Having finished writing all of my posts on corporate holiday gifts, how to wrap them and whether or not to send out paper cards, it is now time for me to take care of my own company’s holiday marketing. This is where frustration sets in. I am trying to address my cards and finalize my gift list, so why do you not have an address on your business card??
I met you last night, or last week, or even last month, at a networking function. We exchanged cards, and I now want to follow up with you (again). At this time of year, to me, that means sending a holiday card. There is only one problem, there is no address on your card. Not only is this a frustration to me, but from a marketing perspective it is a poor choice for you.
From a marketing perspective, your want to project a certain image. You also want to give people a level of trust and confidence in your company. Not having an address on your card does neither of these. In fact, I had this conversation on Tuesday with a professional association colleague who was also complaining about the lack of addresses on business cards. This person is at a major corporation, one that you probably would love to do business with, but you are hurting your credibility and therefore chance of referral by not having an address on your card. Additionally, you are probably hurting your chances of developing some really good networking partners because they can’t personalize the communication with you in the same way as if they had your address.
I understand that you may be loathe to give out your home address, or even that you are trying to hide the size of your business, or that you work from home. Leaving your address off of your business card however does not do this.
This problem is easily fixed. You have a number of options so that you can give people full contact information. There is the old standby of a box at the Post Office, something that even major corporations frequently have. Next you can have a box at one of those local mail box stores.
The best option if you have one even reasonably close by, is to have a virtual office. One of my favorite virtual office options in the NYC area is EMERGE212, and their real office space is great too. EMERGE212 is located in midtown Manhattan, and they have beautiful modern space and are super helpful. For those of you not familiar with virtual offices, what a virtual office does is give you an address, generally a prestigious one, and then you pick the other services that you need, such as phone answering etc. You pay accordingly. From the marketing point of view, having a virtual office helps build your credibility factor. It also enables you to have a consistent space that is not the local coffee shop for meetings with prospects and clients.
So for the sake of your credibility, and my sanity, please get yourself an address and use it on your business cards.