instantly improve as well.