Earlier this week, Mike Marchev spoke about not being boring and the importance of being unique—and I agree. I consider myself somewhat conservative. Doing something outlandish or “wild” to create a memorable first impression would likely fail miserably with me. But being unique does not necessarily mean wild and crazy. Here are a few examples.
Business cards. Yes, I know, they are boring, but they are the most effective and, most cost effective marketing tool you can have. Check out some of these ideas and see if some don’t resonate with you. Personally, I like this one. Sure some of them probably cost several dollars per card, but if your client keeps it, is it worth it? There is nothing that says you cannot have two sets of cards—one for everyday use and one for special clients. Over the years, I have set my cards apart (to a degree) by using full color (not the photo cards that are free from VistaPrint), vertical orientation, and an extremely heavy card stock. If I was a ninja, I could kill you with a business card. They are not completely unique; but you only need to be more unique than the next guy.
Gimmicks. I am not a big fan of gimmicks; but sometimes they work very well. The other day, I came across this “gimmick” from a colleague and I loved it. It is not over the top. It tells a good story. It has a call to action. And it is memorable. What more do you want?
I am not exactly sure where she is using these, but I would probably be making them into pads and keeping them in my glovebox and laptop bag. Now, instead (or maybe in addition to) of a business card, I probably have brightened up someone’s day. Did you read Susan Schaefer’s column on skins for her electronics—another great way to set you apart from the crowd.
Personal touch. And of course, never forget the value of the personal touch. Back in 1998, I was listening to this loudmouth irritating guy from Jersey telling a room how to market myself by becoming the exception. He was amusing—as are most irritating loudmouth guys from Jersey; but he was also dead on. Today, everything is so impersonal with technology, that when the personal touch comes along, people take notice. Received a thank you not in the mail lately? Granted, it is not always possible, but when you have the chance, I highly recommend the personal touch. The one suggestion that hit me, and more importantly has stuck with me is to walk your client out. Your customer (or prospect) made an effort to come see you, the least you can do is get off your (insert favorite Jersey language here) and walk them out of your office. The last impression your customer should have is you waving goodbye I their rear view mirror.
It is very easy to read a marketing book or article and decide that “it is not for me”. But if you take a few moments and take a deeper look, quite possibly there will be something there that makes some sense and will likely work for you.