You love your blog, your visitors and life is great. You’re online, on Twitter and connecting with people all over the place. You probably think you don’t need business cards. But wait. Blogging is all about relationships, both online and offline. So if you’re concerned about networking, then you need to think again. Because like it or not your smart phone can’t replace your business cards. Even though we live in the digital day and age, you can’t replace business cards with technological communication. A physical piece of paper 85x55MM gives more credibility than your private jet behind you.
So moving on, let’s see what short reasons we have for you to ensure you find the need for business cards…
Why Business Cards Beat Smart Phones
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Whether you’re at a networking event, a major conference, or you meet a fellow blogger by chance. Nothing beats a business card when it comes to face to face networking…
Business cards are always available, you never need to recharge them and there are no black spots to contend with.
Helps build relationships
If you’re serious about building a community you believe in building subscriber lists. To do this you probably have to give something away. Have you ever noticed what happens when you hand over a business card? That’s right… people feel obliged to give you their card in return.
Helps make multiple connections
Blogging is about making connections with people, lots of people. It’s impossible to hand over contact details to a crowd of people with a phone. Business cards are easy to hand over to multiple people in one go, even at a busy conference.
People ask for them
Has anyone ever asked you for a card when you haven’t got one? Embarrassing isn’t it! Worse still not having a card in these instances throws up a barrier, damaging your ability to connect with that person.
In the same way as a web presence equates to a physical business location, business cards make you seem more legitimate.
Reinforces your personality
People visit your blog to hear what you have to say. You want people to leave with a lasting, positive impression of you. When you meet with people face to face, you want the same thing. So give them something to hold on to.
Reinforces your brand
Business cards help reinforce your personal brand and the brand of your blog.
Shows people how you can help
You want to succeed and as you know, succeeding online means helping people. So remind people how you can help; include your USP or similar detail on your card.
Veterans like to use them
Many people still like using Rolodexes. Some people don’t own the latest smart phone. And yes, if you want to connect with people like this you need a business card.
Builds physical connections
A physical card suits the physical connection. People can take a card away with them and keep it until they need you. Cards just naturally work when networking face to face.
How to Design Cards like a Pro Blogger
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Make sure you don’t scrimp on design, a good design will emphasize the most important information ensuring that your personality stands out. TIP: Test your design before it’s printed by comparing your card against others in your collection, your design should stand out from the crowd.
It’s important that your card mirrors your blogs style. Mismatched marketing implies indecision or indifference on your part.
Decent stock / material
Don’t ruin a great design by printing it on inferior stock or material. People will notice, especially when they compare cards collected at a conference or event.
Print quality can also let you down. Selecting a decent printer is a must and not difficult to do with the numerous online reviews available.
Stick with a standard size
Cards with unusual sizes and shapes can make an immediate impression. But wait… Remember your contact has to take your card away with them. Fancy cards are easily lost if they don’t fit into standard card holder or wallet.
What to Put on Your Blog Business Card
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What you put on your card depends partly on your goals. Prioritize the info on your card, remember less is more, and avoid those useless buzzwords or superfluous contact details.
Here are my Top 3 must haves…
People meet you, so your name is the most important element on your card. It will connect you with your contact details after the event. Make sure your name appears clearly on your card, is easy to spot, and set in a legible font.
Your main point of contact
After your name you should emphasize your main point of contact. For most bloggers this will be their e-mail address.
Your blog URL
It sounds obvious, but your blog URL is a definite must have. If you own or post on multiple blogs consider adding the most relevant to your card. If you post as a contributor on other blogs consider adding these as well, but be careful and perhaps don’t print too many cards, just in case things change.
Other options include…
Your logo is perhaps the easiest way anyone will identify with your blog. Take it easy, your name is still more important, and your logo shouldn’t overwhelm other key information either.
Although considered cheesy in some situations blogs are highly personal, with many blog owners including profile shots on their blog pages. You’re meeting with people face to face so a great way to connect your card with you is to include an image of your face.
TIP: Stylized illustrations can work well.
Blog tag line
Provided it’s not too long consider adding your blog tag line, your USP, or a short snippet of text explaining how you can help the cards recipient.
After your e-mail the most important contact info can be your social media profiles. Twitter is probably essential, but don’t include accounts that you don’t actively use, this looks awful.
Many people use cards to note down additional points, so consider leaving a portion of the reverse for notes. If you’re going to do this ensure any colours in this area are light enough to write on and that you test card stock or print finishes.
Consider offering incentives to people you hand the card to, this could come in the form of a link to free information or an offer.
Whether you include your phone number or not depends on your goals. Some bloggers block out time to work on specific tasks, in which case a phone call can just get in the way. On the other hand if you’re offering consultancy or make yourself available to speak at conferences then including a phone number may make sense.
If you’re a lone blogger you can leave this out altogether, if your part of a team, a job title may be necessary.
QR code use is getting more and more popular these days, so why not use them on your business cards?
Here are a few ways you can use QR codes on your cards:
- Link to an e-mail signup page
- Link to an offer or giveaway
- Link to your blog, About or Contact page
- Add all your contact info in one go, see: http://www.qrstuff.com/
- Link to a key social media profile
- Link to a relevant incentive or special offer
TIP: Remember to test your QR code as much as you can before your cards are printed.
Scan your cards
Scan any cards you receive, so that you can connect with your new contacts, see:
New conference / new cards
Great quality business cards are available online at reasonable prices. So if you’re going to a conference why not get cards printed especially?
- Include a conference specific offer leading to a landing page
- Create a design specific to the conference, along with a splash page on your website
- Link to material on your site of interest to the conference attendees
All great talking points, that make you impossible to forget.