Written by & under Marketing.

When I first opened my studio, I skipped many of the traditional marketing techniques — newspaper ads, direct mail, fliers around town.

Instead, I turned to technology (website, Facebook and Twitter) and relied heavily on word of mouth. However, there was one old school method that I did utilize, and still swear by to this day.

With all of the new technology at our fingertips today, business cards may seem like a thing of the past.  However, in my experience, they have been and continue to be extremely effective in making valuable connections (colleagues, clients and customers alike).  My personal business card strategy is completely DIY…but it works!

  1. Make Them Pretty. I hate to say it, but that old cliche is true: people do judge books by their covers.  My first-ever business card was super plain and uninteresting, and consequently, did not generate much interest.  But when I hand out my most recent cards, I receive complimentary feedback from almost every person to whom I give one.  I know that I’m more likely to save and go back to a card that catches my eye, and I assume the same is probably true of others. The great news is that it’s cheap and easy to create a nice-looking business card.  I designed both of the cards pictured above using Vistaprint and paid less than $10 for 250 cards.
  2. Tailor to the occasion. I have two different business cards.  One is for my local studio, and the other is for my web-based business.  When I go to conferences (or anywhere outside the city, for that matter), I know that the people I meet will find the latter more interesting and useful.  On the flip side of the coin, I give out my Music Therapy Connections card to everyone I meet in central Illinois because even if that particular person isn’t looking for a music teacher or therapist, someone they know might be.
  3. More is more. Each person has their own preferences for connecting with others.  For example, I’m not a phone person; I would much rather send an email.  Other prefer Facebooking (yes, that is a verb) or on the other end of the spectrum, snail mail.  That’s why I give people lots of options for contacting me on my business cards.  In both cases, though, my website is the most prominent (aside from my logo) because that is where I’d prefer for them to start.

The business card holder that I keep at the entrance of my studio constantly needs refilling, which means that my clients are working for me by spreading the word. Do you use business cards to advertise your studio, and have you found them to be an effective means of marketing?