There’s something pretty awesome about the energy in a room full of creatives who are sharing their experiences of crafting a career out of a passion and being successful in business. It’s extremely inspiring and motivates you to go back to your studio and take care of business.
If you’re anything like me, the first thing you do after networking is to go through the business cards you gathered from casual chats and talking business.
There’s generally an array of beautiful card stock, clever designs and stunning print finishes. You then stumble across the one where you felt you really connected in the brief conversation with its owner. The business card is totally on brand and you excitedly start typing www. in your browser to pull up their website. Only to be confronted with a dreary, confusing mess that you can’t un-see. It totally ruins your first impression and leaves you questioning your better judgement and why there’s such a disconnect.
Networking is the basics of business. Whether it be at a specific event or just an accidental meeting, building business relationships is essential for your brand to grow. Although we’re heading more and more into a digital age, in these face-to-face meetings it’s still considered practical to have a business card to hand over with your basic contact details. But what we’re really looking for on the back of these aesthetically pleasing pieces of cardboard, is the URL of their website in hope of getting to know more before we reach out.
With that in mind, here are a few points on why you should prioritise your web design over your business card:
1. Your website can be accessed anywhere, anytime
Websites are globally accessible and do all of the heavy lifting for you (even while you sleep!). Customers like to do their research before they buy. People are more inclined to check out your website and learn more about your business before jumping on the phone or shooting through an email. Having a great website that truly aligns with your brand will start to warm up your crowd. This increases your chances of the potential customer taking the next step.
2. Your website offers affordable marketing
Marketing is key to the success of any business but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By building in essential marketing features to your website you greatly increase engagement and your marketing efforts. At a minimum, your website should feature an opt-in to your e-newsletter. This allows you to gain loyal followers and build your list — which is perhaps your business’ most valuable tool because you own it, not some third-party company.
In a consumerist society, people’s buying habits are based on trust. With online marketing, you can target a specific audience for individual promotions and increase and monitor your conversion rates. By offering your expertise and valuable resources through your website and newsletter, you’re setting up a solid foundation for marketing success.
3. Your website gains instant feedback
One of the most integral abilities of a website is that it’s a hub for gathering instant feedback. Whether positive or negative, customers can easily get in touch through forms and direct email links. This is an invaluable resource in making sure you’re staying true to your brand and serving your ideal customers.
4. Your website helps brand building
Your website is the perfect platform to start warming up your crowd by displaying your expertise, highlighting feature products and services, and showcasing your portfolio. Building brand awareness helps to take the user connection a step further. With a business card, you’re limited with the amount of personality and information you can display but your website is the perfect opportunity to expand on that and showcase your brand’s personality.
5. Your website monitors success to help keep you ahead of your competition
One of the greatest features of your website is perhaps the ability to extract analytics and data to keep track of where your potential customers are located, how long they spent on your site, which products or services get the most clicks etc. Tracking user habits can help you refine your packages and services and target your marketing efforts towards your ideal customers. By analysing your SEO data and implementing a bit of strategy into your business, it will help ensure you hold your own in a competitive market.
6. Your website has no boundaries & is extremely flexible
Websites allow content to be dynamic compared to a static business card—websites are interactive and can provide an unlimited amount of information compared to a small piece of cardboard. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love handling a beautiful card stock that’s been meticulously designed and adorned with aesthetically pleasing embellishments such as letterpress, foil printing or splashes of colour. But what if there’s a print error or you change your phone number? Your website wins here because it can adapt and grow with your brand without you having to worry about reprinting any time the information changes.
Business cards are still an important part of your overall marketing strategy and should be a part of your marketing collateral in your branding package. However, their main purpose is to direct potential customers to your website for more information on your products/services or to highlight a package or promotion.
Your website is an opportunity to expand on information, to educate your customers, to go into detail on your products and services, and ultimately to warm up your crowd so they feel like they know and trust you. Only then will they be ready to commit to a purchase or reaching out to learn more.