Don't spend money on a flashy website and fancy business cards
Before you sign on the dotted line for a website overhaul that is more than a downpayment on a car or creating ultra fancy business cards read this.
Years and years ago, I’m going to say 2007 - 2010 I spent about $1,000 on 250 letter press business cards. I’ll admit this cards were 100% luxury to the touch - but, they weren’t practical. The cards didn’t fit into a business card holder, due to the level of luxury I felt with the cards I never handed them out, and I was always worried I’m mess them up.
To add to the impracticalness of the business cards I also convinced myself that opening a business Amex was a wise idea to pay for said business cards and paid well over $1000.00 for these cards due to interest. Yep, not a wise business investment. I can’t tell you the last time someone said - I hired you based on your business card! The business card only did 1 of 2 things - reminded them of who I was and directed them to my website.
Around the same time, I worked with a custom website designer to the tune of $3-5,000.00. Sadly, the website never come to life and we parted ways - I am sure I lost my retainer and then some. After that failed project I decided that I would work with a template based website option moving forward.
Why am I sharing these mistakes so publicly, because I don’t want you to make the same costly mistakes, instead these are my recommendations.
Use a website company like Squarespace (that’s the platform this site it built on - and I am not sponsored, just a major fan). You can tweak & change as your business evolves for a very small financial investment rather than working through a custom site only to be over the site by the time it’s ready to launch. Trust me, you’ll hate your site as soon as you are finished with it. It happens to every creative I know.
Wordpress is another option that you can use - I’ve been there done that, but the platform wasn’t as user friendly to me. There are plenty of templates you can find on etsy, creative market, etc.
Create a card that you are proud of & you will handout freely without thinking - ooo that just cost of a $1. Yep, the fancier the card the more expensive to produce and the less likely you are to want to hand out your card. My letterpress cards were about $4.00 a card! Yikes!
As soon as I ran out of those letterpress cards I began printing my cards through my lab of 17 years, Millers. Check with your lab to see if they offer press printing and if not, look around. Moo is a great option and so are Vistaprint or Gotprint for your printing needs.
At the end of the day how you present your business and brand is incredibly important, but your return on investment is more important then letterpress business cards.
Let me hit this home a little more. This is a hot button topic for me and always will be.
If you want to be a professional, be a professional! Have a url and a professional website. DO NOT rely on using social media as a professional business - I don’t care what other social media influencers say… but having a website (and blog) for your business sets you apart and if you want to command professional rates - be a professional.
Okay, end rant!