Strategic… but just make sure it’s appropriate and permissible
- Networking events
- Trade shows
- “Fish bowls” – I’m not talking about an aquarium, but rather a sort of ‘fish bowl marketing’. Some companies have a glass fish bowl with a sign in front of it asking business card carriers to place them in for a chance to win a prize. So take advantage of this opportunity!
- Community bulletin boards – Local bulletin boards are ideal places to advertise your business or services. Many coffee shops, supermarkets, restaurants, and schools offer this space for a more ‘organic advertising’ strategy.
- Local restaurants – Some local restaurants have a place for business cards, either a small space near the registry machine or a bulletin board, but don’t forget to check it out.
- In tips left after a meal – This is very rare, but if you tip well… they’d absolutely keep your card ;-).
- Business centers
- Day Cares/Nursing Homes
- College Campuses (i.e. Student Centers or Bulletin boards)
- Small local businesses/vendors
- Cultural events
- Coffee shops
- Ethnic restaurants
- Convenience stores
- Doctor’s offices
- Museums or Art galleries
- Family members- Yes. I know you would be like “they already know what I do, so they don’t need me”. So let me tell you something: they might run into someone needing your services, so they would automatically give out one of your cards instead of looking for a pen and paper or having a hard time with their Contacts App.
Unusual, weird, but works if appropriate.
- Bridal Stores – Some bridal stores have a section of relevant business cards for other business owners. Who knows? Maybe a bride is looking for an interpreter for her wedding ceremony or someone needs a certified translator for immigration purposes.
- Hair Saloons/Barber Shops – I know this might sound crazy, but I bet your husband was chitchatting with a barber about his work, wife, etc… you end up being part of the topic and SORPRESA: your barber needs a legal translator.
- Airports – Research a bit more about it
- Auto repair/Car wash shops – Some of them have a special table for small business owners. Just take a look :).
- Retail stores – As I just mentioned above, there are a few that have a small section for them. Not all, so just make sure of it before proceeding to do so.
- Transportation: buses, taxi, subways, metro, train – Sometimes you are in a conversation with someone and your profession might come out as part of it (who knows?).
- Halloween bags? – This might work if the parents are keeping an eye on their kids’ candy addiction.
- Vet’s office- A few vet offices have a board exclusive for small businesses, where pet owners can go pin their business cards.
- Pet stores – Some pet stores have a place for carriers to place their business cards: whether it is a small space near the registry machine, a fish bowl, a bucket, or a bulletin board, you might be lucky.
- Laundry service – Make sure they have a bulletin board, ok?
- Dry cleaning facilities – Some of them have a small table or bulletin board for small businesses.
NO WAY! Don’t even dare!
- Public restrooms – Awkward and unhygienic
- Mailboxes – ILLEGAL -> Federal Law
- Table dance – Awkward…
- Night clubs/bars – Unless it’s a professional but informal networking event or you are having a conversation with a bartender who might need one, you should not do it.
A very important tip: Talking from personal experience: use your good judgement. I know we would love to give out as many business cards as possible, but sometimes you need to consider that some businesses/people do not care about what you do. It is good to think about the return of your investment in order to avoid the waste of a large number of cards.
So, do you have any strategic place? Please let me know and I will gladly update this post. Don’t forget to share this post. Got any questions or comments? Feel free to drop a line below 🙂