Your Business Card Sucks

O M G!!!

A friend sent me this video of a ‘business card expert’ and I almost fell out of my chair. Take a look and read on:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I print a lot of business cards and I can tell you that following this guy’s advice is not a good idea!

Here are some really important things to keep in mind when you design or print your business cards:

1. Use heavy stock – don’t skimp on paper stock. Use good quality stock. When a customer holds your card in their hand, a heavier card simply makes a much better impression and like all things in life, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

2. Beware of coated card stocks. I always recommend using a stock that you can write on. Most people write on cards or scribble last minute notes and numbers. Get a sample and try writing on it – you’ll save you and your customer some unnecessary frustration.

3. Despite this guy’s idea that he is too important to fit into a rolodex, some people still use them so sticking with a standard size card is a good idea.

4. Don’t forget the back side of your business card! That is valuable real estate and everyone who gets your card will look at both sides. The best tip I’ve heard on what to put on the back is to print a coupon or promotion that a customer can use. People respond really well to these in today’s down economy and its a quick and easy way to make sure your card is sticky.

5. Make sure you include social media links to twitter, linkedin, your blog and even facebook. I’m doing more and more business that way and it is the way of the future.

As a last tip, I like the 3-foot rule: if you represent a company or do some type of sales, make sure that anyone who comes within 3 feet of you gets a business card. They are the least expensive marketing brochure you can purchase so use them!

If you want a quote on cards, give me a call. I can help you avoid looking like this guy!

Angie Ryan



Pick Me..Oh Pick Me!

What makes your company different? Why do your customers pick your company?

I think if you can find a way to make the experience memorable, you will have a customer for life.

If you can get them talking, or tweeting about it even better!

This is what has been going through my mind.  As I try to answer these questions I come up with great ideas to blow customers away.  After all there is plenty of companies out there to print, bind, scan and copy your stuff. Some of them will do it right and maybe even deliver it on time… But is that enough? I don’t think so! What do you think?

Want 100 FREE Color Copies?

Tell me why you need 100 free color copies in the comments section below. I will choose my winner on Friday! Good Luck.

The Relationship Comes Before the Sale

One of the unique things we do at my company is pick up and deliver printing jobs to our customers. Unlike many print shops, we go through the trouble to make it really easy for our customers to place orders and receive their jobs.

Yesterday I rode along with Roger, who is both our driver and a good customer service rep, and together we experienced a good lesson about sales:

The Relationship Always Comes Before the Sale

We visited a customer who had ordered some printed copies of a program.  This order was a good sized order with ten boxes of printed material and normally Rodger would have dropped it off himself. I rode along because this is a customer I really like and she had been worried about the deadline. In the down economy, I take every order seriously and I want all of my customers to know I’m thankful that I have them. In fact, I want all of my customers to think they are the only customer I have!

The customer and I talked for a few minutes about her dad’s health and a trip she was taking this weekend to see the beautiful trees change colors in the Smoky Mountains. We talked for a good fifteen minutes before talking about work and it was sincere conversation. When we finished talking, she gathered up copies of all her printed materials: thank you cards, post cards, folders, letterhead and anything else they regularly print and gave me copies so the next time the needed to reorder I would have a copy and would be prepared.

When we got back in the van, Roger was amazed. “Wow – that was nice she went through the trouble to help us print other stuff. It seems like you are good friends with her.”

The truth is we are friends. Like every one of my customers, I believe that if people like you and trust you, they will always find a way to do business with you. I work on building real, personal relationships with my customers first and selling second. I think in this day and age, real personal service and salespeople who take a genuine interest in you as a customer are hard to find.

Do you put your relationships before making sales? Do you have an experience where you use a company because they take a real interest in you?


Book Review: The No Complaining Rule by Jon Gordon

Ever worked with a complainer? Have someone on your team who is always negative, finding an endless stream of critical things to say?

Have you noticed how these people suck the life out of a business and take the fun out of work?

