10 Unusual Places To Drop Your Business Card

by Ritu

MarketingHackz business cardBusiness Cards – The most useful and often the least utilized form of marketing. Business cards have long been the best friend of a business man or woman. We have seen them handed out at company meetings and casual meetings. One thing most marketers and business person often seem to forget is business cards aren’t just meant to be handed out. They are meant to be dropped!

Ever since business cards came into existence there has been numerous ways to hand them out. But, as said earlier, most marketers forget to realize that there are other ways which you can use to get indirect exposure towards your business via business cards. In this post we will analyze ten ( 10 ) ways to get exposure to your business, and market your products and services without directly coming in contact with anybody, yet letting them know that you exist.

Before we get into the details make sure you always have a handful of cards in your pocket, no matter where you go. Even if you are going to the grocery store make sure to grab a couple. Will talk more about this particular situation when we get deeper into the post. Let’s get started,

  1. Bus Stop - You might have your own car and everything but once in a while it pays to ride a bus when it comes to marketing. Why? Well, what do you do when you are at a bus stop? You wait for the bus. You can first use that location and time to talk with other people and network. Second and most importantly you can market your business indirectly using your business card. How? Simply drop one on the chair and a couple outside the booth. You ask what this will do? Most people won’t ignore a business card that’s staring at them waiting to be picked. Trust me, they will pick it up and most probably hold on to it. Getting business from them depends whether or not your business caters to their need but you surely made aware to one potential customer that you exist.
  2. Bus - Now that you have left your business card at the bus stop, the next unusual place to leave your business card is when you are on the bus. How many people ride a bus to and from work at a major metropolitan city? Hundreds and thousands! Use it to your advantage to promote your business. When you are ready to board off the bus, simple drop one on the seat you were sitting on. No body wants to sit on something that’s laying on a seat. Somebody will for sure pick it up and take a look at it. There! You just left another businesses card and promoted your business and all it took was reaching into your pocket and dropping one out.

  3. Hair Salon – If you are like me this might not be the place you usually visit. I say that because I am going bald and I shave my head which eliminates the need to visit a hair salon. But if you do go to get your hair cut, well it’s your lucky day and another shot at marketing your business. When you are at a barber shop or hair salon just leave one on the counter after you are done. Sure! You can hand one out to the barber or at the counter, but you want more than just them knowing. You want their customer who might also be interested in your products and services. So go ahead drop one right out while you are in there.
  4. Convenience Store – We all use convenience store, whether its a quick stop to fill gas, relief ourselves or grab something to quick munch on. A convenience store is another one of those places that’s never empty, most of the times. There are hundreds of people walking in and out everyday. If you can convert 25% of convenience store customers to atleast peek at your business card, that is a huge success and an achievement. Some places to leave your business card while you are in there would be – the newspaper rack, the counter ( drop one before walking out ), once you are done grabbing the snickers leave one on the shelve. You get the idea. The key is to find spots that are mostly accessed by customers in a convenience store.
  5. Restaurants - I am not talking about McDonald’s here, I am talking about a restaurant where you go sit, look at a menu and wait for your food to arrive. Sometimes paying 20-50 dollars a meal can really be a good investment when it comes to promoting your business. Once you are done eating at a restaurant leave one on the table you were eating at. Who will see this? Just the waiter because they will most probably clean the table once you leave. Well, you marketed to one person. What about others who might come to a restaurant, the restaurant’s customer? This is what you should do in addition to leaving one on the table you ate – leave couple while on your way out on empty tables that are already cleaned and waiting for a customer. They are already cleaned so when a new customer arrives they will most probably peek at your business card, thus giving your business some exposure. The hungry customer might have a short attention span, but hey atleast he/she knows you exist.
  6. Airport - When it comes to marketing via ” leave your business card approach, “ airports are the best place on earth to promote your business. There are just hundreds of places in an airport that you can simply drop your card and let others know about you and or your business. Some places you can quick drop a business card off your pocket while in an airport – the waiting area ( seat , aisle, etc ), the airport bathroom ( why not ), food court, magazine racks, etc. Spots and places you can leave your business card are just countless. Go ahead and find a spot, I am sure you will find more than you can think of. Just drop one somewhere and get indirectly in touch with your to be customers.
  7. Department/Grocery Store – Without a visit to a department store or grocery store every so often, our lives cannot exist,literally. There isn’t anybody who doesn’t visit a grocery store or a department store for that matter. I wouldn’t really recommend leaving your cards on shelves in a department/grocery store but one place most people won’t miss your business card is the cart. Yes, the cart you put your groceries in. Just drop one on your way out. The next person that will grab the cart will most certainly give it a look which will give you or your business an instant exposure. Most businesses leave their flyers and such in carts and promote them, you might as well do the same with your business card.
  8. Bar - While at a bar if you are still not drunk enough to forget your business, leave one at the counter right before you leave. The next person will most likely give it a look and if they are drunk enough they might just slip one in their pocket. And of course your product and services are so strong that someone doesn’t have to be drunk to keep one of your business cards. They will grab and hold on to it anyway. That’s marketing at it’s best – when you can promote your business where people go to forget their own business.
  9. Open Houses – I love open houses. First you get a chance to peek into someone’s house with their permission and second, you have the opportunity to sell your own service while someone is selling their house. Talk about maximizing opportunities. When you are at a open house, peeking into somebody else’s property errr…. looking to buy a house, drop one next to the realtor’s business card. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, simply drop one somewhere on the floor while inside the house. Living room, kitchen, bedroom, your call. Make a choice.
  10. Rental Properties – Whatever it is that you are renting, be it a car, a house or an apartment, when you are done with it leave a couple in there. If it is a rental car, be sure to drop one in the glove box, the back seat and may be one on the dashboard. You might be using it for a business purpose or pleasure, whatever it is, business cards are most likely to fall out and stored somewhere while driving around. When it comes to a rental house or an apartment, the possibilities are endless. You lived there for so long so it makes sense that you forgot a couple business cards while you were leaving. Like I said the possibilities and spots while leaving a rental house is endless. In a closet, bedroom, kitchen …. see, you have opportunities everywhere.

