10 guerrilla marketing tips using your business cards
Our article today comes from an email I received from Vonnie Maddox (follow her on twitter here or check her portfolio out here). I chatted with her for a bit on twitter and asked her to shoot me some questions she has as a freelancer just starting out – and she didn’t disappoint. With the question below came an email with about 15 other questions, which made me realize something – freelancing can be a bit rough when starting out fresh and not knowing the ropes like other seasoned veterans.
Below is the question that this post stems from.
I’ve got business cards printed up, but rarely find anyone to give them to. Are there places that designers can leave cards where they might get noticed, such as printers…?
Since I personally didn’t have business cards for the first year or so of freelancing, I know that this is a question I’ve often asked myself over and over again. Besides handing them directly to someone, how can we utilize our business cards to market us – even if we’re not around at the time someone gets their hands on them.
Below are some ideas I’ve put into use in the past. I sincerely hope they help you out in your freelancing business and I hope the list sparks other ideas as well – and feel free to drop a comment with your own guerrilla marketing tips using your business cards.
- Turn them into bookmarks – You can leave your business cards inside books at the library. Make sure the books are ones that your target market will be reading. You could also get creative and design bookmarks like you would your business card. Overnight Prints has some great bookmark packages for highly cheap prices you can check out.
- Leave them in strange places – And by strange, I do not mean the toilets in a public restroom But if you can find a unique place to put them, they’ll stand out more. Try inside magazines at the doctors office, leave one behind with your tip at a restaurant, ect. The more off the wall the place, the better.
- Point an arrow at it – Here’s one I tried – and succeeded with. Find stores in your area with places you can tack cards/paper to – grocery stores usually have these when you first walk in. Use a thumb tack to put your card up. Now, take 15-20 thumb tacks and put them in the shape of an arrow, pointing directly to your card. It’ll instantly stand out.
- Make a coaster out of it – Yes, realistically your business card will become wet and will eventually be of no use, but if you leave it on a table inside a starbucks or a place similar to that, with a cup sitting on it, people will notice it.
- Send one with a bouquet of flowers – Send a potential client a bouquet of flowers (assuming the potential client is a woman) and in the spot where you place the card, place a nice written card and behind it put 2-3 of your business cards.
- Turn your cards into magnets – I recently seen at wal-mart that they have packs of 100 business card sized magnets which you can stick your business card to. So, being the ‘outside-the-box’ thinker that I am, I took 10 of them (5 front facing, 5 back facing) and put them on street poles (the ones around here have metal boxes on them – flat surfaces). One guy emailed me already and mentioned them – he took it home with him and has it on his fridge now!
- Business card or coupon? – For those of you who haven’t printed your business card yet, try this one out. Use the back of your card as a ‘coupon’ by designing it to look like a coupon. Get it printed in a paper stock you can write on and put a line in the design for a “referred by” spot. Let your friends/family take 10-20-100 cards and write their name on it so they get credit (or even offer them a referral bonus).
- Gas Station Counter – This is another one I’ve personally tried and received clients from. Purchase a business card stand from Office Max or any other office supply store (I purchased the $1.00 ones) and place 10-20 cards on the counter at your gas station. You never know who will come to the gas station, see your card, call you and hire you.
- Fish Bowl Marketing – Get a glass fish bowl and put a sign in front of it asking business card carriers to place their card in for a chance to win free design work (or copywriting, consulting, a free dinner, ect). Make sure you have a stack of your cards next to it so interested people can take one. Now, you’ve got interest and a fish bowl full of potential leads (minus the winner of course).
- Free, take one – Here’s another one I’ve used before. People love to see the word “FREE” so by putting a small sign (even hand drawn if you’d like) next to a stack of business cards that says “FREE – take one”, peoples eyes will gravitate towards them. They’ll (hopefully) find it funny, grab a card and check your site out.
Obviously these are just some of the ways you can turn your business cards into a great guerrilla marketing tool for your freelance business. As I said above, if you’ve got more ideas, feel free to leave a comment so others (as well as myself) can benefit from your knowledge. I know I’ve got some amazing readers here, so I expect some creative ideas in the comments section
Also, I am planning on doing a series of articles from questions I get from you guys, so don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.