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Taking Care of Business
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Old June 29th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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Business cards- made of metal!

Does anyone out there have business cards made of stainless steel or some other metal? I was looking around at places where I can get business cards both locally and on line, and I came across a place that can produce cards made out of paper, metal, or plastic. These metal cards look amazingly cool and so much more memorable than your standard paper-based cards. Of course, they cost quite a bit more than regular business cards too, which is understandable.

I've read their marketing hype about how when you hand someone a card made of steel, they just can't bring themselves to throw it away like they would a regular card. They claim that people you give these fancier cards to will be more likely to keep them longer, you'll make a better first impression, and all that jazz. I understand that a business card will only do so much before my own talents and skills have to cover the rest, but I figure it's always a good idea to have the best tools I can get my hands on to help myself along.

Do any of you have fancy cards like these, or do you know anyone that does? Do you think it makes a difference with your business, or with the type/class of clients clients you get?
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Old June 29th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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I've seen them and was quite impressed. Could you post a link to the places you found that make them? I'm currently using plastic/paper cards and am almost out.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #3
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Here are some of the sites I've visited, but there are several more that appear after doing a Google Search for "metal business cards".


http://www.plasmaplasticcards.com/me...inesscards.htm

http://www.metalcards.com/

http://www.nexcards.com/

http://www.mcloonebusinesscards.com/

http://www.fenclwebdesign.com/metal-cards.htm

I was most impressed with Plasma Plastic Cards, but some of the other places look pretty good too.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 06:37 PM   #4
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if you are in video business , you better had to provide a sample demo reel of your work on a DVD business card.
http://www.businesscardsondisc.com/
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Old June 29th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
if you are in video business , you better had to provide a sample demo reel of your work on a DVD business card.
http://www.businesscardsondisc.com/
I've never really liked getting those, personally. I'd much prefer someone email me a link to their demo online.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #6
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I agree with Dylan. A few years ago, I thought the mini-DVD things were incredible. Then again, broadband internet wasn't as widespread as it is now. I think it goes without saying now that most if not nearly all potential and existing clients demand that you have a website with some examples of work.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 09:06 PM   #7
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I used to sell business cards. And novelty cards are just that; a novelty. Yes there is some implied cachet to having your business card on metal or wood, etc. but at the end of the day the reason a person keeps or tosses your card is because #1: they have a need for your services and #2: they believe that you would be a good prospect for providing said services.

If they're only keeping your card because "it's cool", well then you've wasted your money.

Like I always told my customers, if you are expecting you business card to close your sales, you'd better redirect your energies. A business card is just a reminder of who you are. It is not a first impression, it is a subsequent one.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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I think you made some good points there, Frank. While I do realize that it's bad to have a card for the sake of looking cool, the angle I was trying to get at would be that a stainless steel card with my name on it would definitely stand out amongst all the other paper cards. Once the card has their attention, it's up to my skill level and personality to take care of the rest. I'm going for a reaction something along the lines of "Wow! This guy has an awesome card... I remember that he does great work and that he's easy to work with." Of course, the dream goes on with them calling me and wanting to deliver sacks of cash with the big bold $ symbol on the side.

After mulling it over though, I ended up starting off with paper cards. There's a place called Vista Prints online that has excellent pricing and good turnaround time, so I went that way for now. I'd like to eventually get something like a stainless steel card, but not until I make a little more money doing what I do!

FYI, I got 250 full color, glossy paper cards for about $15- while 250 steel cards would've run me something like $800!
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Old July 15th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #9
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You know the first thing I thought of when I read you're post? How the heck am I going to get that through the security check at the airport? They might confiscate it if I tried to carry that on the airplane.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
You know the first thing I thought of when I read you're post? How the heck am I going to get that through the security check at the airport? They might confiscate it if I tried to carry that on the airplane.
Whoa! I never thought of it that way. I guess folks will just have to check them- or get the ones with rounded edges! Har har har...
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Old July 15th, 2008, 08:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
You know the first thing I thought of when I read you're post? How the heck am I going to get that through the security check at the airport? They might confiscate it if I tried to carry that on the airplane.
I was thinking the exact same thing, since most business cards i collect find their way into the appropriate card holder slot in my laptop bag.

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Old July 16th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #12
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Shawn-

Using a business card to "get their attention" and then using your "skill and personality to take care of the rest" is a really backward way of approaching a client base.