I am pretty sure you have your own ways of ” sneaky marketing. “ Please share some of your tips on how we can forget our business cards somewhere knowingly and get in touch with our potential customers. The comment section is yours to share some business card marketing tips with us.

Ohh wow, I just found a business card for an electrician in my basement. I should give them a call when I have electrical issues. Previous tenants must have forgotten one down here while moving ;-) .

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason

Great post Ritu! It is amazing how these simple techniques work. In fact, one I have used with decent success is the restaurant one. I have wrote messages on the back of my TS business card and left them on the table. Low and behold, two weeks later, I had a $2,000 website deal.

Jason

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Bob Younce at the Writing Journey

You’ve got to be the busiest damn blogger in the world, Ritu.

Very cool post. I Look forward to more.

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Ritu

@Jason: I guess that is why they call it ” sneaky marketing.” Sometimes we just have to sneak in places ( the right way ) to bring some exposure to our business.

@Bob: Thanks for stopping by Bob. I am pretty busy but I wouldn’t say the busiest. Keeps me occupied that’s for sure.

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James Chartrand - Men with Pens

Well written, well said. I was trying to think of places as I read through and you beat me every damned time.

You know, the business card is one of the cheapest, most underused forms of marketing. Get one. Drop it. All over the freakin’ place. Cost? Nominal. ROI? Amazing.

(Where’s my subscribe to comments feature?)

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Ritu

@James: Cheapest and most effective form of marketing and like you said ROI is simply amazing.

( The ” subscribe to comments ” feature will be here next time you stop by ;-) )

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Michael Martine

Some great ideas and like the new blog. When I go to SOBCon in a week, I’m going to take a whole box of ‘em.

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Ritu

@Michael: You are going to SOBCon? I wanted to go as well but due to some personal reasons can’t make it. By the way, I am in Minnesota so on your way back from Chicago, stop by. Maybe? ;-)

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Michael Martine

@ritu – I would if I could! Since I live in Vermont and will be flying, it won’t quite work out. ;)

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sterling | bizlift

I was wondering if anyone actually had these techniques work for them, and Jason has confirmed it. I’ll give it a try.

Nice job with this blog Ritu!

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Lexi of Creative Energies

Could not resist commenting that you plainly do not go to a hair “salon” very often. I am glad to know you have good reason. But a hair salon should never be confused with a saloon, god only knows what my hair might look like in that case!

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Robin-FortuneWatch

Interesting article. I havnt done the dropping my business card many times, but surely I am going to give it a shot, got nothing to lose. Usually I find it easier to hand over my card to someone in the elevator, car park (I judge people by the type of car they drive), in a hospital (I am an Insurance guy) etc.

Take care and cheers

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Ritu

@Michael: Someday.

@Sterling: I have myself used this strategy and I won’t say it will bring you 100%, but it will bring some for sure.

@Lexi: Thanks for pointing it out. Fixed it. Been a long day :-)

@Robin: Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Give it a try. You have got nothing to lose but a couple business cards and that’s what they are there for – to lose them where you want to ;-)

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NBurman

Great ideas here. They’d certainly bust me out of lots of comfort zones that’s for sure!

My business partner happens to be my daughter, who brings me lots of opportunities to meet strangers in line ups. Being only 18 months old (and amazingly cute) she draws lots of attention and breaks lots of ice.
No, she doesn’t freelance!

