One of the first things new doulas and midwives say to me is “I haven’t got my business cards yet” as though a business card in some way validates your business. Makes it REAL.
I’m here to let you know that a business card does not a business make!! Anyone can print out some cheap cards on Vistaprint - you don’t even need a designer, they have templates.
But will this get you any closer to getting your first client? In a nutshell… No!
I’ve always run a mostly paperless business. I only ever did one print run of business cards, and I hardly EVER used them. Most of them ended up in the bin at my house (after 5 years of sitting in my office gathering dust!). I have recently re-branded and didn't bother with getting new business cards done this time around.
The Problem With Business Cards
Once you hand out a business card, the ball is no longer in your court. If someone is interested in your services and you give them a business card they walk away and you have no way of ever connecting with them again.
And business is all about connection. You need to build trust and a relationship in order for someone to invite you into her family, home and heart. Being a postnatal doula is very intimate work!
Giving a business card to a potential client might make you FEEL like you’ve achieved something, when actually, in my opinion, you’ve missed an opportunity.
What To Do Instead
If someone expresses an interest in your work you need to find some way to stay in touch.
There’s an old marketing rule that says you need to ‘touch’ someone seven times before they will buy from you. People rarely feel enough of a connection to buy from you the first time they meet you, but if you can reach out to them many more times with heart warming and helpful information and support, they will grow to trust (and even love!) you.
Then you can close that sale!
Lucky for you, the internet has now made it super cheap and easy for small businesses with small budgets to consistently connect with their target audience. It’s called email marketing, and your blog is the at the heart of this strategy.
Next time you meet a potential client who clicks with your philosophy you now know how to keep the ball in your court. Ask them for their email address and get permission to add them to your email list. Then send them regular blog posts so they continue to connect with you and trust you.
And most important of all remember to do ‘the ask’ too! Sending free info and connecting is great, but for this to become a sustainable career you will need to close that sale eventually! Now that they love you, make sure your reader knows the next step to getting more support from you by inviting them to a live event or a free interview.
If You Still Want A Business Card…
Even though most of my business cards ended up in the bin, I actually think they were pretty cool as far as business cards go! Here’s what they looked like:
Rather than just having my contact details, the business cards were more than an invitation for stay connected by email. They were an invitation to a free workshop which could be joined by visiting my website and entering an email address.
Of course, from there I continued to send them regular content to connect and build trust.
See your business card (and indeed every aspect of your marketing) as a step to a deeper connection. Ask yourself, how will this help my potential clients stay connected with me? How can I inspire hope and trust?