Tuesday, 30 March 2010

House of Istria does PR series... How to use your business cards!

Hi all... it's lovely to be back in full logo and pictures galore! My apologies to blogger, they certainly fixed the problem pretty quickly and now blogland is back to looking its wonderful self again.

Ok so, was having a little think today about now that we have our Brand established, how do we get people to see it? If, as Levinson writes in his book Guerilla Marketing, that we are bombarded with over 30,000 adverts a day, how do we make sure that us, our tiny little business with a minimum marketing budget; gets seen, and better still, remembered?

One of my thoughts was about business cards. I dont think I use my business cards anywhere near as much as I should. Sure, I hand them out to the odd potential customer if House of Istria's hair accessories come up in conversation, and I'll be sending them along with my orders. But what else can I do with them? How often can I actually make use of them? Well, I started daydreaming about a typical day and spotting the potential in the day to 'drop' my cards. And I found there are so many ways! This is your example day

Wake up. Other half leaves for work- sweet voice- 'darling, could you please attach a few of these on to your staff noticeboard today? And leave some in the staffroom/restaurant/anywhere, just SOMEWHERE/ where people might see them? Thanks. Oh, and I have one on file... could you add one to your staff online magazine for me? Thanks so much... I love you... '

Breakfast, need to get some milk as 'darling' kindly didnt save me any. Walk to corner shop. 'Oh hi, do you mind if I leave some of my business cards on your counter? Thanks very much'

Open post with breakfast. Write replies, get ready to return. Pop in envelopes shiny happy little business cards.

Walk dog. 'Oh hello, stranger in the park. Your dog is sooo cute. more conversation leads to the inveitable ... so what do you do'? At which point, you know the drill.

Worktime! Oh wait, youve got a spare half hour. time to letterbox drop those business postcards that have just been lying around!

Lunchtime. 'Hello, friend. Its good to catchup. How business/family/life? Mine is great, have been working on growing my business... which reminds me, have you had one of my business cards yet? Oh, you like it? Ive revamped my branding (SEE EARLIER POSTS)! do you really like it? Great, would you mind handing out a few for me? I'd REALLY appreciate it. Coffee on me'. Staple business card to lunch receipt. Are you in a coffee shop? Can you leave some on the counter?

Back to home and work... Oh no car has run out of petrol! Petrol station stop en route... but hold on a minute.. that petrol station counter is looking slightly bare! 'Hello, Mr Nice Station Attendant'! You know whats next...

Back home. Work work work, then off to get a haircut before going out to networking event.

Haircut= salon= 'hello, blank counter. Youre looking vaguely familiar... shall we get acquainted'? Not to mention hairdressers- they know EVERYONE! see if you can do a deal- swap a tip for a business card drop to her PERSONAL clients- dont get them into trouble in the salon, poor things.

Out to networking event. Need we say more?

Ok so you can see, with this many potential opportunities in ONE DAY, there should not be ONE DAY that passes without giving out your cards to at least one person. Every day. Thats 365 cards a year. Minimum. Do not see a NO as an excuse either. Garage says no? Go to another garage next time you need petrol. Or ask if the attendant could take a personal one instead for their own use. Hubbie has no e-magazine? See if he can slip it into the hard copy. Etc.

So image the scenario.. your cards are at a petrol station. A customer comes in, wants to pay for their petrol. They glance briefly at your cards lying on the counter, but dont pick one up. They walk outside to see your car pulling away with 'HOUSE OF ISTRIA' on the side of your car. Hmm. Looks familiar. They go back the petrol station the next day and see your cards again; in big bold letters, House of Istria. JACKPOT. This has a double effect- the initial advert is being compounded and stored to memory, ready for future retrieval. And now that your BRAND has been seen three times, slightly more interest just might be turning on. Customer picks up the card, then throws it on the floor of his car. Wife gets in later. 'Whats this honey'? 'Oh, some card I found at the petrol station'. 'House of Istria Hair Accessories'? She looks happy. Oh, so and so was asking me just the other day if i knew anyone who made great hair accessories, she is looking for one for her wedding!

Ok so this all sounds a bit far fetched and also a bit local/low-key. But you dont know until youve tried it. And you know, the more you seek opportunities, the more you will find.

Lots of Love,

House of Istria xxxx


  1. well apart from the fact that mr knitt is a home worker and if joy asked him to post anything online for her she would get a very stern reply,she can see that lots of this info could be made use of. thanks again, HOI for making us think,

  2. Funny you posted that, was thinking along same lines. I had to do some photographs for a dog walker and drop them off with a note, guess who attatched business card to the folder?
    I made a new handbag today, custom for me to show off what I do, popped cards in bag, then a few more just in case.
    Will try hubby in the morning, though if I refer to him as 'Darling' he will think I finally lost it, been married a bit too long for that LOL.

    ~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

  3. Great tips! Thanks ever so much.

  4. I left a load of my Business cards with my hairdresser and that paid off. I also pinned one on a notice board, for free, in a local fabric shop and got an enquiry a year later. The best thing I ever did was hand one to Post office counter staff when they commented on how many parcels I was always sending. I told them what I did and handed them a card!