There are three mistakes you can make when promoting yourself and your business or service. These are rookie, amateur, and foolish mistakes that can cost your operation dearly. These are mistakes we’ve all made, some of us over and over. If you want to promote your business you need to understand how fatal these three missteps can be, and learn how you can easily and affordably ensure you never make them again. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. YOU GOTTA BRING ‘EM WITH YOU
We all know the Boy Scout admonition: “Be Prepared.” But how many times have we forgotten our cards? We haven’t been prepared and it cost us, big time.
Picture this. You are on a routine errand. Say you are getting your oil changed in your vehicle or getting your tires rotated. There you are, not especially well-dressed, and who should sit down right next to you; a key prospect, that’s who. The one individual you’ve most wanted introduce yourself to for months. The “it” guy at the very top of your list. Mr. It remembers you from a brochure he’d seen, and asks for your card. Eagerly, you reach for your wallet and remember – you don’t have them with you.
Now, it doesn’t matter that you weren’t dressed to the nines. It doesn’t even matter if you brought promotional material with you. What does matter is that instead of handing this key contact your professional business card with four possible ways to reach you, you are now searching scratching out your name and number with a broken pencil on the back of a greasy sales receipt that reads: “Manny’s Automotive.”
Were you hoping to leave an impression? You most certainly did.
2. USE YOUR IMAGINATION
One of the most important things you can do to promote yourself and your business or service is to capture the attention of your prospective clients. To do that, you are going to have to use your imagination. And, if you don’t have any, you are most welcome to use ours. The moment you hand out your business card you have a brief, magical, window of opportunity where you can make a dynamite impression, or, not.
Let’s say you are at mixer where a lot of professionals are gathering from various businesses and enterprises. What are they doing? Schmoozing. Greeting one another. Making contacts, and? Passing out business cards. Exactly. Now, in that sea of black on white, regulation size, buy them by the thousands, all-look-alike-paper, you add yours to the stack.
Yessiree. There will be no mistaking your plain white, blank ink, standard issue, boring card here. No chance your card will get lost in the shuffle. No chance your dull, lifeless scrap of paper will land in the next available trash can. You may not know it, but you just wasted your time and a golden opportunity to stand out from the herd.
3. INVEST IN YOURSELF
Okay. Last chance. You are in the elevator, or bus, airplane; pick one. Imagine your entire future is at stake. Your success or failure in life will be determined by the business card you pull out. Does it rock? Does it make a statement? What does it say about you?
Whoops. You scrimped, didn’t you? You went with the cheapest, buy-them-in-bulk, cards you could find. Cheap paper, cheap ink, cheap reproductive, cheap typeface, cheap font, well, you get the picture. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time, skimping on quality. But that was before you were on that elevator and your entire future was at stake.
Now you look down at your ugly, boring, chintzy, pathetic little card and realize your name is misspelled and the last two digits of your phone number have been transposed. No worries, you can easily scratch that out and scribble in the correct information. Yes, that will certainly cement your professional image in the eyes of your prospect. Oh, be assured, they will definitely remember you.
There you go. Your future is crystal clear. Your fate is sealed. You, my friend, are doomed. If only you had known how important your business card was going to be.
You Are Your Card
There’s nothing you can do about the impressions you might have made in the past. The good news is, you can absolutely do everything about making a great impression on everyone you meet in the future. It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. YOU BROUGHT THEM
So, let’s go back to the mechanic. You run right into key prospect guy, he asked for your card, you smile, reach into your pocket, pull out your business card case, nicely monogrammed or bearing your company logo, and you produce your card. You point out that your card has all of your critical contact information on it and you are available by phone, cell, or fax.
2. YOU GOT IMAGINATIVE
Okay, so you had to borrow some of our imagination, that’s cool. You are at the mixer. Everyone is milling around, making quickie introductions; passing around their plain old, plain old boring cards. You pause, briefly, taking your time before unveiling yours. A gasp can be heard. A murmur goes through the crowd. Fortunately, you handed your card to the gal in the room with the high-pitched voice that carries. Everyone heard her say, “Oh, my gosh, these are great!” She shrieks, her burbles of enthusiasm echoing throughout the cavernous meeting room. “Look at these,” she says, drawing a crowd.
No wonder everyone is staring. Your high quality, superbly designed, artistic, creative, ingenious, colorful, contact pieces have a wow factor of 10! They are unique, original, expensive-looking, finely fashioned, and, we hate to brag, exceedingly well crafted. These babies aren’t business cards; they are business accessories.
3.YOU INVESTED IN YOURSELF
Every time you pull out your business card and hand it to someone, you leave them with a tangible imprint of your personality and service. It is the ideal way to make an impression, and if done right, it will make a lasting one. Create something worth keeping. Your future does depend on the very next impression you make. Make sure yours cards deliver the right one. Invest in the best. We can help.