Business cards may seem like an obvious way to get the word out about your business.  But the way most people do business cards is not as effective as it could be.

Having business cards doesn’t need to cost you much money.  If you can afford to go out and have some professionally done, that’s great.  You could use a local business or you can use an online service.  I’ll include some resources below for some cool ones that are very affordable.

If you can’t afford professional business cards, just find a free template and print them out on your computer.  Even if you just print them on regular paper and cut them out with scissors, if you get them into people’s hands, it’s fine for now.  It’s not ideal, but better than doing nothing.  It doesn’t matter if they’re ugly.  Sometimes ugly gets people’s attention.  You could try some bright neon-colored paper.  Then your card will stand out if it gets put in a pile with other cards.

If you have your cards printed professionally, you’re going to have to be firm about how you want things done.  They’re used to printing the typical business cards that don’t get results, the kind that blend in with everyone else’s and get ignored.  You need to approach your business cards from a different angle than most people do.  Again, I’ll provide some resources for some that will stand out at the bottom of this post.

What Should Your Business Cards Look Like?

If you look at most business cards, it’s a big logo of some sort and the business name and you’ll find the person’s name and contact information.  Sometimes in tiny print it will say what they do.  If it’s a real estate agent, they’ll have a big picture of themselves on it.  I don’t suggest going that route.

First of all, I’d suggest not necessarily going with the most polished, generic, corporate type look.  Think of your business cards as mini sales letters.  Nobody really cares about your logo or business name.  They don’t care what you look like.

What people care about is what you can do for them.  So make that the focus.  For example, if you want to generate motivated seller leads, make the biggest thing on the card a message for sellers, like, “We pay cash for houses”, or the classic “I Buy Houses” (I don’t suggest “We” buy houses because, believe it or not, someone has trademarked the phrase “We buy houses”).

What you can do for people should be the focal point.  That’s the #1 most important thing on the card.

The #2 most important thing is a clear way for them to contact you.  I’d suggest your website address, email address, and phone number.

Email at your domain

For your email address, as soon as possible I’d suggest getting an email address at your own domain name because it will look more professional.  For example, if your name is Joe and your website is JoeBuysHouses.com, you could set up an email account that is Joe@JoeBuysHouses.com.  Most places that sell domain names, like GoDaddy, have an option for getting an email address at your domain.  Or Google offers a service as part of Google Apps for Business where you can essentially use Gmail for business email account, using your own domain name.

Typically there is a small charge for these email services, but it does make you look more professional, rather than using a free email account like Hotmail or Gmail.  Or, there’s a service by Zoho that offers free email accounts at your domain.

However, don’t get hung up on this.  It’s better to take action than to get hung up on little details.  If it’s going to slow you down too much to set up an email address at your own domain, just use your free one for now and put it on your to-do list to get a better email account when you have more time or someone to help you.

If you don’t feel ready to talk on the phone yet or want to filter everything through your website, just put your website address and email address and leave off your phone number.  But make sure people know how to contact you and give them specific instructions of what to do and why.

For example:  “Go to our website now to get a free offer on your home within 24 hours.”  These are the most important things to include.  It’s up to you if you want to include other information.  Keep in mind, if you clutter it with too many details, people may be less likely read it and take action.  I’d suggest the simpler the better.  If you can print on the back of the cards too, you could print more details there, like a little sales message telling how you can help them.

Just to drive home the point:

Your business cards are not about you, they’re about what problem you can solve for the person who receives them. 

 

Make it about them, not about you.

Get these printed today or tomorrow.  Don’t put it off.  Start handing some out the same day.

What To Do With Your Business Cards

Give cards to everyone.

Here are some ideas:

  • You can give them to your family members and friends and tell them to give them to people for you.  Give people an incentive like, if someone they refer results in a deal, you’ll pay them a certain amount for the referral.  That will get more cards out.
  • Put the cards on bulletin boards, maybe even multiple cards per board if appropriate, in case someone takes one.
  • At stores, restaurants, and other places of business, ask if you can place a small stack at the cashier’s area where people can see them and take them when they check out.
  • Wherever you go, look for places to put them and people to give them to.  When you’re doing business at a certain place, before leaving, ask if you can leave some cards.  When you’re a client, they’ll be less likely to say no.  Not everyone will say yes, of course, but that’s OK.  Even if only one business agrees, many people could potentially see your message that wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Tape your cards to things where people will see them (where appropriate), see if libraries will let you leave some, leave some with your tip when you go out to eat, leave them in coffee shops.  My favorite local coffee shop has a table with some reading materials like newspapers and some businesses leave flyers and things there.  I’ve put business cards there.
  • Give them to professionals like mortgage brokers, lawyers, accountants, etc.

Hopefully you’re starting to get the idea.  Get out as many cards as possible and continue to give them out on a regular basis.  This is a way to get many marketing lines in the water, and you never know when or where you might get a bite.

And finally, as promised…

Here are some places to get business cards: