Your Most Important Marketing Tool Costs 5¢
What is chutzpah marketing Pronounced huts•pah
If you had $5,000 dollars you could put up a billboard on a busy thoroughfare by your office or store. Hundreds or even thousands of drivers would pass by it everyday. Over the course of a month you would be able to teach many drivers what you think they should know about your business. For a few moments you would have a captive audience as each driver glanced at your well-designed sign. If traffic backs up your sign gets noticed for minutes or (sadly for the driver) hours.
What if you could place your $5,000 billboard directly in front of your customer’s nose? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could place your billboard in their home, say on their refrigerator, or in that tray where they store their keys? What if your ideal customer kept your billboard in their wallet or purse? Wow - that would be chutzpah marketing!
Well, you can.
Your most important marketing tool is a mini-billboard in the form of a chutzpah designed business card, flier, or brochure. I’m not talking about your standard business card, boring flyer, or fluff filled brochure. I’m talking about chutzpah mini-billboards.
When I suggested mini-billboards to Big Red he looked at me as if I had pudding for brains.
“Mini-billboards?” Big Red laughed. “Why would I want to spend hard earned money on business cards? Who would I give ‘em out to? I’m not a lawyer or realtor.”
“Mini-billboards can take the form of chutzpah designed, hard working business cards, company brochures, sales fliers, or much need consumer information. Mini-billboards may cost just pennies, but they are designed to keep your business name and offerings percolating throughout your community,” I said.
Big Red was not impressed, “But we have never done mini-billboards before, I don’t see any reason to start now.”
“Fair enough, Big Red,” I said. “Let’s say you’re at the bank and the teller says, ‘I’ve been meaning to get lunch at your place, I love your burgers.’ You thank her with a big smile, reach into your back pocket and pull out a mini-billboard and say. ‘I miss seeing you darlin’ while you write on the back of your mini-billboard ‘one free soft drink’ and sign your name. While handing your mini-billboard to her you say, ‘Let me buy you a soft drink. Even if I’m not there, just give this to the cashier and they’ll know you’re my friend… they’ll treat you great.’ Now think about how special the bank teller will feel being treated so kindly by you. I bet you’ll see her in a day or two. And she probably will tell her coworkers about how nice you were. Maybe they’ll come in for lunch too.”
“I could do that, that would be fun.” Big Red smiled.
Mini-billboards are powerful tools to get your important information in front of your customers. For just pennies, they keep reminding your customers of your brand. As we go along in this chapter, I will give you lots of mini-billboard ideas that you can start using right away.
If you ask entrepreneurs why they have business cards they tend to look at you strangely and answer with one of two statements:
That is not chutzpah talking!
For most entrepreneurs, a business card is just a 2 inch by 3.5 inch piece of card stock with their name, address, and phone number printed on it. Some are more fancy than others with bumpy ink and nicer paper.
They look like:
This is a basic card that makes a few assumptions:
Some entrepreneurs add a little flash of art to their card:
This adds a nice focal point, but why? What has Ima Professional taught the reader about her business?
A chutzpah business card is a fingertip billboard that lets the holder receive your message in 3 seconds. Ask yourself this question:
If you had only 3 seconds, what would you want to teach the public about your business?
Don’t get concerned about the 3 seconds. That’s a lot of time when it comes to holding someone’s attention. In the first 3 seconds you have to get the reader to want to spend more time learning about your offerings. If your card has information relevant to the reader, your card goes home with them and it becomes a reference card.
What goes on your chutzpah business card? Your positioning, so that potential customers know what your business can do for them.
Most of this information comes from how you answered the 5 questions in chapter 1:
#1: List problems that you solve for your customers.
#2: Who are your customers?
#3: What is the brand (position) of your business in the community?
#4: How does your customer find you?
#5: How can you help your customers?
Most business cards you come across are 2 inches by 3.5 inches and are only printed on one side. Most business cards give the business person’s vital information. Our goal is to have mini-billboards that generate lots of business for you.
Same size, oriented vertically:
You may find the basic business card size plenty of room for your chutzpah business card. If your business is easy to explain this space may work well.
A business card is not limited to 2 inches by 3.5 inches. Think about this for a moment. If a driver stopped in traffic was stuck in front of your billboard, wouldn’t you want it to teach the driver about your services? In fact, with chutzpah thoughts, wouldn’t you want your signage to be interesting and informative? Wouldn’t you want it to motivate the driver into action; motivate the driver to call you; to refer to your business? Wouldn’t you need space to put in all this motivational stuff? In billboards, that means mega bucks. But, in business cards, that means pennies.
The standard card is 2 x 3.5 inches and it has 2 sides. A chutzpah card can be whatever you want. Think of them as mini brochures. A fold over card is 4 x 3.5 inches, two sided. When folded, it is the standard 2 x 3.5 inches with attitude. This card costs a few pennies more, but gives you an easel to create your masterpiece. You have two 2 x 3.5 areas and one 4 x 3.5 area. The card can be printed either tall or wide. Now we’re talking the beginning of a chutzpah card. Let’s create…
When folded it looks like a tent:
Folded the opposite way your canvas looks like:
When folded it looks like a book:
Your work area has numerous usable sections:
Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed with all this space. After playing with your copy for just a little bit, you will learn that it is easy to fill this space with chutzpah information that sells your business.
The purpose of a logo is to convey a feeling and to be a focal point in the reader’s mind.
Logos are expensive to use correctly and I can honestly tell you that the average company does not need a logo to grow a thriving business. I have heard lots of sad tales of inexperienced entrepreneurs spending thousands of dollars for graphic artists to develop a “killer” logo for them.
Overall, logos are expensive, but they do work. Having said that, logos are not a necessity. Getting your name out is a necessity. Many of my consulting customers add their logo years after they are established.
For logos to work you have to put them on everything your business produces. The logo:
has been plastered on billions of things over the years. Few people know that IBM stands for International Business Machines. More people know the company as Big Blue: IBM.
A name can be your logo; it works well for Xerox, Kodak, and McGraw Hill.
A graphic is usually the choice for conveying a feeling. A dentist I know uses a simple drawing of a puffy cloud with two soft “W’s” for far off birds. His tag line reads “Gentle Care.” This is an effective logo for a dentist.
A logo needs to be versatile. It needs to work in lots of different locations, some big—some small. Color is very effective in a logo, but it should also print well in gray scale. Color is expensive to print but adds a lot to the presentation.
To keep down costs, dream up what you want as your logo. Bounce it around for a while. Find an artist within your circle of friends and family. I know a chiropractor who got a great logo from a 14-year old cousin with a knack for drawing. Chutzpah marketers are creative. Be cautious when hiring a graphic artist. They know art, not marketing. A logo is not art-it is a marketing tool.
What makes a logo a good logo?
It’s time to start playing with your own mini-billboard mock-ups, yeah! Don’t bother cutting up paper into card size shapes. That will just drive you nuts. Use regular, and cheap, 8.5 x 11 copier paper. You’ll need lots, so crack open a ream of paper. Half of one sheet is a front or a back cover. A full sheet is the inside of your business card. I advise you not to draw on both sides as it will “bleed” through. As you go along you can tape paper together to make a mock-up.
Now, allow yourself to be creative. Write big! Use colors. Experiment. Get creative. Go too far—then throw that one away. Express yourself. Be honest. Write from the point of view of the potential customer. Clearly show how your company is going to help them.
This is the easy part. You take your mock-up to a local printer, office superstore, or an Internet printer. All things being equal, I recommend a local printer because you will get better service and the local printer can be a referrer to your business. However, a local printer will most likely cost more than an Internet printing company.
With a Google search for “Print business cards” you will find lots of printers that compete on price. Many boast thousands of free templates to choose from. This is well and good as long as you can manipulate their template to fit your chutzpah card.
You can save money with your local printer when you buy in bulk. Buy business cards, fliers, and menus all at the same time so you can keep the cost reasonable.