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Brian

Personally, I think this is a rather lame idea. Dropping business cards where people will pick them up is likely to get you one phone call/1000′s of impressions.

Curious, how many people have picked up a business card on a bus and then called the person for business?

I see business cards everywhere, all the time (bulletin boards, holders, etc.) and very rarely pick one up. I’ve put business cards out for over 20 years and can’t think of a single call I’ve gotten.

There is probably no harm (except littering and wasting resources) from such an activity but I wouldn’t call this marketing.

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John

Great Ideas I just made a batch of cards, I will try some of these tips.

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Colorado Web Design

I’ve left cards at banks and coffee shops, which usually have a business card board somewhere around if they are locally owned businesses.

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newlifefromheaven

In the ideal world, dropping business cards everywhere would bring in tons of customers, but in the real world, the paper just becomes one more piece of litter around the town. I hope we have some ecologists and environmentalists stop by this site to comment on how much “marketing” is left all over the place. People talking to people and then handing them a reminder card is much more effective than throwing flyers to the wind. I hope I am not raining too hard on the parade.

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antiques

great ideas. dropping business cards left and right def helps out.

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Diane

You’d be pleased to know dropping your business card at a bus stop in Manchester city centre will land you a lovely £50 fine!

I’d get to the library and leave a couple actually in books as bookmarks!

The problem with putting out business cards in this way is that if you upset someone and cause “littering” you’re instantly contactable!

Why not try pens? People love free pens and they’re so easy to give away!

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t

These places are worthless places for me to drop my business card. I’m a Web site developer and don’t want business from just anyone. I want TARGETED LEADS – people who have the money to actually buy my services. If anyone could be your customer, than yes, this is a good idea. Otherwise, know who your customer is and focus on marketing to good prospects – people who need your services.

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Susie

What wonderful advice, simple and easy to do! What a vast marketplace that is truly out there, with no human contact or cold calling to do!

Susies last blog post..Exhibit at a tradeshow?

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josh

I like this blog, great post.

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Jared

Great tips! You can leave a business card just about anywhere and it can only help your business.

Jareds last blog post..4 Ways Elance.com Can Help Any Business

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KnuteSacto

Very good. I really got some ideas from this one. Thanks.

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Pathfinder

I have done this with great sucess, we were on a trip to DC and in the hotel i left a few cards around… The toilet paper was my favorite idea… unroll and stick some on every foot… It worked… gives them somthing to look at while on the john… i got 5 views from the DC area that next week.

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Mister Printer

http://www.MONDOprint.com

Check out these guys for a great business card printing source. Great quality and low prices. Cheers!

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Doc Brown

Thanks for all the ideas.
I have been dropping my cards around the place… thanks for sharing some great ideas. I’ll be sure to drops some around an airport when I go travelleing next month…

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audit

I’ve got to hand it to you, you did a good job. The information is very much appreciated.

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Louie

Self serve laundromats are a great idea, every one I’ve been to has a post-it board for flyers and cards. I usually hit those up with 10 – 15 cards and a card holder. There are even sites that keep track of laundromats and list them.

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Gangas Panama

Not easy to say thank you, me english not so well – but these really good. Good read to practice English.

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shawn Robertson

I use pens as well as business cards. I put on the pen “if you find this pen visit my web site for a free shirt when you buy 2 shirts” and it works. I leave them in shoes at shoe stores and on counters in the mall. Just take an hour of your time each week to go pen placing and see the business come in.

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Richard H

Way back when I was involved with a MLM co they had lots of very useful methods of advertising -one that I still use (for a different product now) is whats called a ‘villi flier’. This can be an A4 sheet of paper or bigger with your main ad on the top half of the sheet and the bottom half is cut into inch wide strips vertically (sort of resembling a grass skirt!) on the strips at the bottom you would have a key sentence from your ad and your website.These strips were cut in such a way as to be almost cut free but not -meaning that a small tug would release a strip easily.Then the idea is to stick the full sheet all over -gas pumps, bus stops, shop fronts,ATM’s basically wherever there are people (take a little setting up on for the printer if I recall!) but my favourite is the free mobile poster – back of a bus! Print your ad on an A4 sheet complete with sticky tape at the corners, As the bus stops in traffic or other you have your poster ready to stick on the rear of the bus and off you go.Your poster could be potentially seen by hundreds of drivers etc that day so make sure its clear and can be viewed from a short distance away! Another good one is to leave fliers on your OWN car presented in such a way that people can see what it says ie hanging from your rear wiper or other. People are nosy and will investigate and take one of their own. Also Biz cards in car windows, cards in bus timetable frames at bus stop, back of cubicle doors, changing rooms, takeaway restaurants,shops,buses, trains,tubes, football matches on seats etc……basically anywhere and everywhere!

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