Saturday, September 11, 2010


Do you remember?
Where you were
Who stood by your side?
When the news came
When you first saw the horror?

It is an image
That is seared
Into the backs of my eyes
Burned into my brain.

Images that will never fade
Shock that doesn't ease
The sight of men, women
Jumping to their death
Can you imagine
A situation
When that is the best option?

Copyright 9/11/2006 Stephen Hollen

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Business Card Marketing - Part 2

Now that you are convinced that business cards are an awesome way to promote yourself or your business, why not think about the card itself.  It is your miniature billboard, your mini-brochure, your hook for more business, more gigs, more sales.

Design -  This is a bigger deal than you might think.  First of all, color is important.  It is especially important if you provide artistic or creative services or products.  I don't mean some wild chunk of card stock that looks like leftovers from Woodstock.  I mean something coordinated, tasteful and RELATED to what you do.  A plain, raised letter business card on white card stock is fine... if you are an undertaker!  If you are a ballet dancer, or if you make ballet shoes, why not a picture of ballet shoes on the card.  A bookseller's card could have books.  IN COLOR!  Most card printing companies offer full color fronts AND backs fo nominal fees.  I usually get a full color front and black & white or gray-tone back.

Size - Don't try the odd sizes.  They don't fit in card cases, won't go in a wallet and aren't worth the extra money they usually cost.  Stick to the traditional size.

Folded or Not Folded - This is a personal preference.  I have seen many articles about folded business cards.  Some say they are like a "mini-brochure", but I am not a fan.  Sure, they can contain a lot of info.  Sure, they look nice.  However, they cost more for fewer cards and I can carry fewer in my card case.  As I checked on price for me they came to about 3.2 cents per card compared to 2 cents per card.  I can give away 50% more cards for the same price!  Also, instead of 20-30 cards in my case I can only carry 10-15 cards.  Again, personal preference.

Font Size and Style - recently I ordered postcards with a printed message on the back (more on post card marketing on another post).  Online the proof looked fine.  When they arrived the print was too small.  I used a font that looked neat, but really was not a good choice.  Stick to recommended sizes and styles.  Most business card sites have templates that give you recommendations. 
Don't mix fonts.  Not a good idea.  Keep it simple.  One or two fonts on a business card max.

Content - Don't try to overwhelm with information.  It will just clutter the card.  Keep it simple, tell what you do and leave it at that.  Use your website or blog to post your resume or CV... not your business card.  Use the back side of your card for additional information.  However, I recommend you print LESS on the backside than on the front.  I usually print my website and phone number on the back.  (Note: also contains my name, so you can add your name to the back)

Make your business card reflect YOU.  Give it away freely and carry it with you everywhere.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Business Card Marketing

If you are a performer, speaker, storyteller, musician, business owner or earn money by providing services or goods - you need a business card.  That is the best marketing advice you will ever read.  It is not a good idea, something to consider or your next purchase.  If you don't have a business card, stop reading this now and search "business cards" on Google or Yahoo.  Find a site that sells them and order today!

Business cards are a must, not a luxury.  They are also the most inexpensive way to market yourself, services or products. I love using business cards and use them constantly.  If I haven't seen friends in a while, I  give them a couple cards to make sure they have my number and address.  (I also ask that they pass the extra ones on, if the opportunity arises.  The opportunity does arise!)  I give them to folks when I am speaking.  After the event, while I am visiting with the crowd I always have a handful and give them to everyone.  I have never had anyone reject one!

I use the back of my card to write notes when I have to leave a message for someone.  I offer my card to others if they have to write a note.  They are easy to write on, convenient - they fit in a wallet!

People tend to keep business cards.  I don't know why, but they do.  I keep a tickle file of cards with services, friends and products.  Sure, I could look things up on the computer, but like most folks, I keep the cards.

I normally carry a soft plastic business card holder in my pocket and it is full of cards.  Cards get bent and soiled in a wallet or loose in a purse.  The soft plastic holder is lighter and easier to keep in a pocket than the fancy ones made of metal, leather or other materials.  Normally I can carry 20-30 business cards with me at all times.

Here is a helpful hint... keep additional cards in your car.  I have a "sandwich size" Ziplock bag in my car and my wife's car with business cards, post cards and similar marketing materials.  If I run out, I can always go to the car for more.

Don't be stingy with business cards.  Online you will find many companies that sell high quality business cards for very low cost.  Do some comparison shopping.  Order a suitable quantity.   Many sites have user friendly templates and designs.  My last several cards took 10-15 minutes to design and order.  Spend the extra money and get the better cards without the printing company logo and info on the back.  Better yet, put your website and phone on the back. 

If you like the design you choose order plenty and use them!  My last business card order cost TWO CENTS a card.  If I give 1,000 cards away it only cost $20!  If you hand out 10,000 cards a year you would spend $200.

Business cards are a great marketing investment!