The No Complaining Rule On the plane today (I had a five hour flight from Oakland to Nashville) I read through Jon Gordon’s The No Complaining Rule. The short, 136 page book was easy to read on the plane and hit on some of my favorite points about working as a team.

As a rule, I avoid negative people and I work hard to be a solutions-oriented person at work and at home. I gravitate towards enthusiastic and positive people and like most people I avoid negative people like the plague.

Here are some points I learned from reading this book:

1. Complaining serves little purpose. It sucks the life out of company, is hurtful to those around you and kills both productivity and moral.

2. One negative person can create a miserable office environment for everyone else.

3. Complaining and negativie emotions are associated with:

  • decreased life span
  • fewer friends
  • increased risk of heart attack
  • more stress
  • less success

The book is worth a read for anyone who works with others or has a family. In other words, it should be manditory reading for anyone in your office or family!

The book focuses on positive thoughts and behavior as the key to eradicating negativity:

Start with yourself – you might be more of a complainer than you realize. Lead by example!

Try not to complain. At all.

If you can’t avoid a complaint or a negative statement, add a ‘but’ to the end and stack on two solutions.

Start your day with gratitude – be thankful for the things you have. If you are stuck in traffic, be thankful you have a nice car to drive.

Avoid saying ‘I have to…’ and replace it with “I get to….” Don’t say “I have to work late to finish this job.’ Say, ‘I GET TO finish this job!’

If you’ve read it, let me know by leaving a comment. I’m going to make my kids read it and buy some copies for my office. How about you?

Graphic Design Tips for Designing Your Banner

Banners are great – they are low cost advertisements that can really get you noticed. At PR Omni Digital, we print banners often and here are some tips you should consider if you want to design your own banner:

1. Use software that handles full CMYK color output. If you want to know what CMYK is, check out this link. If you don’t know what CMYK is, email me for some help!  Software such as Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign are common.

2. Design your banner to be bold and simple – less is more! People only look at banners for a couple of seconds so it should have a very clear message and lots of visual impact. Think billboard.

3. Make sure your message is large enough to read! If you are designing  a banner for the outfield of a ball park, the letters need to be LARGE! Fine print does not apply here.

4. Design with contrast or bold colors  so it jumps out.

5. Make sure your photos and images are high enough resolution. A small .jpg image from the internet will not work on a 6 foot banner! Again, my advice is free and I’m charming to talk to, so ask if you are not sure.

6. Consider how you are going to hang your banner. I’m always amazed that people don’t consider this before ordering their banner. Do you need velcro? Grommets? plastic ties? If you talk to me, I’ll ask you this up front so you look great to your team.

Need a banner? Want some fabulous banner advice?

Tweet me at @reprographicpro

Angie Ryan

Follow Friday List for 10/16/09

It’s Follow Friday!

If you are a twitter user, follow me: @reprographicpro

Part of using twitter is learning how to network and a really useful twitter tradition (as if twitter is old enough for traditions) is recommending people you follow. Usually this comes across twitter as a tweet that looks like this:

#FF or #Follow Friday: @reprographicpro @showhomesthomas @debce

Who understands what that means? There is not any information as to why you should follow these people. Who are they? What do they do?

I’m going to follow a blogging best practice and list interesting people I think you should follow and explain who they are and why you should follow them every week. Here are the #follow Friday follows for today:

@franmanual – Gary Fieldson is a writer who specializes in writing franchise operations manuals. He knows his stuff and his company, Franman, is a good company to use if you need help writing your manuals.

@Showhomesthomas – Thomas helped me get my blog going and I really love looking at his companies amazing before and after pictures of staged homes. We’re thankful Showhomes is a printing customer of ours and you should use them if you ever have a vacant home for sale. They do amazing things with vacant houses that make them sell.

@Billseaver – Bill is a Nashville native and social media blogger I’ve learned a lot from. Check out his blog and follow what he has to say.

Have a great Friday!