Sunday, May 30, 2010

Offline Marketing With a Better Business Card

If you are doing any sort of publicity, advertising or marketing in Japan, then you need a business card. In this country, a business card is a must. 

But is your business card boring and forgettable?

I think I have one of the best business cards around...

One of my favorite writers is a guy named Gary North. Gary writes for Lew Rockwell and he also sends out a weekly newsletter with tips on making and saving money. I highly recommend it. Gary gives out great information in his articles and newsletter for free! You can find it at the link above.
Divorce Lawyer's business card

Interestingly, Gary's newsletter this week was about a topic that I had written on yet never posted, yet I think about it every time I hand out my business card. Gary's weekly newsletter had great advice about business cards. I had never posted the article I wrote and it sat in my "edit bin" for months, because I thought what I had written was only half the equation. I was right. Gary had it pin-pointed precisely in this week's newsletter. 

He writes:

If you are in business, you have a business card.

I'll bet your card features you.  Mistake!

Why is this a mistake?  Because a stranger does not care about you.  He cares about himself.

Your card has your name in bold print in the upper left-hand corner.  Why?  "So that he will remember me."  But why should be bother to remember you?  "Because I can help him."

Conclusion: design your card to help him.
The #1 goal of your card should be this: to let him find the card readily when he wants a problem solved that you solve for a fee.

The upper left-hand bold-faced words should relate to the problem.  Example: Car repairs.  Example: Lawn mowing.

He will not recall your name.  He may recall the card because of the topic.  When he thinks, "Where did I file that card?" the card's topic may pop into his mind.  Your card's topic had better trigger this response. 

This is excellent advice. The only thing that I would add is that 
if you are going to make a card that is about you, then you had better stop to think of how you will leave your mark on the person you hand it to. In my former profession, nobody really thinks, "I need a disc jockey or a producer." So I had to make a card that people see once and they never forget me. I did.

The front and back of my "show business" business card* 

In Japan, there is a sports-card collecting boom going on. It's not just professional sports athletes, it's Star Wars, Pocket Monsters, Harry Potter, you name it, they are collecting it. I made my card to look like a sports card.

Now, when everyone else gets a standard white business card and then, two months later, they look at that card and wonder, "Who is this?" With my card, people keep it and show it to their friends and say, "Look at this cool card I got." Now, that is having people run around and promoting me when I'm not around. And that is smart.

Click here for a bunch of other good ideas for cards.  

Now some of you might be thinking that my silly card would be too expensive to design and make. Not true. I hired a professional designer and calculated the cost to where I got the per card cost down to the same price of a standard white card in lots of 100. (In Japan, 100 standard white business cards cost about ¥3,000 - ¥30 each). I printed up 3,000 cards and they were even cheaper than ¥30 each! 

So make a card that says what the customer wants in an easy-to-find place like Gary North advises. Or, if you can afford to go crazy due to your work, then GO crazy.

Stand out and be noticed. Do that online and offline.

*My business card was designed by Tsuchiya san at G-Love... One of the best design companies in Tokyo. I highly recommend them!

Keywords: publicity, advertising, marketing, Japan, business card, Gary North, Lew Rockwell, information, articles, newsletter, Tsuchiya, G-Love, design


Anonymous said...

Sweet post. Love the Sports Card example..

MOO.COM have a great ideas book for Business Cards here -

Well worth a look for some further inspiration

Review Link said...

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True Story: Sandii & the Sunsetz, Go-Bang's and Rodney Bingenheimer and Me.

Some readers might know that I am a disc jockey in Japan. I have been doing this a long time.  Long ago, I was the assistant for the lege...