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Targeted Business Cards

I know it’s considered old school nowadays, but I’ve been thinking of getting some targeted business cards printed up. Why? Well here’s the scenario… I run into random people quite often in need of design help. Sometimes it’s a someone from a new startup needing some work, or a band or some mom-and-pop shop that needs some help. I like working on a variety of different projects – it keeps me sharp and sane.

The only issue is, I don’t have a business card that works across all audiences. My card right now is very generic, trying to cover all bases and impress anyone enough to pick up the phone and give me a call.

I went to a concert a few weeks back, for the sole purpose of checking out one band and talking to one of the members specifically. It’s hard to be prepared to chat with someone at a show – it’s usually total chaos and hard to pin anyone down. Then when you do, good luck finding a pen or a scrap of paper to write down any info. I can’t write on the back of one of my cards, cause whoops, it’s printed double-sided.

So for bands, I need something much more sturdy, easy to write on, illustrates music in some way, and can pass handwritten info to others. For start-up clients, they usually just want an email address, and they’ll usually contact you by that medium at first.

I figure I need 3 cards, one geared for the hi-tech industry, one aimed at the entertainment industry, and one general one for potential clients that don’t fall in either scenario.

I guess the only issue is… carrying all of these cards around.

Comments (3)

  • I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it’s hard for us so-called “jacks-of-all-trades” to work on a specific scope. However, if you do have the space to carry around a binder in your bag or in your car, I suggest you bring around some of your own work (printed on paper of course), sort of a portfolio you could show potential clients. This is how photographers and models do it. I don’t see any reason why website developers and bloggers can’t.

  • Hey Evan, I can really relate. Having been in the position of being involved with several startups at once, of course in my mind I see perfectly how all the different services relate *in my own head* but it’s confusing to prospect ‘x’ if I hand her a card that says “jack of all trades” (thanks J, good phrase)

    A mentor of mine who started his career with 12 retail stores was the one who keyed me in to targeted cards. Takes a bit of getting used to for you, but whta he explained to me and what I’m experiencing, is that once propect ‘x’ becomes client x, if they spot your other cards, they’ll go to work looking for referrals for you.

    good luck, great site.

  • I know I’m posting late! Great suggestions so far. Evan, here’s a simple solution. Start by asking yourself two questions:

    1. In 15 years, will web technology be different? Of course, we’re talking web 5.0. That means your required skill sets will need to change & adapt along with history.

    This very fact means you may find yourself working with all different kinds of groups which means you could always be printing different cards for a new targeted audience.

    2. Finally, who/what are you branding? You’re a great designer but 80% of your clients will hire you (primarily) because they like you. That’s the bottom line.

    I’ll have to respectfully disagree with Jeff’s conclusion in his comments. It won’t be them spotting your plethora of targeted cards that inspires them to tell other people about you. They’ll be inspired to tell others because they liked you and your work….YOU….The brand. not the cards!

    Get one card with rounded corners heavy stock with matte finish. Simply places your web address (big), name, and phone. Leave one side blank on purpose so you or your prospect can jot quick notes about your discussion / project. Your targeted marketing cards are pages on your web portfolio. One card and pen at all times bro!

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