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Business Cards - Building Your Brand

Just because you have an online business doesn't mean business cards are obsolete. Business cards are still an important part of building your brand with an Internet business! And of course, any business that operates in the "brick and mortar" world, in addition to online, still needs these cards, too.

Business recognition - which directly relates to the long-term, repeat customers that are the backbone of your business success - is something you can develop with your business branding. Branding refers to many things that describe or paint of picture of your business. It can include everything that contributes to your business image: your logo, the colors you use, your style, your reputation, what your business is known for, and much more-and that includes your business cards.

Your cards should always be a consistent part of your branding efforts. They should look similar to your website in terms of colors and images used. They should convey the same message you present with your website. And they should foster a professional image for your website and your business.

In fact, using business cards can help increase the number of visitors to your website. Not everyone is going to find your website via a search engine and specific keywords. One of the best ways any business attracts new customers is via referrals. Having cards to hand out at trade shows, send along with client orders, and distribute via other means is one way to get your website information into the hands of potential customers that might never see your website otherwise. With your business card in hand, they will go directly to your website, bypassing the search engines entirely.

Obviously, that means your business cards should absolutely always include your website url on them. And you want it to be easy to read, in a large enough font, and maybe even in a different color so that it stands out. Of course, how you showcase your website url on your business cards will relate directly to the image your are creating for your business-or your other branding efforts-because you should always remember, you want your various marketing tools to work together. They should coordinate or complement each other.

Business cards have long been an essential marketing tool for anyone serious about their business. They still are. Today, though, it's even more important to make your card stand out from the handfuls of others people acquire from various sources.

Your marketing tools - and the elements that must work together to develop your branding - include your website, your storefront and signage (if you have one), any and all flyers or brochures you distribute, postcards and other advertisements you mail, and your business cards. Other online elements - like Google ads, the emails you send, any e-newsletters you create, and so on - are also an important part of your marketing tool kit. Of course, this is just the short list. There are many other pieces in most business marketing tool kits today.

Yes, there are many elements that work together to create and enhance a brand for your business. As technology continues to evolve, new elements are being added all the time. But that doesn't mean all of the old ways are no longer applicable-or effective. Professional, polished business cards are still an essential way to help spread the word about your business.