Business cards. The perfect representation of you and your business, and with many advantages. A simple and well-designed business card can send out a professional look, aid marketing and help you with networking. In this article I will cover five advantages of business cards for freelancers, what to include in a successful business card and recommend some business card printers/developers.
5 Advantages of Business Cards
1. The Personal touch
A business card given to somebody by hand has a much more of a personal touch than a logo of a website slapped onto a website when you’re searching for a developer of some kind . Place yourself in the shoes of a potential client. Think of the catalogue of worries that may arise when you first interact and are looking to potentially hire this person to do set work for you.
- “Is he/she reliable?”
- “What if they run off with my deposit?”
- “What if they do a shabby job?”
- And the odd one will think “What if I want to date her/him?!” (and no, I will not discuss that later as an advantage!)
Passing on a business card can help reduce these worries. Imagine a well-dressed, smart girl who walks into a office passively, offers her card to you for your potential custom after noticing an ad in the window.
Client: What do you charge…Sarah?
Sarah (freelancer): That would depend on the nature of the work, sir, however all of this information can be found along with my portfolio on my website mentioned on the card.
Client: Are you single?
Compare that to being on MSN Messenger and typing:
Max: can u make a site?
Sarah: ye, depend tho check me site man, its sickdesignz.com
Max: u single luv?
2. Sending the right signals.
Designing a business card is crucial as it leaves a lasting impression on the potential client. For example, I once met an accountant who gave me her business card. I never used her custom, but only because a very close friend of mine is my accountant (very reliable in dodgy bookkeeping, a joke, by the way) but I always kept her card. It oozed respect.
Looking the part can sometimes not be enough if you hand over a dull 1990′s style business card then as that, in their eyes, would mean you make shabby 1990′s style websites. If you’re a designer, then your business card should be able to speak volumes about you and could be seen as one of your key marketing points.
3. Highlight your message
A potential client can go on a freelancer’s website searching for past work, or trying to find what the designer does exactly, only to end up not knowing what’s going on.
For example when they want to commission a website to be created they may not know what ‘coding’ is and how it is different to the ‘design’ of the website. A card can help clear this confusion up, and if it doesn’t then they can just call you on the number which you have put on there and ask.
Remember people are unpredictable, someone may ring you and say “My company needs a thing on the internet”. A very vague statement, but a few simple questions and you could probably derive what he’s talking about (a website, maybe). This person may then go on to trust you when you explain jargon to them which they previously had no knowledge of. This may lead to further referral leads and a strong relationship.
4. Break the Ice
In intimidating situations when it may be hard to sell you services, a business card could do that part of the talking for you.
For example, if you were to meet the CEO of a company, it may be hard to say “Do you have a job vacancy for me?”. A business card could not only offer a good impression as discussed before but also break the ice in the conversation making it easier for you to ask when he/she says “So you are a freelancer, what do you do?”. Now he/she is asking you as opposed to you pitching to them.
5. ‘Viral’ Marketing
Similiar to an eBook you may publish online, or any kind of video or MP3 you publish, a business card has an opportunity of becoming some what ‘viral’. People do pass business cards around and they do keep them, so they are helpful for sustained marketing campaigns.
What to Include in a Successful Business Card
- Your name
- Your contact number
- E-mail and mail address (you could use a P.O.Box)
- Your website address
- Your Logo
- Your slogan
- Short summary of what you do
Hope you enjoyed my thoughts, ideas, and tips!
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