You want to hook them, and want you before you give them your card. As far as keeping your card from getting lost in a pile of paper cards, the only possible (not necessarily probable) advantage would be locating it quicker. At a cost of $3.20 PER CARD that is an extremely high premium to pay. The $.06 card will do the job at least 95% as well. A person can lose a metal card just as easily as they can lose a paper one. The reason a person takes care to not lose a card is because they want the person who gave it to them. If gimmicky cards were the "power selling tool" that the people who sell them say they are, they would stick around and be used widespread. The fact that they come and go, and paper cards stay... well you can do the math.

At the end of the day the person most impressed with the metal card would be you. From a business standppoint the ROI (return on investment) simply is not there. The people who sell novelty cards are selling them to their customers' egos. Think of it this way; you can reach more than 53 times the number of clients for the same money with the paper card. The liklihood of you getting a call back goes up by that factor. Even if the "cool factor" resulted in a customer being 12 times more likely to call you back, it's still nowhere near as effective as the paper card.

Of course I do not know you or the specifics of your business, but I cannot see how it makes financial sense to put that much money into a business card that when all is said and done is.... just a business card.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 05:56 AM   #13
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I agree a business card is primarily a reminder, it is also part of your presentation.

Depending on how and where you give them out it is more important that the client instantly makes the link with you, your company/product/presentation.

This is always important, but ever more when you give them out at shows or other events where the competition is right there one booth over.

Anything to stand out, in a good way, is important in your presentation and you need to make it easy for the client to make the right association when reviewing their choices.

A business card should therefor "stand out", but I believe it should also say something about your business. A stainless steel card may be übercool, but may say more about a business that sells stainless steel worktops and appliances or for a hot rod bodyshop then for someone in the "video business".

And don't just hand out cards; make a point of it. Take 15s to give out the card and point out (or handwrite) some useful info on it (your direct number, website with demo's, etc.). Never give it out as an afterthought or just include it in some marketing materials.

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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #14
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Frank-

Good points about the whole ROI angle. At this point, it doesn't make any sense for me to spend that kind of money on a card like that- which was why I ended up going with a paper card instead.

I'm probably not getting the whole picture, but I was always told that a business card was more of a networking tool than anything else. A good business card would help strengthen the impression made upon meeting someone for the first time. It would also serve as a tool to help prospective clients remember details that would hopefully cause them to call upon the person who gave them a flashy card- because it stood out from other cards. I was always told that because we work in a creative industry, we need to come up with ways that differ from the norm to grab people's attention. If it happens to be a business card that goes "clang" when it's dropped, then it's worth looking at.

So, please don't hold it against me, as my overall inexperience is undoubtedly showing and I may not be conveying my thoughts as clearly as possible. I'm going on the meager bits of information I've gleaned from first-hand observations and what little advice I can get from other business folk. It's sometimes challenging to find the happy ground of what really works between what my inner self is telling me and what everyone else is telling me!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:26 AM   #15
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Shawn-

Please understand that I hold NOTHING against you. At the end of the day it's none of my business what you get for business cards. I only offer my ideas and opionions, both as one who used to design and sell business cards and as one who now is in marketing for a manufacturer, hoping that they might prove useful to you.

There certainly is truth to a business card being a networking tool. Although I doubt that it could actually strengthen an impression you make on a prospect. And really the only details it needs to remind anyone of are: #1 who you are, #2 what you do, and #3 how to contact you. Anything else on a business card is superfluous.

We certainly do want to be creative in our marketing efforts, but the creativity should reflect the specifics of what business we're in. A metal card has nothing really to do with video, and so it's associative properties are lost. A die cut card in the shape of a video camera at least reinforces the industry you're in. A clapboard is another instantly recognizable (and frightfully over-used) design element.

A lot of this fall into the "just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean you should do it" category.

Some time ago I was critiquing a video for someone here on the forum, and the video was great but I hated the fact that his logo exploded at the end of the video. He admitted that the reason it did so was because he discovered it could be done in After-Effects and thought it was cool. It had nothing to do with his video business. Cool effect? Perhaps. Does it actually have anything to do with a video production company? Not really.

We have to be willing to edit ourselves so that the images, materials, etc we use to promote ourselves are actually relevant to what we do.
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