Business Card is No Longer the First Impression

I’m Proud of My Business Card

In the Internet Age, you need more than a nice business card to create a good first impression.

In the midst of a recent Communications Audit – that’s my term for a brainstorming session and review of marketing materials – a lively discussion developed on the topic of business cards.

In this Age of the Internet, ye olde business card remains an important marketing asset.

The discussion on this particular day was the value of embossing the firm’s logo on the card.

It’s a well-turned phrase, but also a truism, that a nicely embossed card creates a good impression.

Describing his embossed card, the client said, “When I present my business card to a customer, I feel proud about the way the card looks, and it shows that I’m proud of the business.” The sincerity in his voice and his dedication to running a customer-focused company helped me to understand why he is such a successful salesman.

Creating a Good First Impression on the Internet

But while we’re examining his embossed calling card, let’s also think about how effective it is in creating a first impression.

Remember, in the Age of the Internet, a customer has likely checked you out before you ever meet her or have a chance to present your card.

The completeness of your LinkedIn profile and the effectiveness of your website are important factors in your first impression, much more so that the paper stock, ink varnishes and embossing on your business card.

When you meet people in person, what do they think of you if you’re wearing a great tie and a wrinkled shirt? Or if your hair is combed but your mustache needs trimming (I guess I’ve been looking in the mirror too much).

Checklist: Creating a First Impression

Use this quick checklist to evaluate the first impressions customers might get of your business:

  • Does your website compare well to your competitors’ sites? Is the content fresh? Is the navigation clear?
  • On LinkedIn, do all of your associates have complete profiles that showcase your company’s capabilities?
  • Does your company logo reflect what you stand for?
  • Does your Facebook page look like you’ve been paying attention to it?
  • Does your office phone system drive potential customers insane?
  • Are there piles of papers on your receptionist’s desk?

By answering questions like these, you can quickly develop a plan to create the best possible first impression. As the old saying goes, you have only one chance to do it.

The Value of a Communications Audit

Bringing in an outside facilitator to conduct this review process can make it easier to navigate office politics and lead to a plan with broad buy-in. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how we lead workshops to evaluate marketing materials for small businesses and non-profit organizations.

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