Much is made about marketing and branding as an investor and in business. You can spend hours setting up and perfecting your website while neglecting the most important marketing material you have available, your business card. Most people in business don’t spend more than a few minutes when ordering a few boxes of business cards, which they will have for years. However, when all is said and done, this is what people in business will remember and reference after you meet them. If your business card is boring and less than spectacular, it can start a relationship off on the wrong foot.
You don’t need your business cards to be florescent with blinking lights, but you should make them stand out. Instead of trying to stand out by being different, you can make them stand out with quality. If your business card is generic and your picture is ten years old, people will automatically make assumptions that reflect poorly on you. This may not be fair, but since there is a very fine line in networking and in business, you want to give yourself every opportunity to put your best foot forward.
It is nice to save money by buying in bulk, but you don’t want to have such a backlog of cards that they last you five years. You should keep your card looking fresh every year or so. Start with the quality of the paper the card is on and the look of your picture on the card. From there, you can add all of your personal contact information and finally you can think of a slogan or a tagline that you want to be remembered by. The appearance and layout of a good business card can get you one new deal or new contact a year. If it does, the upgraded cards will have easily paid for themselves.
Having a quality card is only worth it if you distribute it often and to the right people. There are not many things more embarrassing in business than not having a business card on you when someone asks for it. Every networking event or investment meeting you should have a stack in your pocket ready to hand out. This does not mean you have to run up to everyone you see and start handing out cards. Engage in conversation first and then when you are ready to move on you hand out a card. This may seem very trivial and petty, but people in business will remember everything and look at the big picture when deciding who to work with. If two investors are equal, something as small as your business card may make the difference.
Your business card is the first type of marketing you will do for your business. Instead of just getting the cheapest cards to get started, spend the time and money to make your card something people will remember you by. With all the money that is spent on marketing and lead generation, a few extra dollars dedicated to your business cards can go a long way.