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11 Reasons Business Cards Can Be Considered One of Your Most Important Marketing Tools

11 Reasons Business Cards Can Be Considered One of Your Most Important Marketing Tools

When we think of business networking, we think of mixers with well-tailored suits, lots of hand-shaking, and repeatedly introducing who we are, our roles, and the experience we have. But that’s only one form of networking. The chances are higher that you won’t be able to shake hands with every potential client or investor. Even if you do get to rub elbows with the right people, they hear a lot of the same things throughout the duration of a networking event. When you network, the goal is to stand out and leave a lasting impression. A little known fact is that one of the best ways to make and leave a lasting impression is by using a business card. Below are the reasons why business cards might be one of the strongest marketing tools you have.

1. It creates a first and lasting impression

Handing someone a business card while you introduce yourself and your company will help generate an opinion of you[1]. Even if they forget you and whatever information you shared (which happens a lot), they’ll have the actual card so that they can contact you again. Leaving someone with a tangible means to get into communication with you is much more effective than saying a name and hoping it sticks.

2. They’re always working

Once you pass your card to someone, client or not, you’ve established a connection. With a strong business card, you will be able to operate in another form of marketing: word of mouth. By sharing your card with one person, they can then share it with someone else who may be in need of your services.

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3. You’ll look professional

When selling your ideas and business, it helps if you have proof of your own commitment and pride in what you do for a living. Some potential customers will expect you to have one and will ask you for one before you can finish saying your name. Business cards are also a sign of preparedness. Note that for every business card you receive, you should be able to give one in return.

4. They’re affordable

Unlike stationary billboards and posters, business cards offer self-promotion that won’t break the bank[2]. For less than the cost of a large pizza or a morning latte, you can get about 100 business cards. Yes, it will cost more if you change some basic elements (like the quality of the paper, color, or add other unique designs), but if you aren’t willing to invest in yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to.

5. They’re small but mighty

Because of their size, you can hand out a business card to almost anyone at any time. There is no need to direct people to a specific site. Having pocket or wallet-sized business cards means you can take your marketing efforts further and in real-time. It’s like a quick summary of your business and company profile all on a palm-sized card.

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6. No tech problems

Pretty much everything is digital these days. From dating to grocery shopping, there is a lot you can do online or via a smartphone. Marketing is certainly done digitally, but the web is saturated with so much content that a simple “go check out my site” isn’t going to be effective. And unlike websites or data connections, business cards don’t go down[3]because of server issues.

7. Display your creativity

Regardless of what field you’re in or trying to market to, your business card should be a unique expression of your company. You’re selling yourself amongst thousands of others, so you need to stand out. This is where the design elements come into play. Having an aesthetic that is consistent throughout all of your marketing efforts is key. Additionally, consider the fact that the format, color, and the material of the actual card can be used as a conversation starter.

8. They speak for you through others

If you can’t make it to a marketing event, you might be able to get one of your strongest employees to go in your place and act as a representative. But it’s not enough to just send a person in your place. That is where the business card comes in handy. If you have an excellent design, then that will reflect in your employee as they network for you. You’ll also be instilling trust by allowing someone else to represent you and your company, which is an added bonus.

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9. They’re convenient because they’re multi-platform

Nowadays, networking events can happen either in real-time meeting rooms or in digital format. Whether it’s a swanky cocktail hour or a video call, you need to be able to have something other than yourself to represent your brand. You must be able to adapt in your marketing technique. By using a business card, either digitally or printed, you’ll have access to a wider audience.

10. They’re quick

If you’re at a mixer with 50 or so other like-minded individuals who are also trying to get noticed, the target audience won’t have time to sit down with each of you. They might not even want to do that. Business cards capitalize on the little time you do have to make an impression and share your information with the people you are trying to make connections with in a limited space of time.[4]

11. They work

This is the most important reason to have business cards. They can be a marketing representation for practically any business, from restaurants to tire shops. And they help generate new business while also helping with retaining loyal customers.

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Featured photo credit: graphicsfuel.com via graphicsfuel.com

Reference

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Making Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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