Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do you really need business cards today?

We recently scored a gig for The Wedding Architect who's an outta-this-world wedding planner. I mean this guy has got it. I'm not trying to score kudos because I personally have shared my thoughts, opinions, suggestions, advice, and the thoughts of others with him. So the air is clear in that area. Ricardo Tomas aka The Wedding Architect is the b. o. m. b. Okay, now really! You're probably thinking, this is supposed to be about business cards. It is. Hang with me. My marketing company has landed 3, 4, 5 maybe clients because of Ricardo's branding. Most say his brand is really busy or that the website has some nice Flash programming. And others comment on his business cards. Note: 80 percent of Ricardo's business is generated face to face. As it should in his line of business. This includes referrals from his past clients. So this means? The Wedding Architect's business cards are dangerously important to the wedding planner, wedding consultant, wedding professional, and wedding industry as a whole. If you're thinking about entering the wedding planner industry make sure your business cards have the power to communicate your style and professionalism in less than 5 seconds. 

Why five seconds to read a business card? Think about the last time you had a conversation with someone you found to be interested in what you had to offer or your new business. This is a person that you've never seen before in your life and chances are you may never see this person again. Now then. While standing, sitting, lounging... whatever it is you do when you communicate, at some point in time you pass your business card(s) to this person of interest. After you hand your card over, the person receiving the card normally (hopefully) says "thanks" or "okay, great" and then looks at your card for 5 seconds tops. For this reason, your business cards need to be the shiznit (great). Kudos to Snoop Dogg with the smirk and the braids tight for the Shizzolator. Anyway, that's only part of the solution. Knowing you can use a business to capture attention like a wedding planner might do. But what does it take or where do you get business cards? Well, there's FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko's, formerly, Kinko's), Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, Speedy Print, Overnight Prints, MOO, 4by6, and a host of other business card printers online and probably not far from where you are right now. 

What about adding the Wow factor to the business card? Who would have thought in today's world we would still be using business cards? Please. As long as we have magazines or until cell phones are free. The staple business card will be around. The point here is that you'll most likely need a business card if your industry uses them (business cards) as a mode in which business can be conducted. However, I doubt that Michael Phelps really needs a business card to promote his business. He's a pretty well know guy. I think he's doing okay in the branding department. But not everyone can have it like an Olympic Gold Medalist with 120 of your faces on isle #12 at the grocery store, ear to ear on the Wheaties box. No. Not everyone has that much exposure. Take advantage of the business card in a positive way. Not pushy, shrewd but not hurting anyone... as you would normally do while attending a business conference, at your child's parent-teacher meeting, during a business mixer or happy hour, while talking to some random guy in-line at Wal Mart while holding a box of "unmentionables" under your arm. You know you have a great business card when people compliment you about them. Come on, complements are normally for great hair and or a great meal. Receiving a compliment on a business card that is only 2 inches by 3.5 inches and just a bit thinner than a time, that's a big deal. Business cards are very important when used to strategically marketing your brand. When you use your business cards as a method of building your key relationships or praying for that next big referral. Stay consistent and work on your plan. And business cards a part of your marketing plan, if you communicate with people, face to face for business. Leave your business card with your tip at a nice restaurant, with people you meet at the gym or yoga studio. My business card was the most expensive way I could afford to pay for when I first started Oevae back in 1999. I had a mound of creativity and many different cards for the first few years while I molded the final brand in 2001 and as it is today. In the beginning, I knew that black and white was the least expensive printing so I could cut the cost on printing and today it's all the same. Back then I needed some way of holding my prospect's attention for more than 5 seconds. 

Yeah, I need more than 5 seconds. When I planned to make Oevae Marketing Consultants, I need to express what our creative marketing was about and tell it quickly with something they would taste later. I need my business card to cut through a steak. So this has to lead many new clients and now friends our way. So I may be slightly biased in my opinion. But again, the business card orders keep coming our way. Our clients keep telling me how much people admire their business cards and where did they get them printed. My vote is yes. You really do need business cards today. 

This is Gibron T. Williams, Head Honcho at Oevae Marketing Consultants and these are my opinions.


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