There’s something about the energy in a big room full of entrepreneurial minds who are networking and sharing their experiences of crafting a career out of a passion and being successful in business. It’s extremely inspiring and motivates you to go back to your office and work towards your passion and dreamy lifestyle of abundance and balance (perhaps from the shores of some idyllic beach).
Usually the first thing you do after a networking event is go through the handful of business cards you acquired from rubbing shoulders and talking biz. There’s generally an array of beautiful card stock, clever designs and stunning print finishes. You then stumble across the one where you felt you really connected in the brief conversation with its owner. The business card is totally on brand and you excitedly start typing www. in your browser to pull up their website only to be confronted with a dreary, confusing mess that you can’t un-see. It totally ruins your first impression and leaves you questioning your better judgement and if you actually could do business with this person.
There’s nothing worse than being given a really cool business card only to be disappointed by an outdated or irrelevant website – or worse, being redirected to a Facebook business page.
Networking is the basics of business, whether it be at a specific event or just an accidental meeting, building business relationships is essential for your brand to grow. In these face-to-face meetings it’s deemed regular conduct to have a business card to exchange with your basic contact details. But truth be told, what we’re really looking for on the back of these aesthetically pleasing pieces of cardboard, is the URL of their website in hope of getting to know them more before we pick up the phone.
With that in mind, here are a few points on why your website is mightier than your business card:
It can be accessed anywhere, anytime
Websites are globally accessible and do all of the heavy lifting for you (even while you sleep!). Customers like to investigate before they invest so people are more inclined to check out your website and learn more about your business before jumping on the phone or shooting through an email enquiry to make initial contact. Having a great website that truly represents your brand will start to warm up your crowd, ensuring that email or phone call will come through.
It’s affordable marketing
Marketing is key to the success of any business but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By utilising the many tricks and features available on your website you greatly increase engagement and your marketing efforts. At minimum, your website should feature an email opt-in to your newsletter or a sales funnel to a promotion. This allows you to gain loyal followers build your e-newsletter list — which is the most invaluable tool because you own it, not some third-party company.
In a consumerist society, people’s buying choices are based on trust. With online marketing you can target a specific audience for individual promotions and increase and monitor your conversion ratios. By offering your expertise and valuable resources through your website and newsletter, you’re setting the foundation for marketing success.
It gains instant feedback
One of the most integral abilities of a website is that it’s a hub for gathering instant feedback. Whether positive or negative, customers can easily get in touch through forms and direct email links. This is an invaluable resource in making sure you’re staying true to your brand and serving your ideal customers.
It helps brand building
Your website is the perfect platform to start warming up your crowd by displaying your expertise, highlighting feature products and services, and showcasing your portfolio. Building brand awareness helps to take the user connection a step further. With a business card, you’re limited with the amount of personality and information you can display but your website is the perfect opportunity to expand on that and showcase your brand for what it truly is.
It monitors success to help keep you ahead of your competition
One of the greatest features of your website is perhaps the ability to extract analytics and data to keep track of where your potential customers are located, how long they spent on your site, which products or services get the most clicks etc. Tracking user habits can help you refine your packages and services and target your marketing efforts towards your ideal customers. By analysing your SEO data and implementing a bit of strategy into your business, it will help ensure you hold your own in a competitive market.
It has no boundaries & is flexible
Websites are dynamic in content compared to a static business cards; they’re interactive and can provide an unlimited amount of information compared to a small piece of cardboard. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing quite like handling a beautiful card stock that’s been meticulously designed and adorned with aesthetically pleasing embellishments such as letterpress, foil printing or splashes of colour. But what if there’s a print error or you change your phone number? Your website is mightier because it can adapt and grow with your brand without having to worry about reprinting and informing your contacts every time you update your information.
If you’re relying solely on the good ol’ fashioned business-card-exchange to bring in consistent paying customers you may need to revise your marketing plan a little. User buying habits have become quite picky because of how spoilt we’ve become by pretty, shiny, easily accessible things. If you don’t have a website — or if you have a website that doesn’t work wonders for your brand — you run the risk of being overlooked for your competition and deemed unprofessional in your industry.
In summary, business cards are still an important part of your overall marketing strategy and should be a part of your marketing collateral in your branding package, however their main purpose is to direct potential customers to your website for more information on your products/services or to highlight a package or promotion. Your website is an opportunity to expand on information; to educate your customers; to go into detail on your products and services; to warm up your crowd so they feel like they know and can trust you. Only then will they be ready to commit to a purchase or picking up the phone.
Do you have a website and business card that compliment each other and your brand? I’d love to hear about the last time you handed out a business card and if you had any follow up contact afterwards. Tell me a story in the comments below!
Who is Rabble Rouse Creative?
Hey! I’m Kate Carman, a qualified Digital Designer and the namesake behind this multidisciplinary freelance design studio. I founded Rabble Rouse Creative with a rebellious spirit and a simple objective: to create intelligible and minimalist design concepts that help small businesses create big brands.
I'm passionate about empowering fellow creative freedom seekers with the knowledge, resources and inspiration to realise and achieve their business goals and dreams. You got this!