wikiHow to Distribute Business Cards

Three Methods:Handing Out Business Cards at Networking EventsDistributing Them in Other WaysDesigning Your Business Cards

Business cards are a tangible way that people can remember you, an advertisement for you and your company. Of course you want to use them as often as you can. However, you also want to make sure that you are making good use of them, especially when you are handing them off in person, and you should follow certain unwritten rules.

Method 1
Handing Out Business Cards at Networking Events

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    Go to trade shows, networking events, and conventions. These events are great for networking. As booths hand out cards to you, don't be afraid to hand one back, though you should try to stay in the same industry.[1]
    • These shows are even better if you can get your own booth or table. If you do, be sure to have plenty of business cards in plain view on your table. That way, if people like what they see, they can take a card away with them.
    • Don't just think big. Think about what makes sense for your business. For instance, if you own a dog grooming business, it makes sense to visit a dog park and make connections. However, outside of events where networking is expected, it's important to not be too pushy and to respect people's space when asked. While it's always important to respect someone's space, in a social gathering like a dog park, the person may not be expecting a business pitch and may get annoyed if you try to give them a card. If that happens, apologize and walk away.
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    Make a personal connection. If you just hand someone your business card with no pretense, it's likely going into the trash. You have to actually talk to the person and make a connection.[2]
    • For instance, if you go up and say, "Hi, here's my business card," that's not likely to work. That's the equivalent of walking up to someone and saying, "Hi, let's go on a date."
    • Instead, introduce yourself, and try to make a connection with the person. You could say, "Hi, I'm Jess Smith. What brings you to this event today?" Any number of openers can get a conversation going. Another one could be, "Hi, I'm Jess Smith. I work for a metal pipe company. What about you?"
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    Focus on them. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. The more you can get the other person talking, the more likely they'll feel like they've really made a connection with you.[3]
    • You don't need to spend 30 minutes talking to one person, though that would certainly be making a connection. However, you do need to spend several minutes getting to know the person.
    • Ask questions like, "What's your business?" "What's your job like?" or "What do you do for a living?"
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    Don't hand them out indiscriminately. While you might be tempted to run around the room putting a card in every person's hand you see, that's the in-person equivalent of spamming them. Instead, only offer business cards to people you make a connection with or who ask you for one.[4]
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    Ask for their business card. One way to sort of force the issue is to ask for their business card first. Most people, when asked for a card, will ask for yours in turn, as well.[5]
    • For instance, you could say, "Well, I'm glad to have met you. Do you mind if I have your business card so I can follow up with you later?"
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    Always follow up. If you do ask for a business card, use it to make a connection. That way, you will be fresh in the person's mind.[6]
    • For instance, send the person an email, or look them up on social media. You could say something like "Great to meet you the other day at the trade show. I'm looking forward to running into you in the future!"

Method 2
Distributing Them in Other Ways

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    Consider complementary businesses. When you go somewhere that is not in competition with your business, consider if they are complementary to your business. That is, do they go hand in hand with what you do? If they do, ask if you can leave some business cards. In return, tell them you'll take some of theirs for your business.[7]
    • For instance, an all-natural juicing bar and a vegan restaurant might be considered complementary.
    • Consider carrying cardholders, as well so the business will have an easy way to display them.[8]
    • This step can also work with your friends and family or with people who simply love your service. Ask them if they'd be willing to recommend you, and if they are, give them some cards, as well as letting them know the best way to present you to people.[9]
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    Always have them on you. You never know when you'll run into a situation where you'll need them. Keep extra in your car or briefcase, but always have a least a few in your wallet or purse. When someone asks, you'll have something to hand them.[10]
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    Talk to everybody. While networking events are best for handing out business cards, it's fine to hand them out when you make a connection elsewhere, such as when you're in line at the grocery store. However, the same rules apply. You should only hand them out if you've made a connection, and the card is relevant to the conversation.[11]
    • For instance, if the person in front of you starts talking about the pretty dog on the cover of a magazine, it's fine to strike up a conversation. If you're a dog groomer, that's a perfect opportunity to work in a business card.[12]
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    Ask at the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce will often have a place for you to leave business cards. Visit or call your local Chamber to find out if they offer this service.[13]
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    Use community boards. Many restaurants and businesses have community boards where you can tack up information. Try leaving a few business cards up on these boards.[14]
    • For even more incentive for someone to take one, try having a discount code or phrase on them so that they can get a discount at your business. It can be as simple as printing "Bring this card in for 10% off" on them.[15]
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    Slip them in relevant places. If you see a book at the library that's relevant to your business, slip your card in. If you happen to be looking at magazines, slip a few into relevant magazines. The key is to make sure it's inline with what the person is reading or looking at.[16]
    • For instance, if you own a business that sells crafting supplies, try slipping your cards into crafting books at the library.
    • Alternatively, if you own a dog-grooming business, stick your cards in magazines about pets.
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    Put them in mail-outs. If you mail out anything to your customers, be sure to slip in a card. For instance, include it in filled orders along with the product. That way, the customer has it on hand if they want to pass it along.[17]
    • Some people even go so far as to put business cards in everything they stick in the mail, including when they pay the bills.[18]

Method 3
Designing Your Business Cards

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    Keep them clean. You need your name, job title, and company. You also need contact information, such as your email and phone number. Finally, you need location information, such as your website. If it's essential, include an address as well. Keep any other text off of it so you're not cluttering it up too much.[19]
    • It's also a good idea to make the cardstock white. That way, people can easily add notes to it.[20]
    • Make the font legible and at least 12 point so people can read what's on them without difficulty.[21]
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    Add a photo. One way to make your card memorable is to add your face to it. That way, when people look at it, they make the connection between your business and your face. In addition, it will likely help them remember meeting you.[22]
    • Make sure the photo is professional and in good taste. You should be in professional clothing and have a professional background.
    • In addition, the photo should be a head shot, so the contact can easily recognize who it is in the picture.
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    Make them useful. One way to ensure people keep your cards is to print something useful on them. Usually, you print it on the back, so it's out of the way of the main information. That way, people who get them will want to hang onto them.[23]
    • For instance, you can add a calendar to the back or common conversions.
    • You could even print tiny rulers on the back so they can be used for measurements.
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    Make them work for you. QR codes can be helpful to include on the back of a business card. A QR code is something that can be scanned with a phone that automatically takes the person to a website or social media page.[24]
    • While not everyone understands QR codes, it can make it easier for some people to get to your page.
    • You can use an online generator to make a QR code for your website. Be sure to test with a scanning app on your phone first to make sure it works.
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    Consider digital. Many apps are making it easier to share information digitally. While these apps are still in progress, you can use them to easily pass information to new contacts. The downside is they need to have the app, too.[25]
    • Some apps to consider are Zap, Bizz Card,[26] and Haystack.[27]

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Categories: Business | Customer Relations