Great probability: you have heard people say this or you yourself have held this belief, “I do all my business online, so I don’t need business cards, I have my Blog/website for that purpose…”
Seems like a very safe assumption, don’t you think? I mean one of the major advantages of conducting your business online is that you avoid the costs of conventional paperwork and printing.
And if you consider the fact; that you are based in one continent while your client is living in another (which is certain while working over the Internet), than the chances of meeting in person and exchanging business cards are very low.
But like all assumptions, it is very wise and worth it to examine them closely.
Let me elaborate my point by presenting a few questions; whether you need business cards or not depends on your answer to these questions:
• Do all your potential clients currently conduct their business online?
• If yes, do they know how to find your Blog/website?
• Will all these potential clients, be able to find your site six months from now?
• Is your Blog/website getting all the web traffic that you desire?
• Does everyone you discuss your business or services with have a pen and paper handy so they can note down your website address?
If your answer to ANY of these questions is “No”, then my friends you need and can use traditional printed business cards very profitably.
Business cards are among the most versatile, affordable, portable, and accepted marketing tools that you can use. You meet people all the time at church, the grocery store, the school function, the tradeshow, and so on. One of the first questions you’re probably asked is “So, what do you do for a living?” You tell the person about your online business, right?
Suppose this acquaintance is really impressed. They want to check out your Internet business. So you eagerly spell out your website URL. That’s great, but … do you think they’ll remember it after the game or after the meeting, when they get back to their computer and actually have a few minutes to go check it out? Sadly, they probably won’t.
And say your product or service intrigues them, but they have no need of it now. Could they find your site again in a few weeks or a few months? Maybe, if they remembered to bookmark your site. No guarantees, though. And they probably won’t bookmark your site anyway if they don’t anticipate the need for your product or service in the near future.
So a business card would sure be a handy way to give that person your URL. And if your URL changes, they might even be able to find you the old-fashioned way (through your postal address or phone number!)
A business card is also a terrific way to generate more interest in your site, simply because there are so many ways to prospect creatively with business cards. You can tuck a card with your URL on it in all your “snail mail” correspondence. You can introduce yourself with your card. You can tuck your card in related books at the library. You can post your card on bulletin boards. And you can hand your card directly to that really hot prospect you just met, with a big sincere smile and a firm handshake.
Finally, like it or not, having a business card “legitimizes” your business in some people’s eyes. It’s concrete evidence that your business is real and that you take it seriously.
At this point it is also very important to mention that not only do you need to have a good business card, you must also be knowledgeable to know how to make your own business cards.
You might think, “Why go through the extra work when my job/company gives them to me?”
Consider one real-life scenario, If you get laid off, having a good business card (and personal Web site that functions as a digital resume) can make the difference between finding freelance work or not.
Nigel French in one of his very informative video available at Lynda.com recommends that you first consider what to include on your business card long before you think of design. These might include:
- Company name
- Your name
- Phone number(s)
- Web site
“You need to decide which of these elements are appropriate to your business,” French said.
If you’re a freelancer or Blog owner, what is and isn’t appropriate will be different than what you would include if you worked for a company. Your name will be your company name. You may or may not have a tagline about yourself. I would include, however, what you do.
This doesn’t mean you list all your skills. It means you list in general what you do. So, if I look at your card, I’ll know that you’re Tom Smith the Web developer from Washington, D.C. and this is how I can view your work (the url of your personal Web site!) and get in touch with you.
So my friends in the end; do I think you as a Blog owner, need business cards? …Only if you want more business!