We all remember our very first business card — that giddy feeling when you see your name in print, signifying that you had finally made it in the corporate world. Now that you’re here, how do you leave your mark?
We here at Overnight Prints pride ourselves on not only our print quality and on-time delivery, but also our unparalleled devotion to environmentally safe practices. Besides using eco-friendly paper, Overnight Prints is also the only major online printing company that uses waterless printing presses, which dramatically cut down on waste and toxins. Being as how sustainability is a particular concern for us here at OvernightPrints.com, I thought I’d share a few, very feasible tips on how to show your own appreciation for our environment (aside from hugging trees, of course).
- Recycle. Most of us recycle our cans and glass bottles, but many other materials in our homes are recyclable, including paper, and almost all types of plastic. To find out whether the plastic can be recycled, look for the plastic identification code on the bottom or the side.
- Conserve water. The majority of water waste in a household results from improper watering of lawns. Make sure you’re watering the grass and not the sidewalk, and get a rain barrel to reserve rainwater.
- Plant a tree! You can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce energy costs for your home (more trees = less energy wasted for air conditioning). Not only will you help make your urban dwelling more beautiful and green, but you’ll be creating a natural habitat for other creatures.
- Ride your bike or use public transportation.
- Switch your lightbulbs to CFLs and purchase energy-efficient appliances.
- Shop at your local Farmer’s Market and support your local economy.
- Repurpose everything you possibly can. Use discarded paper as scrap paper and order recycled promotional pieces from your favorite recycle-friendly online printer.
Business cards are versatile promotional tools that can be formal or informal, depending on the type of image you want to portray. They’re a must for networking events, and are ideal for promoting your business and yourself. Write down promotions on your cards, or design them as appointment reminders, to name a few of the different ways you can make use of this powerful marketing tool.
Another good idea is to take it one step further and display your talent—freelance artists and designers who want to not only network with others and gather a buzz about their work, but showcase a little sample of what they do at the same time, might consider a colorful logo or an illustration sample of their work, so as to display their talent subtly and without much effort. (Because, let’s face it, you can’t carry your 4′ x 6′ photo prints everywhere!)
So, what can you include on your card? In addition to the obvious necessities—name, title, company name, telephone numbers and email address—a business card should display your social media contact details, which is a great way to network with others in an informal manner. People often hesitate calling others, but are more comfortable adding someone to their Facebook friends list. It also helps you create the impression that you’re up-to-date with new technologies and social trends, and not still stuck in the Alexander Graham Bell age! It really is up to you what design you choose or the information you put down on your business card.
The fact that we live in an increasingly technological world is not a groundbreaking idea to most. This trend, of course, also applies to the business world. It is an undeniable fact that almost all data, including contact details, are stored electronically nowadays. Regardless of how technologically-based business has become, the fact remains that plain old business cards can still be relevant.
Below are some reasons why business cards are still important even in 2012:
Business Cards Increase Name Recall
Simple truth: Human beings (this includes your potential customers) does increase the chances of being remembered – no matter the actual physical layout of the card or what kind of work you’re in. Wouldn’t you rather see a customer walking away with your business card than walking away with nothing? Business cards really do help a person stand out and be relevant.
Business Cards Are Easier to Hand Out in Large Crowds
Given the technological savvy of most consumers these days, business cards should theoretically have been phased out. After all, you could simply store names, addresses, and phone numbers on your phone now. As is true with a lot of other ideas that SEEM like they should be true, this is not always the case. Storing numbers electronically is fine when on a one-on-one setting. But imagine the horror should you find yourself somewhere like a business convention. Who has the time to store every number in your phone? And after it’s all said and done, would you even remember who these new friends are with nothing but a name and a number to help you?
With business cards, you can continue giving your pitch to that important investor without that awkward pause whenever he tries to type in your contact info into his smartphone – he could do that at a later time like, you know, when you’re done talking.
You can literally throw business cards around a convention and someone will surely pick one up. While that last statement sounds ridiculous (and not something I’d recommend you try; but hey, they’re your business cards so do whatever you want with them), I’d say it’s still better than introducing yourself one person at a time hoping someone actually stores your number for reference.
But if you’re all about technology – you know, the kind that can barely watch TV shows on a TV anymore, fret not. Business cards can be modern too…
Business Cards Can Be Customized to Fit Your Market
Your business cards don’t have to be dull. Try to be creative so you can have business cards that are custom built for your customers. You can print business cards in custom shapes. You’d be surprised by the variety of business cards out today. Again, you are only limited by your imagination. Use your cards, not only to provide contact information, but to also promote your company and brand.
Business Cards Are Good for SEO
I know how much marketers have thrown the term “SEO” around and for good reason. These days, almost everything is done online. Even if you’re not running an e-commerce business, there’s a good chance you still have an online presence (you should have at least a Facebook page). Having those URLs in your business cards will help boost your inbound traffic.
There you have it. These are just a few of the reasons why business cards are important.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to be an art collector.
My mother-in-law approached me at a family get-together last week asking me if I would redesign her husband’s business card. She said that her husband, John, has had the same “boring” business card for over 20 years now, and that she wanted him to have something snappier and more modern – with a “fancy logo” on it (like her friend, Mabel’s, who had just had a lovely logo done for her cake-making business!)
John, on the other hand, was not so happy about having his business cards redesigned. He told me that his customers had never complained about his business cards and that his cards were straightforward and honest – like his business!
As you can imagine, after all the fuss that was being made over his card, I was intrigued to see it. Here is a picture of John’s business card:
I work with these products all the time and I’m often being told by our customers how they’ve used our print products in new and interesting ways. After discussing this subject with some of our customers, I was given a “top 3” list of their favorite “alternative” uses for our print products.
They may be called business cards but does that mean they HAVE to be used merely for business purposes? One of the ways that many of our customers use our business cards is for their family members! If one of your family members was in an emergency situation, was lost, or was unable to remember their address or phone number, a business card that’s tucked into their backpack could be a “lifesaver”.