52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.
Maybe your horsebiz already has thought of these tips…if so, congrats, you’re doing a great job! But, if you think your business cards could do better in supporting your marketing efforts through greater reach and more impact, then read on for a few things that even I thought ‘hey, that’s a great idea!’
- Provide business cards to everyone on your payroll: Since you can now get quality business cards at very low prices, it makes sense to give personalized cards to every person who’s part of your organization. While business cards have long been thought a perk for management or ‘professional’ staff, by giving them to every frontline person who represents your business you not only increase the potential reach of your business, you can also boost employee morale, pride, and commitment to your company. Here’s a great article from best-selling author, speaker, and motivational trainer Tom Feltenstein about six ways to improve employee morale, but giving business cards to everyone is his very first tip.
- Watch your font size and how much information you put on your cards: Today’s design trends often result in smaller text that’s lighter in color, to allow for more white space on the business card. However, if someone has a hard time reading your card, do you think they’ll strain their eyes trying to dial your number or type out your email address? It’s especially important if much of your target market is over age 40, when eyesight gets a little trickier, AND if you’re using younger graphic designers who both like modern trends and have sharp eyesight. It’s often better to go with less information, and use a larger font in a dark color.
- Do a test run that mimics how a card is used in real life: When you’re trying out business card designs, cut them out into actual business card replicas, since a design can look very different when printed on a big piece of paper, or surrounded by other designs, than it does when held in your hand. And, relating to tip number two above, have folks of all ages look them over and provide opinions on readability and appeal.
- Your horsebiz logo on a card is good, and a photo of yourself can be even better: If you include a nice headshot of yourself on your card, it can help in jogging someone’s memory when they finally dig that business card out of their pocket, bag, or truck. By all means include your company logo, too, but a business card does have two sides, so use that real estate wisely! This is a practice championed by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, best-selling authors of Creating Customer Evangelists and lovely, smart folks I got to know when they were here in Chicago, before they moved to their current Austin, TX, home; I’m always recommending their book to others, it’s a classic!
- Leave one side uncoated to allow for handwritten notes: In some countries and cultures (such as Japan), it’s considered rude to write on someone’s business card, but here in the good old USA it’s a common practice. I do it myself, if there’s something I want to remember, or if there’s some follow-up needed. And there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for the ink to dry so it doesn’t smear onto my hand, pocket, or what-not if both sides of a business card have a glossy coating.
Here’s a good article with some helpful design tips from BusinessKnowHow.com, but this article by Robert Scoble on his Scobleizer blog updates the business card design conversation with ideas that reflect the way they’re used today, such as scanning them for the computer and storing them in Avery plastic holders.
I was just at the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) tradeshow last month, and collected a fair number of cards. Many of them are quite blah, but my own pick for ‘best in show’ is the one in the image above – it’s a card from Kerrits that’s actually a packet of carrot seeds! The contact info is on a label on the back, making it economical to order a larger quantity of packets since you can use the labels to customize them for each person on the team.
However, Scoble’s top tip is something I’d agree with and it’s the reason behind why I picked Kerrits (pun intended) as ‘top card’ – a business card is something to start a conversation with, so make yours a ‘wow’ card that people either want to talk with you about, or that they want to share with others.
There are 17 Fridays left in 2011 – will you miss these weekly marketing tips when the series ends? Do you want it to continue? Leave your Comment using the link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #36!
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