Thirty Creative Ways to Use Business Cards

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

Continued from page 1

16. Wear them! Use them as nametags at meetings and conferences instead ofrepparttar "Hello, my name is ..." type of tags.

17. Keep a stack of cards everywhere you might need them - in your car, your jacket pocket, your briefcase, your purse or wallet, in your planner, at home, anywhere you can think of. Then you'll always have some on hand when you meet a prospect.

When to Use Them:

18. Give them out during your personal meetings when you meet someone new: at your church, your children's soccer games, at lunch with your friends when someone brings a guest. To be more polite, you could have a personal "calling card" printed up with your information to use in these situations.

19. If you do seminars, have your participants exchange cards with each other. Have them write a compliment aboutrepparttar 124466 person onrepparttar 124467 back before they hand them out. Everyone will have a wealth of contacts; they will remember each other and it will also give participants a boost of confidence.

20. Ask neighborhood businesses if you may display your cards near their registers.

21. Tack them to bulletin boards at supermarkets, restaurants, retail stores andrepparttar 124468 library - anyplace that has a bulletin board.

22. Give out two cards at a time - one for your prospect or client, and one for her/him to give away.

23. Place some onrepparttar 124469 table when you leave a restaurant.

24. Agree to mailrepparttar 124470 cards of other businesspeople inrepparttar 124471 mailings you do, if they will dorepparttar 124472 same for you. Your networking circle will grow as your cards are passed around.

How Not to Use Business Cards:

25. Don't give them to a member ofrepparttar 124473 opposite sex inrepparttar 124474 hopes that s/he will call you. I have a friend who was told this wouldn't work. He did an experiment for six months to prove it, and his friend was right! Sadly, not one woman called him. Although he does have a girlfriend now!

26. Some people don't give out business cards when they meet a prospective client. Instead, they send a follow- up note later with their card enclosed.

Other Types of Business Cards to Have

27. Business card CD-ROM. If you haven't seen these yet, they are a mini-sized CD that plays in any CD player and has your contact information on it, as well as an introduction to your business.

28. Email Signature. Put your contact information into a signature file for email, along with a link to your website (be sure to includerepparttar 124475 "http" in order to make it "clickable.")

29. Vcard. These are electronic business cards that recipients can click on and automatically add to their address books. Do a web search for "vcard" to find software that supports this technology. Then use it in all your emails!

30. One consulting company, which works with designers of products for people with disabilities, prints their cards in Braille. It reminds their clients how they can help them comply with disability laws. It also gets people asking for information.

Linda Elizabeth Alexander is a business writer and marketing consultant based in Longmont, Colorado, USA. Improve your writing skills at work! Subscribe to her FREE ezine. Write to the Point at or visit

A Beginner's Checklist to Promoting an Online Business (Part 3)

Written by Angela Wu

Continued from page 1

6. Participate in trade shows. Get exposure by networking with others in your industry. While you're there, you can even make a pen and paper available to collectrepparttar email addresses and/or postal addresses of people interested in receiving your newsletter or additional information about your product or service. Visitrepparttar 124465 Trade Show News Network to search for trade shows of all types in industries worldwide:

7. Visit your local Chamber of Commerce. They may be able to offer you suggestions on where you can promote your business locally.

8. Send out postcards. Postcards are short, attractive, and readers can easily see your information 'at-a-glance.' Don't forget to display your URL! is a great place to get professional, quality cards at very reasonable rates.

9. Put your URL on every piece of printed material that leaves your office. This includes brochures, business cards, flyers, faxes, labels, letterhead, invoices, cheques, envelopes, and anything else you can think of.

10. Consider using promotional items such as notepads, pens, mugs, etc. Imprint these items with your URL. Give some away as gifts to your best clients. You can even sell them online! iPrint is one place you can find 'do-it- yourself' promotional items, including t-shirts, golf balls, pens, mugs, clocks, tote bags, and much more: . And at you can upload your artwork, set your prices, and you're ready to sell.

11. State your URL on your voice mail message. Say your standard spiel, then add something like, 'For more information on [your product], visit our website at' uReach is a service that offers all-in-one communications service that includes voice mail, email, and faxes.

12. Seek potential partnerships with complementary businesses. For example, let's say you sell a dog training video. You could approach local groomers or dog agility centers and offer to sharerepparttar 124466 cost of their next direct mail campaign: when they mail a postcard or letter inviting their clients to return, you also offer their clients a discount on your dog training video. This way you both reduce your costs... you reach a targeted audience quickly, easily, and through a trusted party (the other business)... and your business 'partner' can make a valuable product available at a discount to their customers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical guide to building a business on a beginner's budget. It's a proven hit with beginners, for the down-to-earth style and loads of instantly useable tips! For details, visit OR request a series of 10 free reports to get you started:

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