For those in marketing, there is never, ever enough time in the day to get it all done. That's why savvy marketers seek passive marketing strategies to compliment their more active techniques. It's like having a secret squad at work for you 24/7.
A passive marketing strategy, much like a passive income stream, requires little to no upkeep once the initial investment has been made, and it continues to work for you behind the scenes.
One of the simplest passive marketing strategies is to more fully leverage your business card. It's your calling card after all. Why not create one that speaks for you, long after it's left your hand? The trick is to create a unique card with perceived value -- so outside the box that recipients want to hang on to it, refer to it later, or share it with colleagues.
So how do you "go big" on such a very small card?
Start with the basics -- your contact information. Less is more. Your website, email and phone number are generally enough. These days, your address is only a click away; so why clutter your card with it?
Research shows that when you can engage multiple senses, there is a better chance that people will remember you. So make your card more tactile with an unusual paper stock, die cut or with embossing which can give a three-dimensional effect.
Consider both form and function. If you run a lawn service, print your contact information on a small business card sized envelope with grass seeds inside. If you're marketing a bakery, create edible cards. Sell all natural furniture? Make your business card from natural wood. Marketing a bookstore? Let your card serve as a bookmark. If you own an optometry practice, consider a card that doubles as a magnifying glass. Run a painting company where you pride yourself on your masking abilities? Reinforce that differentiator by requiring card recipients to pull back a piece of masking tape to reveal your contact information.
Never leave the back of your card blank. That's prime real estate that you need to put to good use, even if it's just with a creative, professional photo of your product or an interesting stat or fact designed to challenge or inform readers.
Your local printer can create a custom die cut to allow you to convert your name into a stencil. You might also consider an unusual card shape such as round, square, or even the shape of your logo. If you sell coffee, consider designing your card in the shape of a cup of joe.
To turn your calling card into a passive marketing strategy that speaks for you long after it's handed off, throw tradition out the window and get creative.
Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and CEO/Founder of RedRover, a sales training and marketing firm based in Memphis, Tennessee -- www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovecompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).