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I’m Kyle! I'm an educator, husband, traveler, photographer, podcaster & Calvin & Hobbes fan since '85.
Here, you'll find a lot of free content wrapped around marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, and all the things in relation to building a creative business. So, if you want to learn more about taking your creative business to the next level, you're in the right place.
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When it comes to your business in the wedding or photo industries, conversations at some point or another lead to talk about business cards. And for some reason, even something as mundane as a business card can become a controversial topic. And today on the blog, I want to help give you clarity – while also simplifying your brand and processes as you scale and grow.
Yes, they can be helpful. Are they always? No. As with everything in life, there are variables. But when it comes to the (traditional) high ticket world of photography, how many times do you need a business card to convert into a sale to make thousands of dollars? Usually, once for a wedding photographer – and maybe a few times for most portrait photographers who aren’t doing IPS (in-person sales). So, it can be useful to carry them around with you everywhere you go. Period.
Plainly put, if your business card gets you only one additional booking a year in the wedding industry – you’ve just paid for a week-long vacation or your entire mortgage payment & car payment. Bottom line, it’s worth it to carry it around.
Let’s start out by saying what NOT to put on your business cards. And for that, a big no-no (in my professional opinion from doing this for 11 years full-time) is to NOT have photos on your business cards. And that right there is where I might lose some of you (and that’s okay). You don’t have to agree with me. But if you want to learn why I feel that way, keep reading.
When you put photos on your business card (like how Moo gives you the option of multiple photos on different business cards), it very quickly dates your work. It puts a time stamp on you, your business, your quality of photography, your editing, and your brand. BAD NEWS BEARS when any of that happens.
I want your brand to always stay fresh, modern, current, and on top of the mind of your ideal client when they are even relatively thinking about hiring a photographer. And photos on business cards will not help you close that sale. The photos on your business cards are hurting you more than they are helping you.
“But oh Kyle… I get so many compliments on my photos on my business cards! You’re wrong!”
Okay… cool. Congrats on getting compliments. But I take compliments like I take working for exposure in a positive way. You have the interest and you have the kind words… but none of that matters without actual dollars in my bank account. After all, I have to eat. I have to have a roof over my head. I have to put gas in the tank. I need a retirement account. I have to have all these things.
Photos can attract some people and completely repel others. But either way, it dates your work and your style and you’ll have to be constantly refreshing your business cards. Stop complicating your life.
What I recommend you DO put on your business cards is the basics. Name, contact info, website, and what you do.
My brand name is Luma Weddings. I’m a Seattle wedding photographer, and I am an introverted extrovert. I also serve a very particular kind of ideal client. So, if I were to hand out a business card that has an image (or images) that do not resonate with that particular person I handed the card to… what do you think would happen?
That’s right… they would throw it out.
Now, let’s say that I handed a card to them without a photo on it, what do you think would happen?
Here, it’s not so black & white.
Some people would throw it away. Some people would keep onto it. That’s just the nature of business in general.
If I just included my brand name of “Luma Weddings” on the card with my website of https://lumaweddings.com and a logo… they might forget the next day what on earth I do for a living. Because nowhere in my name or site mentions what I do — photography.
So what do I do?
Name, Job Title, Email, Website, Logo.
Well, you are HANDING that business card to them. They’ve either been seeing you work at that wedding day, or they’ve been chatting with you in one way or another at a different sort of location. So, you know what is going to truly keep more of those business cards in their hands? YOU. Your personality. Your attitude. How well they feel like they are resonating with you, your communication, your energy, your vibe, and how well that conversation went.
RELATIONSHIPS make you sales. QUALITY RESULTS make you sales.
Business cards are just a way for you to have your brand remembered and for you to give them a resource for them to check out – if they so choose that they truly want to check everything out. And a business card is way easier for them to know where to go to see your work, whether that be your website or wherever else you direct them.
Want to do something outside the basics?
Personally, I feel the only time where it’s appropriate to use photos on a business card is when the style of your business never changes – or doesn’t change for quite a long time. And in most industries, that is very, very rare. Even if you own a winery, that winery property aesthetic will change depending on the surrounding environment, age of rootstock, varietals on the property, or maybe the property even went under construction/renovation. There are so many variables. Again, simplify.
I’m really holding back from saying something like “no shit, it’s important.” But, I can’t tell you how many people are passing out bad quality business cards just to save a buck.
I want you to think of your brand perception as important as the bills you need to pay to survive. Treat your business like a BUSINESS. Stop treating it like a hobby like you’re just doing for fun. (I’m not saying don’t have fun with it — but I’m saying to treat it like a proper BUSINESS so that you CAN have true fun with it.
When you pass someone your business card, what’s the very first thing that they do with it?
It’s not reading it.
It’s feeling it.
When you pass them your business card, they have to grab it. They feel it. Sometimes they even flick it between their fingers (weird natural instinct, right?). So, the card stock needs to feel quality. It can’t be flimsy. And it needs to reflect the quality of your brand.
And make sure your card isn’t bigger than the size of the average wallet pocket. Don’t get something bigger just to be creative. Those are more known to be thrown out or buried in a clutter drawer.
I’ve been known to spend $1-3 PER CARD and order 200-500 cards at a time. $1 cards I’ve ordered are traditionally for my wedding & portrait clients, and the $2-3 cards are traditionally for my commercial fashion and hospitality clients. Why? More money involved, more marketing budget, more of an importance on initial impression.
Brand the card with the colors of your brand. Get this on point right down to the Hex code.
I can help you with all of this.
Get in touch using the contact form on my website. Send me a message on Facebook. Whatever it is, reach out to me. I can actually, truly help you. Check out these reviews for yourself from other photographers and their results after going through some of my programs.
Onwards and upwards, my friends.
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