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April 14, 2014

The Flip Side (of your business card)

Filed under: Ken Edelstein,Popular Overall — Tags: , — admin @ 11:13 am

The Flip Side (of your business card)

John Wayne said “Life’s Rough, and it’s Rougher if your Stupid”, what’s that got to do with this blog and notary work? Nothing at all – I just like the quote. Now it’s time for me to stop being silly and write something worthy of your time to read. The subject this time is the humble business card. Every aspect of it. Before proceeding I’m putting in a plug for Vistaprint – they have super tools to design business cards, and if you order the maximum – really low price per card. OK, now you know where I am going with this installment – I’m going to cover the humble but o so essential business card.

Every business knows the maxim that it is hard to get a new customer and so very easy to lose them. I’m going to ignore the “lose them” and concentrate on the “get a new” aspect of client relations. To my eternal surprise I have found that some notaries do not have a business card. That is an astonishing oversight on their part. You not only must have a business card – you need a great business card. Take the time to design a superb one – one that reflects the excellence you put into everything you do. Never use a cookie cutter quickie template – are you a tree in a forest of similar trees? Of course not. You are professional offering skills like no other. Your card IS you.

Not only must it have an eye-catching design, it must be easily readable. That is a must. I don’t understand why my doctor uses a type font and size that requires reading glasses (for me) and probably many others. It also must say what your areas of expertise include. Just your name and “Notary Public” is so far below the minimum, it borders on the silly. That does not even cover the areas where you make the most income – being a mobile notary and going to the client. While avoiding the temptation to “crowd” the card, you must stress the services that you offer – the ones that bring in the most income. That is why you had the cards printed, right?

Cards are one of the cheapest forms of advertising. They can be “dirt cheap” if you order them that way. Go at least for the glossy color ones, well designed and carefully populated with contact information. You certainly want your direct cell number to be very prominent. Useful information obviously includes your FAX number and your web site. Be careful to not include information that is subject to change. Those cards circulate for a very long time. If you include “by appointment only” – many will be turned off. Better is to say “call for availability” or something a bit more positive.

Now for my secret weapon: It’s the “flip side” of the card. The face of the card is about you, what you do and how to reach you. But what if they don’t think they will need your services in the foreseeable future. You have to give them a reason to keep your card WITH them. Enter the back of the card. This is not new, others before me have discovered this truth. Many put an appointment schedule – typically done by doctors, on the back of the card. Problem: when the back is full, the card is pitched. It works for the doctor but that will not work for you. Better is a calendar, but only slightly. When December 31st rolls around your card goes in the bucket.
I have a street guide on the back of my card. It helps people to find the location of a specific building on the streets of Manhattan. Others that I did admire have tables that equate English measurements to Metric. I have seen perpetual calendars, local emergency phone numbers, and European to American clothing size conversion tables. All share the common feature that the information is useful and never goes out of date.

Now that you have a fantastic card designed, order lots of them. I order 5000 at a time from Vistaprint and select their slowest service; for fabrication and shipping. The price tumbles, they cost about a penny each. At that price I can afford to never give ONE to someone, always a few. You want as many as possible in circulation. When you go to a building always give a few to the lobby staff. The concierge at a hotel is one of the best places, for several cards. It’s easier for them to hand one of your cards to a guest then transcribe the information onto a sheet of paper, which would be thrown away by the person who will be calling you! You do yourself a great disservice if you do not have a superb card and distribute them to everyone you meet.

You might also like:

Notary Spectrum, a Tale of Two Notaries

Stealing a business name



  1. Thank you for this tip! I had not thought about giving cards to hotel concierges. Now that you mention it, that is an obvious place to hand them out. I guess we should all be using the 10 foot rule that salespeople use — if someone gets within 10 feet of us, they get the spiel (or the card, in this case). Or, maybe that is too pushy. In any case, thank you!

    Comment by Tim Gatewood — April 23, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

  2. I don’t know about Vista Prints new policy on notary business cards, but Notary Publics can no longer order ink stamps or anything else that has the words “Notary Public” on them. I know this because I tried to order new ink stamps 2 weeks ago. I have not tried to reorder any of my other stamps yet so I don’t know how that will work.

    Comment by Melanie — April 24, 2014 @ 2:17 am

  3. A business card should be a reflection of your business. I prefer a high quality card on premium card stock. My cards have raised offset printed type on a heavier linin finish card stock. A classy off white linin card with black printing showing company name, my name etc, and four bullet points identifying services offered. The most classy card I ever saw was from the president of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. It merely had his name in the center, and in the lower right hand corner: President, Louisville &. Nashville Railroad. Nothing else. If you are the type of person he wants to convers with, you will know how to get his number. Of course, I don’t have his stature and fame, so my uncluttered card contains more detail, but is far from being too flashy. Clear, clean,crisp and given to people who are in a position to use my services. Send me one of your cards, and I will send one of mine. Contact info on 123 Notary,

    Comment by Larry Emsweller — August 25, 2014 @ 2:11 am

  4. Thanks for sharing these tips. One of the most important things is definitely making sure your business card is readable, otherwise there’s no point.

    Comment by Catherine Marshall — October 30, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

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