The ‘ol’ business card, one of the most powerful, yet ignored weapons in marketing your business.

Now more than ever there are many ways to attract new customers to your business.

Maybe it’s a marketing campaign in the form of an ad in the paper. A big poster or billboard, through the use of social media or maybe you get your customers through word of mouth, but what about that more personal level. I find that some really great leads come directly from networking or just being out and about and having a chat with other people/businesses.

In this scenario the most important tool I have is me, how I come across to the other person, that first impression will most likely determine if they want to do business with me or not. On departing I always give my business card. It then reminds them of what I’m capable of doing in the event that they need my service in the future. Now let’s face it, most business cards I’ve seen are very boring and very dull, some don’t even use both sides of the card. A lot of them or either from a free service or worse created at home and printed off and cut out onto paper. After having a great chat with a potential customer and getting them on board with what your offering and building that trust you then give them a basic poorly designed business card and ruin it all. Having a really nicely designed professional business card can really seal the deal and make sure your potential customer remembers you and calls you up if the need your services.

I’m not saying ours is the best by a long way, I’ve seen much better out there but let me talk you through the thinking behind our business card which may help you in improving yours.

Front Design

purple cloud solutions business card front

You should have at least one picture or image on your business card. Studies show that people are more likely to hold on to a Business card that has a photo on it. It doesn’t have to be a picture of you but maybe of your product. I guess it’s because pictures grab attention.

We have our business name logo ‘purple cloud solutions’ as the main image.

The QR code displayed in the front as well, this goes to our homepage currently but you may want to think about which page you send people to. I’ve been thinking about sending people straight to our services page.

The tagline of ‘we specialise in local business’ as we want do a lot of business with local businesses in Sutton Coldfield so I thought it was a good thing to display.

In smaller font we have the line of ‘web development and design‘ and ‘expanding your business on the Internet’ which pretty much sums up what we do.

I think the for front of the card, you want something eye catching hopefully our logo + QR code does this. You don’t want to display too much info that may detract from the logo, I know there’s a fair bit on our front and for that reason i may remove the ‘Great design always forecasted’ play on words tagline to gain some space back.

Back Design

purple cloud solutions business card back

flip over to the back and we have in biggest font my name. This is really important as i want the person who has my business card to remember me and remember meeting me and conversation we had. I want it to be personal and not just a corporate business card.

I’ve listed the main services down the left hand side and used our cloud logo in place of bullet points for a bit of design.

Our tagline at the top ‘We help business get set up online’ is underlined by a contrasting colour of green to help it stand out. I want the person holding the card to know that this is what we do and specialise in.

I’ve added a ‘want a business card like this?’ tagline top right as we had so many people comment on how nice our card was I thought id add it in as a service.

Just under my name is the usual info that you should provide, website link, email, phone number etc. Along with any social medium links you may have. (you should have)

Then to end just a simple ‘Just give me call’ with a smiley face helps keep the whole thing friendly and more personal.

You may have noticed that we went for the rounded edges cards and not the standard rectangle design that most business cards have. You want to stand out and be different from your competitors so you should take things this into account. How can you be different from your competitors?

We have had a lot of comments on our business card, I feel it really gives of a professional look and feel. There’s always improvements that can be made, and for that reason i tend to buy them in batches of 100 in case I want to change something or add something in the not so distant future.

So take a look at your business card and ask yourself, is your business card letting your business down? Or is it a cool business card that people will look at and remember you by.

Facebook’s timeline update to business pages allows companies to have a much bigger presence on the social media web. Is your business there? if not then why not lol are you crazy!
More than just providing consistency between personal and company-owned Pages, Facebook Timeline provides businesses of all sizes an opportunity to use the platform to market their organisations in a much more engaging way.
On 30 March 2012 it goes live so make sure your business is ready for the switch over. All pages will be automatically changed to the new Timeline format. It’s therefore vital that businesses with branded Facebook Pages are taking steps now to prepare their Page for the switch, and ensure they’re making the most of the great new features Facebook has introduced.
The cover photo

Purple Cloud Solutions on Facebook

The cover photo will sit at the top of your Page and will be the first impression users have of your business when they visit, so it’s important to get it right.
Keep the image simple. It should embody not only the look of your business, but its personality, communicating your value proposition to customers and what your organisation stands for.
Be careful though, as Facebook won’t allow cover photos to include promotional content or calls-to-action. It’s important the image entices users to learn more and join your community without becoming a direct marketing tactic.
You should change your cover photo at least seasonally to help tell your evolving story. For instance, a local hotel might post photos of a scenic view as it changes through the seasons.
The ‘About’ section
Small businesses can use this section to convey any vital information about the company, such as a top-level overview of the organisation and what it offers its customers, or important local information, such as contact details, address, opening hours and even a map to your exact location.
By clicking on the ‘About’ section, users are taken to a more in-depth description of the company, but still try to keep it short, simple and well-spaced so all of the information is easily conveyed.
Timeline
We witness the passion and enthusiasm they have for their organisations and industries on a daily basis. We also see just how important the company’s journey is, in particular reaching major milestones.
Purple Cloud Solutions Facebook Timeline
Timeline is shifting brand pages towards a story-based model, enabling brands to showcase heritage and history in a visually engaging and personal way.
Use the Timeline feature to market your organisation’s history by adding in backdated content you have on file – your first shop or office opening, your first employee, or your 1,000th customer.
If you haven’t already started, now is the time to start collating content about your business’ history. Small companies should aim to insert these key pieces of content into the relevant points in their Timeline to create a compelling story that encapsulates what the organisation stands for and delivers to its customers. Then, think about ways to drive your fans to that content. For instance, you could do a “This Day in Company History”.
This is further enhanced by the new ‘milestones’ feature available on wall posts. It allows businesses to ‘star’ pieces of content as significant so they are featured more prominently on the Timeline.
The page navigation banner
The section under the profile and cover photos is the new home for all content not hosted on the Timeline – including the About section, photos and applications.
The icons for each of the applications will be larger and more prominent than on the old page style, so it’s important to select visually appealing icons. You can also label them however you choose – think about active, exciting names that will encourage fans to click.
If you have multiple applications, you’ll need to select the two or three that you want to focus on and make sure they’re the most visible. The rest will be tucked away and only visible when users expand the banner to see the apps.
Pinning content
Timeline offers businesses several new editorial techniques to make their content more successful. One of the best of the free tools made available is the ‘Pin’ feature.

Facebooks pinning content
When a piece of content is posted to the wall, those with Administrator rights to their business’ Facebook Page can ‘Pin’ the content to the top of their Timeline where it remains for seven days.
This will allow businesses to ensure key pieces of news or promotional content remain visible for longer. This in turn will drive more engagement with the content and help boost the community.
Administrator panel
One final note is a new feature available through the Administrator Panel: the ability to turn on – or off – private messaging. When this feature is turned on, fans can now privately message you as a business, which is great for more personal or private questions. Further, because Timeline orders your posts by engagement, rather than chronologically, it’s a bit more difficult to keep up with comments and Likes. The Administrator Panel comes to the rescue with an easy way to see all of your notifications in one place.
We are very excited about the new opportunities Facebook Timeline will bring to small businesses looking to market their organisations. Through correct use of the new features in conjunction with promotions and exclusive content, we can see SMBs only becoming more successful with their Facebook marketing.
It’s vital that small business owners spend some time making these changes and investigating Facebook Timeline for Brands in order to create a company Timeline that truly embodies their business and enhances their image online.