Many local print shops take your basic print order and job it out to one of the many huge regional printing companies. You can go directly to the large print company via the Internet.
You should use up 5,000 cards in a few months or you are not chutzpah growing your business. Due to radical changes in digital printing the cost has come down over the last few years. 1,000 cards will cost less then $100, while 5,000 cards will cost around $200.
Build your business card yourself or get it typeset by that computer nerd brother of yours who eats for free at your house all the time. Resist printing your masterpiece on your $100 ink jet printer with the pull-a-part business card paper. It looks cheap, and I’m being very polite when I say that. It also is not cost effective. You are going to hand out tons of your business cards if you have chutzpah. (Relax, I’ll show you how shortly.)
If you go the local print route, here is a tip on saving money. When the printer shows you his paper choices, listen politely, then say, “I want that kind of paper there, (point) in a comparable no name brand.” He will start with expensive, designer paper. You don’t need that expense. You need good quality, moderately priced stock. A chutzpah marketer does not spend a dime if 9¢ will do! You are shopping for value not vanity.
It is worth your time to comparison shop for a printer. Get at least three competitive bids.
Internet printing has come a long way. With little computer experience you can build a great mini-billboard from scratch I do not recommend that you use their art, as it is generic- not chutzpah. But, uploading your art is easy and the cost savings is impressive.
Good web sites to try are:
Their prices are good and their web sites are easy to use, but for a beginner, there is little hand holding. Also, be forewarned, the web sites are set up to let you easily order “add ons” for an additional price. These add ons can quickly add up to a bloated price. Only buy an add on if it will generate more sales, not because your ego would like it. As I said, a local printer costs more, but will hold your hand, so to speak. Check your Yellow Pages for local printers.
In this section I will specifically be talking about business cards. However, any style of mini-billboard can be substituted in the place of the business card. At the end of this section I will give you some examples of other types of mini-billboards, see: Chutzpah mini-billboards in action.
I am pretty sure that most business cards go unused, even the boring ones. But, a chutzpah marketer puts the little billboards to work. In this section I am going to give you secrets on how to put your business cards to work. But first, a story…
Back when I had been a therapist in private business for around 15 years, a woman made an appointment. During the initial minutes of the intake interview she pulled out one of my cards from the paperback she had in her purse.
New customer: I’ve been using your card for my bookmark.
Dr. Phil: Looks pretty beat up…
New customer: I’ve had it for over 7 years (She started to cry).
It turned out that this woman picked up my card during a PTA meeting at her son’s school. When I asked her why it took so long for her to call, she simply replied, “I wasn’t ready to talk about it.”
Business cards have a life of their own. I have had new customers tell me lots of interesting things:
The one that still surprises me…
A chutzpah business card is a powerful marketing tool. For just pennies you get to place your information in people’s hands, homes, and work places.
Shhhh, this is a secret: How to hand out business cards comfortably
The most important secret is that you place your card into every hand you can. (It is really not a secret, but it seems like it is because so few people do it.)
Handing out a card or brochure is like tossing seeds onto the earth. What eventually happens to the seed depends on where it lands. Some seeds will land on rocks. Others will find themselves shaded by stones. Still, others will land under the shade of trees. But, a few will land on fertile moist ground. These few will reap rewards. By keeping the price of your business cards and brochures extremely low, you will be able to toss them into the winds of our society. It only takes a few of them to germinate into new customers. You will not know which cards will germinate, so it is important to put a lot into circulation.
To be able to give out your cards you must keep them handy. A chutzpah card that is four layers into your purse is an unhappy business card. The act of handing your card out should be a seamless part of your conversation. Giving your card is as simple as a smile and a handshake.
“Nice talking to you,” as you hand her your card.
“Please feel free to call me…” as you hand him your card.
Please do not make a production out of handing out your card. It should be as socially easy as a friendly handshake.
Once, I handed my card to a doctor at a hospital lunch. She stiffened up and said, “You carded me. I should card you right back!” She went and got her bag and returned rummaging around in it.
