Let’s Talk Business Cards and Email – “YEAH!”

I know it can be a boring topic but the basics of profitability really do require you have good business cards and email – and so damn many consultants screw the pooch here. Here’s some basic tips that many miss, which can really hurt profits in the end.

Business cards:

    Business cards are crucial and one of the easiest ways to connect with prospective clients, and reinforce your brand. There are a couple of general rules about business cards I believe in following:
    They shouldn’t cost you a ton: There are online printing companies (e.g., www.overnightprints.com, or www.vistaprints.com) where you can order 1,000 high-quality, full-color premium business cards for as little as $35.00! These aren’t poor quality cards either. You could opt to visit your local printer, but you’ll pay twice as much.
    Writable. Some cards can come with glossy finishes. This is cool on the front, but leave the back of the card a matte finish so it can be written on.
    Do NOT make your own: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been handed a business card from a new consultant and it is blatantly obvious it was printed on their home printer. The edges are perforated, it’s a flat coating, and the printing is blurred. If you want to make sure you never get business, just hand something like that to a prospect. It screams, “I suck at this because I have so few clients that I can’t even afford $35.00 for good business cards.”
    Content: Don’t go crazy on a business card. Trying to stuff everything you can onto a card only leads to small print no one can read, or a cluttered look that isn’t appealing. On the sites I mentioned above you can find tons of templates, or even order raised or embossed printing. I keep mine simple with just the following:
    o Your name & title (front)
    o Your brand or logo (front)
    o Your contact info (make sure you include email, website, social media links, phone, etc) (back)
    o Your value proposition or tag line of what you do in terms that anyone can understand (front)

    Email:

Email is absolutely vital as it will be your primary means of communication with most of your prospects. Therefore, it has to be a program you understand how to use and one that allows you to easily track or find emails.
Email Address: Whatever you do – and I mean, “whatever you do” – I beg you to not use an AOL, Yahoo or Hotmail email domain! Having one of these screams a lack of professionalism! It is very simple and inexpensive to set up your own business domain and have an email associated with it. On any domain registration site (e.g., www.godaddy.com) you can search for a website name that is available and purchase that domain address for as little as $12.00 a year, that includes free email!
Branding: Also, your email is a great means of branding yourself so make sure you use a signature in your email that automatically places your contact information and brand at the bottom of each email. It’s ideal to include your social media links as well. Warning, though, try not to add everything including the kitchen sink in your signature or tag line. I get emails from some consultants that have 12 accreditations after their name. It’s obnoxious and ineffective.
Disclaimers: There seems to be some trend lately where consultants are placing lengthy confidentiality disclaimers at the bottom of their emails (e.g., if you’re not the intended receiver, yada, yada). My advice—don’t, as it’s basically annoying as hell, and seeking to impose a contractual obligation unilaterally has absolutely zero legal merit.

Consistent branding is key so across all platforms make sure you stick to the same message, same logo and always reinforce the same branding.

How do you print and use your business cards?

About Jay Niblick

Jay Niblick is principal and co-founder of Innermetrix and best selling author of What's Your Genius and The Profitable Consultant. Learn more about Jay Niblick here and connect via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Comments

  1. PeterKenneth24 says:

    Very effective and Impressive suggestions!! Thank you very much for sharing these useful tips with your readers. http://www.copyparadise.com/A5-flyers/

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