Beyond The Business Card

This post is sponsored by The UPS Store. For more information, please see the end of this article.

When it comes to print collateral, business cards are considered the gold standard. As a professional, especially as a small business owner, there’s no excuse to not have a handful of them on you at all times. But beyond the business card, lies a landscape of marketing and promotional possibility. And it comes in the form of print collateral.
 
 A recent survey from The UPS Store showed that business cards are still one of the most common tools among small business owners with 75% of those surveyed stating they use business cards to promote their business. This was followed by brochures (27%), fliers (22%), and direct mail pieces (22%)*.
 
 Online marketing is undeniably powerful, but print has something online doesn’t have: a tangible takeaway. And there’s something about that, that feels very real. Print marketing fortifies an already strong online presence, making it even more memorable. By having something you can place in the hands of an audience, your customers or your potential customers you’re quite literally giving them… something to hold on to.

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

Websites are convenient, in that everything is available with a few clicks. Once that website is closed, though, you’ve got to work to remind people who you are, what you do, and why they need you. To become (and remain) a front of mind brand, you’ve got to stay visible and consistent across a multitude of platforms. Print advertising is yet another powerful tool to have in your marketing belt.

Here are eight pieces of print collateral to consider adding to your marketing arsenal :

1. Press Kit (Media Kits)

Sometimes referred to as a ‘Press Sheet’ or a ‘Press Kit’, a Media Kit is an important part of promoting your business and your offerings. Essentially, it’s a condensed version of your business and/or your offerings. It can also be used to promote your brand in general. 
 
 Having a digital press kit that media professionals and potential customers can download on the fly from your website is great. But, you should also have physical press kits on hand to distribute at shows, following a consultation, or as needed. Having them printed is more affordable than you might think. Stop by The UPS Store and use ‘Report’ or ‘Manual’ to get some layout ideas and come away with a professional looking document that you’ll be proud to distribute.

2. Banners

Artfully placed signs and banners have the potential to draw a lot of attention from a large number of people at once. They’re easy to transport and quick to hang up and take down. Use them at trade shows, speaking events, booths, or to display your sponsorship of an event or team. Banners are a great investment for a small business. Pay for them once, and they’ll pay for themselves time and again.

3. Notecards

When’s the last time you got a hand written thank you note from someone you’ve done business with? The digital age has placed a higher premium on personalization. Send a card to thank someone, to commemorate an anniversary or other event, or just as a friendly hello. Your thoughtfulness is sure to be remembered. Making sure your brand and logo are present on the card will help engrave your business onto their memory.

4. Brochures

A sales brochure is a printed piece of marketing used to introduce your product to potential buyers. It’s a compact, visual way to both describe and sell your item. A good brochure not only informs, it engages and persuades. Use them on their own or in tandem with your other marketing efforts. It’s everything a potential customer would want to know on a single sheet of paper. They’re cost effective and pack a real punch.

5. Flyers

In today’s fast-paced world, brevity is appreciated. Flyers are an effective way to get a lot of information into someone’s hands (literally). They’re compact, and are easy to grab and peruse. Use them for an individual offering, or use them to promote your business as a whole. If you’re a product seller, you can also print your line sheets as flyers. Doing a local event? Hang a head-turning flyer in a local venue to draw attention to your gig and get more people in seats.

6. Letterhead

All communique you distribute should look neat and professional. There’s something about letterhead that makes everything look more official. A stack of branded letterhead available to print with at a moment’s notice is a must-have office essential.

7. Reports

Reports are great collateral for small businesses for a variety of reasons. Transparency is a quality that’s quickly becoming more valued in the small business arena. Some businesses are even posting their earnings in an effort to validate and qualify their intents and purposes. Reports are a professional way to present your data, results, findings, and information to both customers and potential customers, alike. The fact that the information is printed speaks to the confidence you have in the information you’re putting forth.

8. Manuals

With so much to know, courses are all the rage these days. If you’re an online instructor, you can expand your reach from behind the screen by offering print courses. Hard-copy workbooks, handbooks, slide decks, or a book of forms. All are excellent takeaways from courses either taught in local venues or to be sent to your online students.
 
 
 With the exponential increase in the number of small businesses out there, setting yourself apart has never been more imperative. Online is a fantastic stage for commerce, but forward thinking entrepreneurs know the value of a personal touch. Getting professional quality print marketing into the hands of your right people will pay undeniable and exponential dividends.

*The results of the survey are based on an online survey conducted March 25–30, 2016 by The UPS Store, Inc., franchisor of The UPS Store network, with small business owners. The methodology of the study was an online survey among a panel of 500 small business owners contacted through Research Now. All participants were 18 and older and residents of the United States. The UPS Store, Inc. strives to include accurate and up-to-date Information but makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information or survey results provided herein; the information is provided on an “as is” basis.

I am blogging on behalf of The UPS Store and received compensation for my time from The UPS Store for sharing my views in this post. The views expressed here are solely mine.

Originally published at themogulmom.com on April 19, 2016.

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