Business cards are pretty much the entry level marketing tool for any business. Even if you decide to start a business today, it almost doesn't seem real until you can add your name to a business card and hand it on to someone to tell them what you do and how to contact you. For the 'online only' among you, virtual business cards are possible, and there are some that will argue that a website can act as a business card too - but there is something so appealing about that familiar card shape to take with you and remember...even if it is shaped like a circle, or has various artistic cut-outs... And that is the point really. You give a business card to create a memory for whoever you give it to - allowing them to refer back to it and do something about it - contact you, or look you up online. Which brings me nicely on to 10 ways to market yourself on a business card: 1. Contact me The absolute minimum - your contact details displayed in a readable font. These days it is common place to leave out traditional information, like an address, but bear in mind that being able to display an address, landline as well as mobile, is a subtle indicator of credibility. Much like how not having a website is too. 2. Simply say what you do Many businesses assume that once you hand over your card, the recipient will remember what it is that you do, and why you were (or were not) interesting to them when they met you. Far more reliable to say what you do, in simple, plain language, so they can always refer back to it and be clear. If they have collected your card as well as your competitors', chances are they haven't bothered to say what they do. When that ideal budget appears... you get the business because you said that you could solve their problem on your card. 3. Friend or follow me on social media Collecting fans on Facebook? Are you particularly witty and relevant on Twitter? If it is a good channel for you to build relationships, then adding your strongest or preferred social media details could be helpful. 4. Land here Imagine if you could get visibility of how many people checked you up online after receiving your business card? Imagine no longer - simply direct them to a purpose built landing page. You could get really clever and do a different one for each event you attend. Google analytics will tell you the rest. 5. Show me An instant window on what you do, and a reminder too, is to display something that shows what you do on the reverse of the card. Spend the money on getting a great photograph, or risk appearing an amateur, or unprofessional. 6. It was good for them Use the reverse of the card to quote a satisfied customer's testimonial. If you have particularly strong (and real) testimonials, why not print up a variety? 7. Put a face to the name A lot of micro businesses are putting their personal photograph on the card. Not for the faint-hearted, it is certainly not recommended unless it is a professional photograph, and preferably a good likeness (airbrushing will not help your case). It reinforces the remember me factor. It is used to best effect if you have struck a good rapport with the person you are giving your card to, and depending on what kind of business you have, it may not be good for your image. 8. An irresistible offer If it suits your business, promote an exclusive offer (preferably time-limited) on the card. Using a unique code to quote when ordering will help. 9. Credentials A recognised logo that identifies you as being a quality something is a good thing to put on your card, assuming you are entitled to do so. Like organisations that exist to regulate what you do. It should be discreet, but it will act like a seal of approval. The opposite will be true if you list all the associations you belong to and every possible logo. Let it act for you simply, with strength. 10. Choose us A clearly articulated point that makes you different, or a strong benefit of doing business with you can be a compelling reason to retain your card, and contact you. These days, printing business cards is fairly inexpensive. We'd recommend that you get your card professionally designed, simply because it makes a significant difference to the image you present. Of course, as a growing business, you may be a few steps away from that - in which case, finding a provider that allows you to upload your own artwork and print a quality product is a good idea. Have fun with it. Bronwyn Durand writes the Marketing Voodoo Blog, for JupiterJasper, the marketing mentor for small businesses. Bronwyn consults on commercial identity as The Brand Whisperer. Do you get my free weekly email? Sign up to ’1 Thing to Improve Your Marketing this week’ here.