My central premise about running entrepreneurial-centered business is that “Every business is an information marketing business.”
And the most fundamental and practical business building tool entrepreneurs have at their fingertips – especially at seminars and networking events – is their business card.
Because seminars provide the ideal networking climate of face-to-face conversations, your business card, if designed properly, can become a persuasive leave-behind to build your brand and expand your marketing reach.
I believe every entrepreneur must have two business cards. One for everyday use and one for seminars and networking events.
The purpose of your seminar business is to inspire, motivate and even persuade the people you meet to follow-up with you and take action.
To make that happen you need compelling content and even an irresistible offer (on the back of your card).
The problem is, most business cards I encounter are nothing more than mini-billboards with basic information. They’re information tools, but not marketing tools.
Take a moment and picture yourself at a seminar or networking event. You’re excited to be there. You can sense the energy from the other attendees in the room. And you have a stack of your own business cards to hand out.
During each face-to-face conversation you have, there’s typically that awkward moment when the only thing left to do to bring closure is to reach into your pocket or purse and take out your business card to make a mutual exchange.
And then when you arrive back home and settle back into your daily grind, the only reminder of the conversations you had at the event are business cards you received.
But then as each day slips by, the likelihood of following-up with that person (or that person following-up with you) slowly dwindles. Often the cards you gathered end up in what David Allen calls the “someday/maybe” pile and eventually in your waste basket.
I have no idea if this has ever happened you, but I did happen to me repeatedly after each seminar I attended. I couldn’t figure out why people failed to follow-up with me, or worse, why I resisted following-up with them.
So one afternoon about 3 years ago I set aside some critical thinking time to analyze how to create a business that would automatically motivate and compel a follow-up call, or build my list with an online opt-in.
Chuck Green of Idea Book says, “Many of us use it more than any other single marketing item, yet it very often demonstrates the least marketing smarts.”
I whole-heartedly agree.
And in my experience, marketing smarts start with creating a purpose. So I decided to assign a purpose for my seminar business cards. The purpose of my seminar business has three functions:
1) My picture to remind them what I look like after the event
2) A 24-hr recorded message to prequalify initial phone calls
3) An irresistible offer on the backside to grow your online list.
Here’s an example of what the front and back of my seminar business card looks like:
The key elements on the front are my picture to remember me by. There’s a personal statement or intention such as “I’m looking forward to meeting you in person at this seminar” which makes the card an ideal insert in a pre-event direct mail letter that anticipates a meeting.
There’s the typical name, title, company and address, but the phone numbers has a twist. I don’t recommend to put your personal office number. Put a 24-hour message that pre-qualifies direct phone conversations by answering 5 to 9 FAQs first-time callers typically ask.
Most entrepreneurial CEOs leave the back of their business cards blank. (The truth is, most of them don’t even have a business card exclusive tailored for seminars or networking events).
I recommend you put an offer on the back of your to build your list. Give them your best free offer that defines what you stand for in your business.
Make it free, make it compelling and make sure you have a trackable URL that is exclusively utilized for events so you can test the card’s pulling-power.
Please do this now: Pull-out your business card out and take a look at what you see. If you only see your logo, your name, the name of your business, your title, possibly a website and email address and your phone number, change it!
Again, your picture is there to give them a visual reminder of your conversation. The 24-hour recorded message is there to save you time and frustration of answers the same questions from even the most well-intentioned first time callers. And the offer on the back is specifically intended to build your list.
Add those three functions and you’ll have a winning info marketing tool in your pocket.
Fancy logos, bright colors and expensive paper stock are unnecessary. The money you spent on those elements usually end up as landfill so it’s a waste of money in my opinion.
If you model the functionality of the seminar business card above, the three small tweaks I’m recommending can have an immediate impact to grow your online list, pre-qualify first time callers and putting a face to your name.
Best of all, four-color cards printed on the back and front are affordable. I get mine from Vista Print. Grab your mouse and go there now – they’re low prices may surprise you.
So what about you? Do you have a business card exclusively designed for seminars or networking events? If you do, I encourage to share (in the comment section of this post) what it looks like. What I’ve recommended is just a start.
I’d like to learn from you if you feel your business card can improve mine, so please comment.
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