“Here’s a card for you.” Then she proceeded to hand out her cards to everyone else. “I’m carding you, I’m carding you, I’m carding you…” She made me feel uncomfortable, and by the looks on other’s faces I was not the only one.
I advise you to practice handing out your card so it becomes more comfortable. Numerous times I have watched entrepreneurs lose credibility in social settings because they were uncomfortable about handing out their card.
A chutzpah marketer always gives two cards. If they say, “You gave me two.” Respond with a smile, “That’s ok, give one to a friend.” I often hear something like, “My friend Susie is always fighting with her husband.” Or “Everyone I know could use your help!”
If you are doing business with somebody ask, “Do you have a card?” They usually don’t. “Here is one of mine,” I say as I give them two.
When you give a tip at a restaurant, assuming you are a fair tipper, leave two cards.
Whenever you are asked for your name, like at a hotel check-in or the vet’s office, hand them two cards and say, “All that information is on my card.”
When you pay a bill or send something in the mail, always put in two cards.
I have my web site information on my card, www.CopitchInc.com. I have a links page with lots of valuable links to web sites I am comfortable referring people to. As I hand someone my business card I’ll often say, “If you go to my web page there is a link to…” I find that people appreciate the leads.
While waiting in line at Costco, I gave out cards to two women who were talking about one of their baby’s ear infection. I asked, “Have you been to Healthcentral.com on the Internet? No? They have lots of valuable information about ear infections and children’s health. Here’s my card. If you go to my web site (pointing to the web address on my card) you can skip right over to get the information you want.”
That same Costco trip I ran into the father of one of the children who does martial arts with my boys. “Hi Dad (I didn’t know his name), did you see the pictures of the kids from the last competition? No, oh they’re great, if you go to my web site, (pointing at the web address on card) you will find the link to the pictures.”
This took only moments, and I got goodwill along with my cards circulating.
If I need to give someone a number or something, I write it in the margins of my chutzpah business card.
Don’t forget to ask friends, who are entrepreneurs in noncompeting businesses, if you can give them a plastic holder filled with your business cards for their waiting room. Offer to put theirs in your place of business if appropriate. Send them replacement cards every few months.
If you send a thank you card, get-well flowers, or a fruit basket, add your mini-billboards.
“You have to circulate to percolate.” The first time I heard this was from a manager who was explaining that if you want to sell cars the public needs to know about you. The more people that know about you the more likely it is that someone you know needs what you are selling. All sales are done through a relationship, the better the relationship, the more trust there is between the buyer and the seller, the easier the sale.
My friend Steve the locksmith and I were pulling into a convenience store to pick up some soft drinks. We had been driving for some time. The whole time Steve had been complaining that business was down. As we got out of the car, Steve took off his bright yellow polo shirt emblazoned with his company logo on the pocket. Wearing only his tee-shirt we went into the store.
When we were getting back into the car, Steve put his yellow shirt back on. “What’s up with the shirt?” I asked.
“Oh,” Steve complained. “Whenever I wear my shirt into places like that someone always asks me about my work. People are always looking for free advice, it drives me crazy!”
I tell you the story about Steve and his yellow shirt to prove a point. When opportunity knocks he wears work clothes. What Steve didn’t realize is that his shirt gave him thousands of opportunities per year to percolate. As he circulated around his community people eagerly talked to Steve about their locksmith problems. All Steve needed were a few mini-billboards and a couple of 9-seconds speeches to give to these prospective customers. For just a few cents he could have netted thousands of dollars. (We will cover 9-second speeches in Chapter 3: Your Second Most Important Marketing Tool is Free.)
Instead of dreading “being bothered by prospective customers” Steve needed a chutzpah attitude adjustment. Being a locksmith, Steve had thousands of key blanks in boxes lying around his office, shop, and home. By attaching his business card to a key blank he had himself a low cost and unique mini-billboard.
