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Common Business Card Mistakes - From a Dental Marketing Consultant

Aug 8, 2008
Business cards, it seems, are neglected, abused, given little if any thought when designed, and are grossly misunderstood when it comes to their real intended use.

A business card, as it turns out, is nothing more than an abbreviated ad and a way for people (preferably those that want to spend money with you) to contact you.

However, what approximately 99% of everyone who has a business card misses is this: the ADVERTISEMENT part! Few people take advantage of the business and use it to generate business.

I will try to walk you through the do's and don'ts of creating a business card.

Let's start with the headline. Yes, your business card should have a headline. How else is someone going to know whether or not they should keep the card or even call you?

You have to give people a compelling reason WHY they should take action. A headline's job is to get attention. Then, get the reader to read on... to learn more.

Next, don't make the important information so small that it's impossible to read without one of those old biology class microscopes. Fill up the card. White space has never enticed anyone to do anything. In other words, white space in any ad, or on any business card, is space that costs you money, but fails to generate any revenue.

If you have a website, include it in your contact information. However, by adding this to your card, you are implying that this is a valid way to get what you have to offer. Make sure that your website is always functional and up-to-date. If your prices change, be sure to update this information on your website. Equally important is the services that you provide. Make sure that your website informs people about what you can do. And, if your abilities change (grow), make sure your website reflects those changes.

Pairing with the website, a personal email address is also a great addition. A lot of people feel like they can get more information through email, and it seems less threatening. However, I must reiterate the "personal" part of this. Don't put info@yourcompany. This makes people feel like their email will probably go off to some outsourced respondent in India. No, put YOUR email address - YOU@yourcompany.

Next important tip: Use both sides! Paper is expensive; ink is cheap. We're going back to the white space-factor. For many potential customers, that 2.5X3" piece of cardstock is the only thing they might see of yours. Make it count.

AND, include an guarantee or an offer... Or, both! Give them an additional reason to keep your card and take action.

Lastly, provide a small, simple map. This is especially important if you work with a lot of people that are new to your area. Try to give them a general sense of where they can find you.

So, let's re-cap.

1. Headline - WHY should I even keep this thing?
2. Easily read your contact information.
3. Website and email included (but, only if this is a true resource you can offer).
4. Use both sides of the business card.
5. Offer something to entice them to want to work with you.
6. Map.

If you already have a business card, rethink your design and the use of your card. Make sure that it serves as, not only a resource for your contact information, but also as an advertisement.

If you have not yet put your business card together, or if someone else is creating your card for you, be sure to evaluate all of these key pieces that every professional's business card should include. Make it work for you.
About the Author
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing which gives Dentists a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education including new patient attraction, and internal marketing systems. Visit www.EMCdental.com and get a free practice
building kit sent directly to your home or office.
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