Nothing screams “half-assed hobby” louder than a bad, poorly done business card. As travel entrepreneurs, many of whom work from home, it’s critical you go overboard on your most basic marketing pieces. The business card is one of them and it doesn’t even have to cost a fortune. There are fantastic low cost options for getting them designed and printed … online with someone like VistaPrint or offline with a local printer. You want your business card to establish you as a travel expert with a wealth of knowledge and an ongoing business. Here are some tips for a better business card.
1. Be original with your template.
In other words, don’t use a generic travel picture. If the background of your card is a photo, make sure it has to do with your expertise. Ideally, get the card professionally designed. Local printers tend to do a great job at this for very little. Or, ask your graphic designer to design the business card in conjunction with designing your logo. By the way, you must have a specific expertise, but that’s a whole other article!
2. Pick a business name that is clear and not cute.
Don’t make people have to figure out what you do with a name that doesn’t make sense to the average Joe. In addition, “cute” business names scream hobby. Pick a name that is solid and clear but also specific. Its fine to use your own name in your business name, but I recommend using your last name (not just first name) and to use phrases like “Travel Consulting” or “Travel Services.”
3. Purchase the URL that matches your name and put it on your card.
When purchasing your URL, avoid hyphens, spelling words differently and abbreviations. No one will remember. Make your URL as easy as possible. Try to stick to 3 words or less in your URL.
4. Purchase an email account with the URL so that your email address on the business card is Name@mytravelbusiness.com.
Another item on the card that screams hobby is having an email address that ends in gmail, Comcast, or hotmail. Put your big girl and big boy panties on and purchase the email account that goes with your business name and URL.
5. Tag line – if your name is clear enough, you don’t need one.
But for some reason, travel business owners LOVE tag lines. So make it clear and memorable. Please don’t try to cover all bases. Something like “Cruises, all inclusives and Europe” is what NOT to do. Own your expertise. Claim it with a great tag line.
6. 1-800 number? I am on the fence on this one.
I think it legitimizes your business, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. Get one when you are ready.
7. Add a professional photo of you on the front.
You are your business. Brand yourself with your photo.
8. Use the back of the business card!
My recommendation is 3 pull questions, followed by a “call to action.” A call to action is simply giving them instructions on what to do next. So it could be as simple as “Go to mytravelbusiness.com to schedule a free, 20-minute consultation.”
Review your business card. Is it time for an update? Don’t put this off as it is a very important representation of you and your business. How you do anything is how you do everything. Make sure your business card makes a great first impression.