Back in March (it seems sooo long ago now!!) we posed the question to our loyal Twitter followers:
‘We want to know: what item of print your business can’t live without‘
And to our surprise… drumroll please… the humble business card came out on top!
Nothing says ‘professional’ like a shiny, sharply cut, properly finished, professionally printed business card. Yes you could print your own *gasp* or even order some ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ ones from the internet *shock horror* but this is your professional image we are talking about and your business card needs to create a persona of you and your company that says:
‘You, yes you, you want to work with US, because we ARE the best!’
So, for the purpose of networking, it’s worth spending a little money as it will more than pay off – in coming across as professional, you also come across as TRUSTWORTHY – and this is the key word in getting someone to buy from you in the future!
We received such overwhelming feedback, so we decided to compile this list of Top 3 most interesting ways to network using your business card:
1. Pay the toll for the car behind you and ask the clerk to pass on your card, if you were in that car, wouldn’t you be calling them up the next day? (I think this suggestion must have been made by someone who uses the Tamar Bridge on a regular basis, it’s only £1.50 so give it a go!).
2. Leave your card, with a handwritten note on the back (even a simple ‘thanks for an amazing meal’), wherever you go – local shops, when out for dinner, when your car passes it’s MOT – every opportunity. People will keep hold of it particularly because it is personal to them, and they will remember you because of it. So next time they themselves, or someone they know, needs the service you offer, guess who they will be calling…
And don’t be fooled by the job that person is doing now, you never know where they will be in a years time, who they know or what family they have – it could be the best move of your career!
3. Attend Business Seminars – this is a great place to meet on neutral ground, with no pressure of traditional ‘networking’. Everyone attending is there to learn with an open mind, which already gives you something in common and an easy conversation starter. It’s also a great way to make yours a familiar face within the local business community as you can guarantee you will see some of the same people at different seminars. You are positioning yourself here as an ally of equal level because you are all there to LEARN, which means the hierarchy is removed. Here a CEO can mix with an Assistant on a level footing, as for the topic of the Seminar, their knowledge is equal. As an ally, people will naturally feel they can contact you when they need your help, and trust that the solution you provide them is right for them.
And, we’ve written a whole other post about the importance of getting your business card design right, with a handy checklist too. (Click here to read more).
Other firm favourites that businesses love
Some of these are sector specific, but are still great examples of how print is used in 2014:
- Loyalty cards
- Discount cards
- Outdoor banners
All of these items promote and encourage repeat business, which is the name of the game. It’s a well known fact that it is far cheaper to market to existing customers than to gain new ones, and businesses seem to be embracing this within their marketing activity.
Our Key Findings
The key findings we took away from this as a print firm, are that print is still absolutely essential to businesses in 2014 and is complimented by, rather than replaced by, the digital world. The digital element is used to enhance marketing activities and help make print work even harder and become even greater value for money. We’d love to hear your insights on how you use print, and how you have complimented this with the digital world for today’s marketplace.
To find out more on what we do, have a look at our website and see how we can make a difference to you.
Now for the marketing bit: