Networking Your Way to Profit: Part 4; Business Cards Advice for Start-Ups

Carol Bentley

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Is your business card just for handing out at business meetings, because everyone else does so? Or is it a real marketing tool for you?

Provided you’ve got the design and content right (see my article ‘Networking Your Way to Profit: Part 3: Your Hidden Marketing Opportunity’) it can be one of the hardest working marketing weapons in your arsenal.

But only if you use it properly to position yourself.

And that’s where the quality of the card you use counts. It speaks volumes about you and your business.

Start-up business people know they need business cards. But often they go for false economy by using the cheapest methods possible to get their cards organised. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying a fortune should be spent on cards. What I am saying is the card should look like a quality card – no matter where it came from.

Self-Print Cards

The entrepreneur, sole-trader and individual professional sometimes print their own business cards using the many ‘business card’ products available and an inkjet printer. Be careful…

* The cards are often flimsy in order to feed through the printer and consequently give the impression of ‘a business with no experience or history’. Handing these out at business meetings in particular can send out the wrong, damaging message.

* Inkjet printing smudges and runs if it gets wet – again giving a less than favourable impression to the people you want to engage with.

On-line Printed Cards

There are many websites offering free business cards. A selection of designs is available and you can add whatever details you want. The cards are often a good quality weight and feel good to hand out.

There’s just one thing that spoils these for you…

If you are only paying postage the company supplying the cards has to have some means of recompense. And they have… YOU are doing their marketing for them.

They print their website URL on the back of your cards, so every time you hand one out you are advertising their website and, by default, you are also implying you don’t consider your business cards important enough to pay for them.

If you don’t take your business cards seriously – why should anyone else?

By all means use these sites; they can be very cost effective. But, as a minimum, pay the small amount they ask to remove THEIR website details off the back of YOUR cards.

Of course if you’ve read my previous article: ‘Networking Your Way to Profit: Part 3: Your Hidden Marketing Opportunity’ you know what should really be on the back of your card, don’t you?

Test it for yourself: Close your eyes, and feel your business card. Does it honestly give the impression of quality, professionalism, trustworthiness and integrity?

If it doesn’t, you just might be throwing future sales away when new business contacts get the wrong impression about you.

©2005 Original Work by Carol Bentley

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Carol is the author of ‘I Want to Buy Your Product. . . Have You Sent Me a Letter Yet? (How to create powerful sales letters, advertisements, flyers, brochures, web pages and newsletters that persuade hundreds, or even thousands, of additional customers and clients to buy from you!) by Carol A E Bentley (Rated 5-star on This book is available at a special offer at

Carol is one of the highest paid direct response copywriters available. If you would like to talk to Carol's office about having her work on your current or next sales project you can use the contact form on her website


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