Paper or…virtual? Let’s talk business cards!
Traditional 3.5″ x 2″ business cards are relatively affordable tangible bits of advertising that can be left practically everywhere you go. People ask for them, expect them and know what to do with them.
Perhaps carrying paper business cards isn’t really your thing? Or maybe you’ve run out of the cards you usually keep on hand and need to pass along your info to someone you just met? Electronic business cards are easy to pass around by emailing, posting or texting a link, plus you can include so much more detail!
Where to get them?
PAPER: You can order business cards from Avon’s official printer, Town & Country Printing, from a mainstream printer/copy shop like Costco, Office Depot, Staples and VistaPrint, or you can print your own business cards at home using templates in MS Word or through Avery.
VIRTUAL: A few months ago I dove into the electronic business card pool with Shuffle by Elify which, with their basic plan, allows you to have up to 10 different virtual cards at any given time – super flexible! Check out my Shuffle card to see an example of what I’m talking about.
PAPER: Depending on the specifics of your business card, they can be relatively inexpensive or incredibly expensive. You can find just about any price point that will work in your budget.
VIRTUAL: Most virtual business card companies require a one time fee along with a monthly fee. Shuffle regularly runs signup specials and you can potentially earn more money than you spend when others sign up using your invite code. Did you catch that? You can make money!
I opted to purchase the Wave as well, which is an additional flat fee for the device and monthly fee. You link it to one of your virtual business cards which, once activated, will push your ad out to folks within a certain radius of the device that own an Android phone and has their GPS turned on. If they click the ad, they are taken to your linked virtual business card where they can get more information.
What to put on it?
PAPER: A picture of you or something business related is a must. Folks love having a face to put with a name, but if you’re shy about that, then make the graphic you choose be memorable and make sense. Your name, title(s), email address, phone number(s), and/or link(s) to your eStore/sign up page. If you have a double sided card, you’ve got loads more space to play with to add social media links, website links, point out discounts and/or tell a bit of your story.
VIRTUAL: You will be expected to upload a photo of yourself or something else and you can add CLICKABLE links to everything: email, address, phone, websites, blogs, social media links, estore, recruit link and just about anything else you can think of! The sky truly is the limit!
Where to use them?
PAPER: Always carry traditional business cards wherever you go – you can always hand one out in lieu of a brochure should you run out or not have any on hand. Include your business card in anything you give out for donations, regardless of whether it’s products or cash. Hand over your Avon business card when someone asks for your contact info. When making goodie bags, make sure to add one to the mix. I like to leave my business card along with tips for servers and housekeeping at hotels – you never know who is looking for an Avon lady!
VIRTUAL: Add a link to your email signature. Post a link in your “About Me” sections on social media. Email or text a link to friends/family/customers and ask them to forward it to folks they think would be interested.
Whether you are a traditionalist and want to go the paper business card route, an early adopter and want to go with a virtual business card, or some combination of both – business cards are a must for every business owner!
What are your favorite business card tips?