Pick a Card
  • Maggie Franklin
  • January 15, 2010

Business cards — and accompanying business literature — used to be a really big deal. I mean, I guess they still are, as far as "corporate identity" and "branding" and so forth go. I mean, your business card is a miniature billboard. It's like a tiny little magazine ad that gets handed out and carried around and acts as a marketing liaison to you, your business, and your talents.

 

That's not just marketing hype, that's the truth.

 

I've never understood why anyone would bother to spend as much as $10 on a box of a thousand cheap, crappy black-on-white business cards that have a name, and address and a phone number. Seriously, that's the business card equivalent of a discount nail salon. If you spend $10 for lousy business cards that do nothing to market your services, then it's wasted money. Whereas, spending $250 for a box of 500 business cards that were professionally designed and printed in full color and actually make people want to come get their nails done by you — now that's an investment.

 

For many years I wanted a full-color photo of nails done by moi to adorn my business cards. I realize some of you might not even remember the world without an inkjet printer in every home, but believe me, when I got into this biz, putting a photo on my business cards was not cheap. In fact, when I say "not cheap" what I really mean is not economically feasible. Investment in my professional image aside — it just was not going to happen!

 

It wasn't until 1998 that I had the wherewithal to get a photo onto my cards, in fact. And ever since then my cards have always had a photo on them.

 

And then came Vistaprint. Despite some controversy voiced on the message boards regarding the industry's various experiences with the company, Vistaprint has revolutionized the business card designing and buying habits of small business people — particularly women — in every field.

 

The problem? I can't tell the difference between the Tupperware lady, the Scentsy lady, the Miche Bag lady, and the esthetician downstairs. They ALL have the same freakin’ business card! I see the same flippin’ design on signs in front yards all over town. I see the same design on magnets affixed to car doors. The particular design that seems to be very popular here in Visalia is a nice enough design. All dark brown with green and white accent swirlies, but it isn't unique to any one business. So every time I see it, I think of the first person I ever saw that had it. Which is that Scentsy lady over on Court Street who has the sign in her front yard.

 

Which is great for the Scentsy lady. Not so great if you want me to hang on to your card and call you for a Tupperware party or because you're hoping to I'll remember your name when I need a haircut.

 

I just have such a hard time believing that no one thinks of these things when they pick out their cards. Business cards don't cost $250 for 500 of the suckers anymore. Take a minute to add a unique element to yours the next time you place an order. Something that makes people want to keep your card. Make the investment. You're worth it, aren't you?

Keywords:   marketing/promotions  

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