Why cheap business cards are the kiss of death

We’ve all seen them. Those free business cards with the clip art image in the top left and Vistaprint printed on the back. They’re great for children and for clubs, but there’s no way any type of business that charges money for its services should be using them. Here’s why:

Business cards are still one of the first ‘touch-points’ you make with a potential client. A touch-point is where a first impression is made in just a few seconds. Some of the others are: your handshake, how you answer the phone, your office reception, your advertising and your website. What impression does a flimsy free card make in those vital seconds?

(People who use free business cards often don’t have their own domain name url for their email. This too is a disaster. Do they not know how cheap email hosting is compared to the very high cost of looking like an amateur?)

If you’re not prepared to spend money on promoting your brand in the simple way as having a good business card you are sending the message to the world that you don’t care a fig about their needs. What you’re saying is:

“I’m on the take, to grab what I can. You have to pay dearly for my over inflated services, but I’m not going to invest in you or give you any value. I’m too cheap, tight and self-serving to do that. In fact, I’m actually lacking in confidence so much in myself and my business that I felt it was too great a risk to invest in a half decent business card. This way, by not spending any money, I may be able to con someone into being a client, but if not well, I haven’t lost anything.”

Is that what you think? Because that is what your prospects will think in a heart beat.

Why brochures are dead

Brochures (stapled together marketing material) will soon be consigned as an anachronism to the dustbin of history.

Why? Because they are costly and ineffective, that’s why.

Should you spend your money on something that no-one reads, that has become so devalued that people get angry if they receive it (and call it spam), that goes straight into the paper recycle bin thus wasting time and material resources AND that cost a moderate sum to produce? The answer is yes, only if you’re an idiot who doesn’t want to be in business for very much longer.

But you do still need to have something that you thought the brochure was going to do. Something that:

– Makes you look like you know what you’re talking about

– Is professionally designed, branded and unique

– Lays out your stall and clearly shows what you offer

I’m here to tell you that you still need all that (and more) but you won’t get it from a brochure, you’ll get it from a book. Your book. Your very own book.

In addition to the above, a good book will:

– Position you as THE authority and expert the reader should be dealing with

– Create kudos and brand recognition

– Create good will towards you. More people will like you. (And people buy from people they like)

– Have longevity and value. People don’t throw books away

– Be transferable. Who ever recommends a brochure? But they’ll recommend your book

– Make you money, directly and indirectly

A book has value. It contains stories and meaning for the reader in a way that a brochure that just mouths off about how good you are can never do. It’s more truthful. It gives something to the reader, something useful. Instead of you just shouting about yourself, you’re effectively talking to them, about them, about what they want to hear.

As a free give-away to prospects or as a product sold in bookshops and online stores, a great book written by you will do all these things and more.

And the cost?

It’s actually costs less to produce a book than a brochure. Not only that, but if you sell the books, your new ‘brochure’ will actually make you an extra income all of its own.