The Worst Mistake You Can Make With Business Cards

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In today's episode of #AskAnnie, I'm discussing the worst mistake you can make with business cards.

This is Episode 5 of my Facebook Live series, #AskAnnie. You can watch the video episode above or read on for the transcript version. Like our Facebook page to catch these broadcasts live!

Hello! Good morning and welcome to another episode of #AskAnnie. This is my online show where I take your common questions about branding for small businesses and small business owners.

Today is all about the almighty business card.

This is a controversial topic. Some people think business cards are dead and I'm here to answer one very big question that I get a lot which is, what is the worst mistake you could make with a business card?

So what is the worst mistake that we can make with a business card?

It's actually pretty simple, but it's really important.

The biggest mistake that you can make with a business card is not having one.

The biggest mistake you can make with a business card is not having one on you. And there's going to be two big reasons for that and why I say that it's so so so important. People are saying that business cards are dead. They don't carry them. They have digital apps.

They're two big reasons why the biggest mistake you can make is actually being empty handed. If you don't have business cards on you when you're at a networking event, or you're in the elevator, or you're at a restaurant and you meet somebody you didn't plan on meeting, you miss out. So here are the two big reasons.

Business cards leave a lasting impression.

I've heard a statistic that almost 90% of business cards get thrown out in the first week. And you would think that is pretty good advice for "we don't need business cards anymore, they're just paper, we're just throwing them away."

But the thing is, a business card is the very first impression that somebody has of your business, beyond what you are verbally saying. So give them an opportunity to see your logo. Give them an opportunity to learn a little bit more about your business. Let them be impressed that you "have it all together", that you actually have a business card with your branding on it. That you actually have something on you, which is becoming more of a rare occasion.

These days people don't have any sort of contact information on them. They don't have their business card. It doesn't have anything about what they do.

Business cards help you to make connections.

I teach a lot about how to make creative business cards and how to create business cards that tell your story through the branding of them. I have created formats and do interesting things, but just remember even if you're in the very beginning, you want your business card to make the impression that you're a serious business owner. That you want to make connections with people and you want to make that good impression.

Even if that card is going to get thrown away later, and believe me I've heard plenty of stories of people who keep cards forever, especially the really special ones, you want to be one of those people that make a good impression. You need to not be empty handed. You need to always have business cards.

Business cards provide easy access to contact information.

That leads me into my second reason for why you really don't want to make this big mistake of not having business cards on you. And really the biggest reason for that, more so than impression, though I feel like that's very important, is contact information. If you meet somebody and it's a great connection for your business, your life, or for someone you really care about, you want a way to instantly connect with them. If you don't have a business card, you might be losing the opportunity completely.

We are all very, very busy people. We have a lot going on so if you don't hand me a card with your contact information, I'm probably gonna lose the thread. I'm probably going to move on to something else, some other opportunity, someone else who is following up with me, or someone I got a business card from.

Make sure to have a business card on you, even if it's not perfect.

These are reasons why you always, always, always want to make sure that you have a business card on you, even if it's not perfect, even if you don't have a logo and all you have is your name. Because remember a business card was created just to provide contact information. To share it with other people so that you can make connections along the way that will grow your business and that will help you build your network.

You know I run into this all the time. It just happened to me last week. There were people that I wanted to connect with, to send business and they didn't have a business card on them so I'm not going to follow up because I have other things to do. I run into people who are so embarrassed "I don't have a business card" and it's tough.

Instead of having the impression that your business is really together, that you want to have connections, it sort of puts you in the position that, if your business isn't even important to you to print out some expensive cards from VistaPrint, is it at all important to you?

Even if you do nothing else, go create a business card.

I want to encourage you, if you do nothing else is to go and create a business card. If you don't have any, or you ran out, reorder them, go to moo.com or VistaPrint or some other site. I'm not gonna shame you that they're not perfect business cards, just that they exist so that from today on you're going to make the business card pledge, that I will no longer be empty handed. I will no longer make the worst mistake I could make with my business cards which is not having them.

For that next event I want to challenge you to make sure that you bring them, make sure to connect with people, and see the difference that you make. Even if you're using an app, having something physical to hand somebody and say look this how much I care about my business, that I'm putting myself out there. It's going to make an impression and it's going to last with people. So they aren't dead. They make great impressions and they make great connections for you.

I encourage you to get out there put your best foot forward with business cards and stop making this really, really big mistake. And if I run into you better have them on you, if you're here in the Raleigh-Durham area or beyond.

Looking for more?

If you're enjoyed today's episode about business cards, you may also enjoy Branding with Annie this month. We're actually focused on business cards as well. I'm going to talk more about best practices, how to make creative business cards, how to tell your story through them, and take some of the stuff to the next level.

Branding with Annie is coming up next week on Tuesday May 8th. If you're here in the Raleigh-Durham area or you want to come up from a surrounding area, you can get your tickets at brandingwithannie.com. We do have a few seats still left.

If you're watching this after May 8th, then you're getting the good advice about business cards and there's probably another workshop coming up at brandingwithannie.com. So check it out and join us.

Have a wonderful week! Thanks again for watching the latest episode of #AskAnnie.

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