How to add value to your business card

If someone gives you their business card, what do you do with it? Do you file it carefully in a suitable place, so you have it there whenever you might wish to refer back to it? Do you just put it in your pocket or leave to one side on your desk, for immediate reference but with no long term intention of retaining it? Perhaps you just throw in straight into the waste paper basket the minute the person has gone? I am sure your approach will depend on whether you regard the business card you’ve been given as something that might have value to you.

Now think about it from the perspective of you giving your business cards to other people. Why do you give them out? It’s a bit of personal PR of course and you’re providing people with your contact details should they decide they wish to do business with you later. So in that sense business cards are important. They could lead to business later.

Now if you’re a self-employed consultant, like me, then I’m sure you attend plenty of conferences, seminars and exhibitions. That’s the way to network with people and hopefully generate a few business leads or at least build one or two relationships that might pay dividends later. Over coffee, at lunch or over a cold drink in the evening you’ll chat with people and then at the right moment you exchange business cards.

The problem is, how can you be sure that they will retain your business card? Perhaps they were just being polite. Plenty of people give me business cards when I meet them but I retain very few of them. Why? Quite simply because I get thousands of them and I can’t file them all.

So there has to be a good reason why I will retain a business card. If you provide a service that I feel I may need to use then I’ll probably retain your card. Alternatively if there is something on your card that is of value to me, then almost certainly I’ll retain it.

So how do you add value to your business card? How do you make your card memorable?  Interesting question, would you agree?

One way to do that would be to have something printed on your card which represents genuine value to the recipient. For instance, you could have a discount code printed on the card.

As an example, suppose one of your products is a one day training course on a particular topic. You could offer a 10% discount through the discount code printed on your card.

Alternatively you could offer a gift that can be redeemed from your website. This gift could be a free copy of a report or an eBook written by you and intended to showcase your expertise and knowhow.

Another possibility would be a code which qualifies the bearer to a free 30 minute consultation with you or whatever. The possibilities are endless.

The key message here is that you need to think outside the box. Be creative. Your card must be memorable and provide people with a good reason to hold on to it.

In a competitive world you must be different. You must be memorable too. You need a ‘get noticed’ strategy.

Don’t risk your card being binned. Create some stickiness for your business card and give people a reason to retain it.

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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