When someone said to Steve in passing, “Do you fix safes?” or “sliding glass door locks”, he would smile and let them know what he could do for them. As he handed them his mini-billboards he would say, “Call my wife at this number and I’ll be happy to fix that for you.” (By saying “call my wife”, many people felt more comfortable inviting someone they just met over to their home or office.)
Name tags make it very easy for people to befriend you in public. I used to have to wear a lanyard with my name tag on it clearly printed with: Dr. Copitch, when I worked in a hospital. If I forgot to take it off and leave it in the car before I went into the grocery store, people would lift their shirts or expose their rumps for my assessment as they said, “What do you think this is?” I would politely respond-looking elsewhere, “I’m not that type of doctor, I’m a psychotherapist.” (Sometimes I would have to add, “Yuck! You need to get that checked.”)
Name tags make you safe to talk to. Which in turn makes it easier for you to talk about your product or services, and hand out your mini-billboards comfortably. More on name tags in Chapter 7, Advertising Part D: Your Office, Store, and Vehicles Are Chutzpah Marketing Tools.
Flowers by Dana is a small flower shop down the street from a hospital. As a way to get their name better known, whenever they delivered to the hospital, the delivery person always took lots of extra carnations. Punching two holes in a business card enabled them to slip a carnation stem through the holes with ease, attaching the card to the carnation. The delivery person was instructed to hand a carnation to any woman or child they stumbled across during their delivery and say, with a big smile, “Dana told me to give this to you.” This happy gesture positioned Dana’s little shop positively in the minds of lots of people. I am told that the nurses never got tired of getting a flower. In fact, many of Dana’s cards were kept at the nurses’ stations throughout the hospital.
The Shirt Ladies, as they are affectionately called, used silk screened tee-shirts as mini-billboards. When they met a prospective customer they would hand him a large white tee-shirt with all the silk screening particulars on it. I have seen these shirts in offices around my town. It seems that this mini-billboard spends a lot of time on the desks or bookshelves of decision makers all over town. (One of my sons wore a huge one for years. He thought it was cool. Wow! Free advertising.)
A lady from my office building stopped me in the hall one morning. I had seen her before but I did not know who she was.
“Oh Dr. Phil, my friend’s kid spit in the face of another kid in school. Sally is really worried that her kid is going to get kicked out of school.”
“It is really common that schools get concerned about any sort of kid aggression these days,” I said as I handed over two of my cards. “You may want to have your friend call me before her meeting with the school. I’ll give her a few minutes and some help with knowing what to expect. Tell your friend, because you’re worried about her, I’ll be happy to talk to her on the phone for free.”
I find that a free five minute consult relieves a lot of fear, creates goodwill in my community, and often helps a worried potential customer become a customer. In this situation, I also get goodwill within a company in my office building.
I am often asked about my sales pitch during these free phone consults. My answer is simply, I have no sales pitch. The purpose of my free phone consult is to dispatch free general information. If the caller needs more help, I offer that help. But, if I can solve the caller’s needs in five minutes, I do, hoping to also generate goodwill; which may come back to me at a later date.
I was told by a newly minted attorney at a Welcome To The Firm party, that five years earlier she had called my office.
“I was so upset when I called,” she said. “You must have thought of me as the most uninformed parent in the world.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t remember the call,” I said.
“It was me screaming about my three year old looking at a Playboy magazine. I was frantic that he was somehow damaged.”
“You needn’t be worried...”
“That’s what you said. You calmed me down and told me that my son was just looking at a magazine. He didn’t know anything about porno. It was just a magazine. You were so calming. I just wanted you to know that I appreciated your help.”
“Thanks, glad I could help.” I handed her a few cards.
In the five years since, that single attorney has referred customers to my company almost every month. And, the firm she works for also thinks of me often.
Readers have sent me fun examples of chutzpah mini-billboards. Lot of fun. Enjoy.
I like the idea that these cards are so creative that they almost beg to be shown off.
This scratch card is a novel idea. It lets the receiver get involve with your card and “win” something like 10% off or an upgrade of some sort.
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