4 tips for marketing yourself with business cards

By Ryan Harrison


In this age of digital everything, it’s easy to forget about one of the most important, time-tested methods of marketing: the business card. Despite our many high-tech gadgets and advanced online marketing strategies, the business card is still one of the cheapest and most effective marketing tools for freelance writers, graphic design artists, editors, photographers — any small business owner. Here's how to use them to market yourself.

Your business card represents you and your work, and anything that helps create a good first impression is crucial for gaining more business. Don't skimp here; a high-quality card is a must. Here's how to use them to market yourself.Get acquainted with your business card printing options, including paper stock, printing and finishing options to create the best card for your business.

1. Be generous

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the average small business owner in the U.S. distributes 40 business cards each month. Three in 10 said they always give out their card when meeting someone new, no matter what the setting. The SBA also recommends giving out two cards: one for them to keep and the other for them to pass on to someone else. You never know when you’ll run into an opportunity to discuss business. It can happen at the grocery store, on an airplane, at the gym or virtually anywhere you go.

Always have a stack of cards with you to hand out. Your dentist, physician, even your massage therapist may be in need of your services, or they might know someone else who does. Without a card, it’s easy for the other person to forget about your conversation, even if they have a need for the services you’re offering.

2. Include your card in mailings

Anytime you mail something out, you should include your business card. Attach it to an invoice, a brochure or any type of correspondence.

3. Unique places to leave your card

You never know who might see your card if you leave a few on a table in a café or even tucked into a public phone book or a newspaper. When leaving a tip at a restaurant, include your card (of course, the better you tip, the more likely your information is to be shared). Tack your card up on community bulletin boards in your area, as well as on bulletin boards in other cities you visit. Take every opportunity you can to leave your information where it will be seen.

4. Use your card to form an alliance

Visit a business that might complement yours. For example, a freelance writer might meet up with someone who offers Web design services, or vice-versa. Ask the owners of the business if you can leave your cards for them to pass out to their clients in exchange for your doing the same for them. Incorporating traditional marketing strategies along with an online marketing campaign gives you an edge in today’s competitive market. The business card can be an essential part of that strategy.

See also:

13 ways to act like a business owner in 2013

8 ways to market on a pauper's budget

Marketing secret: Send a note card