Everyone knows that a box of business cards on the desk does absolutely nothing for personal branding, self promotion or driving sales.
To make business cards work for us, we have to get off our butt, network with people, smile warmly, engage our new friends and then exchange cards. Going straight into a pitch at a business luncheon would surely drive everyone away, so we show genuine interest in the other attendees and their businesses. If we are able to establish some rapport, and a friendly conversation ensues, we'll probably jot a few quick notes on the back of incoming cards that show some promise.
Following the meeting we’ll follow up with an email, expressing how great it was to have met them. It is then appropriate to Like their Facebook page and connect on LinkedIn. It is the beginning of a relationship in which we’ll find out more about our prospects and look for opportunities to tactfully demonstrate our value to them in each interaction.
Our hope is that our new friends will refer back to our business card to find out more about us, and hopefully add us into their contact management software.
Business cards are only effective when we distribute them and actively network with prospective customers.
Failure to distribute and promote your content is just like keeping a box of business cards on your desk. Nothing will come of it. Very few people go searching for product or service brochures to read. These days, it’s difficult even to gain search engine rankings without an active blog and regular social media engagement.
Sadly, when many business owners come to this realization, they go about it all wrong. Blog and social media posts become channels for shameless product, service and self promotion. Nobody likes braggarts who toot their own horn. Yuck! And they don't trust them either.
Customers buy from people they like and trust. And they invest in products and services they believe will genuinely improve the quality of their life (make them happier in some way). People will occasionally purchase on the spot, when there's a desperate need. But most of the time, they've been engaged with the seller for a while before making the decision to invest.
Nature is formed for the advancement of life; its impelling motive is the increase of life.
- Wallace D. Wattles, author of The Science of Getting Rich
Wallace Wattles said we're here on this earth to advance life, to provide value. Do you deliver value? Do your prospects feel that their life has advanced in some way as a result of having met you online? Or do they believe you're just one more annoying salesperson, sleaze-ball salesman trying to make a buck at their expense?
Business cards only work when they are distributed and you interact with people. And even when someone takes one, to keep that business card from going straight into the bin, you have to be likeable, inspire trust and should have already demonstrated real value.
Your static website is just going to lie there, like a box of cards on a desk, unless you get out there. Your content provides an unparalleled opportunity to provide helpful tips and solutions to your readers’ questions and pain point(s). You have the occasion to edify and inspire, then distribute and promote your valuable content through social channels to people who crave your content. It's your chance to be likeable, inspire trust and build irresistible value.
Cole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.