Business Cards: Don’t Waste Money Printing Business Cards

When people first start their own business, the first thing they do is get 1000 business cards printed.

Don’t bother!

Don’t print business cards because only people who want to sell you something (that you don’t need) will take them from you and use them.

Do people that you need something from ever take your business card and use it to contact you?

No. Of course not. Because it’s your job, not theirs.

If you want something from someone you have to take it or ask for it.

So the next time you talk to someone that you might find useful later, instead of giving them one of your business cards, take theirs instead.

And then, when you get home tonight, send them a “hello!” email with your huge-mungus email signature.

A standard, boring email signature looks like this:

John Thomas
Boring Company Name 
Phone number 
Mobile number
Fax number

That is so lame.

This is your chance to make an awesome email signature.

An awesome, huge-mungus email signature has the following 11 extras:

  1. Your tag line:
    • A phrase under your name that summarises how you make the company you work for awesome (that leans towards how your company helps clients)
    • Or, at the very least, a sentence that explains what your company does
  2. Your tertiary qualifications
    • If you are proud of them
  3. Your Skype username
  4. Not your fax number
    • Because fax machines are lame and having the number makes you look like a fossil
  5. Repeat your email address
    • Restate it here so it’s easy for them to share it with other people
    • Don’t rely on people checking up in the email header for it
  6. Your physical address
    • Especially if you run a home based business
    • Stating it makes you credible and real
    • People like to know they can come round to your office and punch you in the face if you annoy them… Or pat you on the back for a job well done too I spose…
  7. Link to your LinkedIn profile
    • Which is a prompt for you to ensure it is up to date because LinkedIn is awesome
  8. Link to your blog
    • So people can read your thoughts and you get the chance to establish your credibility, oh… you don’t have one? Lame.
  9. Link to your business Facebook page
    • So you look 21st century, oh… you don’t have one? Lame.
  10. Link to your Twitter
    • oh… you don’t have one? Fair enough actually, it’s not for everyone
  11. Link to your websites
    • oh… you’ve only got one website? Lame. Add a link to your favourite charity then

My email signature is 21 lines (excluding spacing). I dare you to make yours bigger!

(And before you include the text “think about the environment before you print this email” just stop. It’s not 1999 anymore. Just stop.)

My huge-mungus email signature:

Sheldon Nesdale

Digital Marketing for Small NZ BusinessesMBA.Waikato.(2011). BECom.(Hons.Mktg).Waikato

c/o Marketing First 2009 Ltd
13 The Green, Bayfair, Mount Maunganui 3116, New Zealand
Phone: (07) 575 8799
Mobile: 021 128 5046
Skype: sheldon.nesdale

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3 Replies to “Business Cards: Don’t Waste Money Printing Business Cards”

  1. I’m not sure about the business card thing as I think there’s a certain amount of credibility that comes from having a card (should you be asked for one).

    I like what you are saying with the email signature though, I’ve just done mine and I’ve gone from about 6 lines to about 15.


    1. Good point. Being asked “do you have a business card” and having to reply “no” is lame. So what would be a good reply?

      How about “I don’t, but if you give me yours I’ll email you my 21 line email signature”.

      If you ask for theirs first, and then if they don’t ask for yours in return, you’re off the hook.

      Actually, maybe that’s an unfair exchange, taking someone’s details without supplying your own. Maybe you are actually buying their business card with one of yours.

  2. Impressive!
    But does it bring business?
    Perhaps a system of contacting prospects like a blog retains front of mind presence?
    So when they are ready to buy they’ll call.
    Giving someone your credentials and 20 different ways to contact you isnt going to make them do it.
    Constant contact does……if you want their business. And I dont think you do?
    Have a great day in paradise. No more ships taking shortcuts today!

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