At NAB/NMX in 2015 in Las Vegas last year I was walking over to the Las Vegas convention center Sunday morning with Gary Leland. I had my big suitcase full of stuff for the libsyn booth - it was definitely over packed. In the suitcase were a couple of boxes of flyers, a bunch of t-shirts, a big bag of chocolate, The libsyn banner and a couple of big bags of business cards from libsyn podcasters. About half way over one of the wheels on the suitcase split. It was still rollable but tougher to pull. A couple hundred yards later the other wheel split. Now it was really hard to pull. Gary offered to help cary it - but since he was already carrying a big bag of T-shirts for the libsyn booth (Thanks Gary) I said no and just hoped I would make it to the booth before the wheels completely locked up. Thankfully I did make it to the booth before the wheels gave out completely. Whew!
The one thing that takes the longest when setting up the libsyn booth at shows is laying out the business cards from podcasters that host with us. We have a tradition of dedicating about half our booth space to those that make libsyn possible - our podcasters. This allows Podcasters business cards to attend the shows we go to even if the Podcasters themselves can not. See the photo above for a look at last years NAB/NMX setup.
There are well over 50 different podcasts whose cards we have out and we will get more during the show. But even if that number was 100 it is a small number percentage wise out of all the podcasts that host with libsyn (>28,000). Is that because we pick and choose who goes out? Nope. It is because that is all that sent us their cards or dropped off their cards at past events. When I ask some podcasters why they did not send in their cards, there is one answer I hear more than any other. “I do not have business cards for my podcast”. HUH? Really? How can you not have business cards for your podcast I will ask them. Some say they are just too busy to get cards made, a few admit they are just to lazy to get it done, some will say they can’t design anything graphical, and a last group will say they don’t see the value in business cards for their podcast.
For the first three groups, Google “Design Business cards online”. Enough said.
It is that last group this article is for. At every event we have had cards out at, there have been multiple people that will look over the plethora of cards presented and go through picking and choosing cards. Some of them will say they are looking for a new show to listen to. If that was your card - Score you just gained a new listener. Other podcasters or news media people will say they are looking for guests to interview. If that was your card - MAJOR score you will likely gain many new listeners.
Beyond putting business cards on the libsyn booth - there are many other great ways to market with your business cards. I have heard of people going into book stores or libraries and finding books that match their topic and leaving their cards in the books. I have seen at events business cards placed in elevators or on billboards or other high visibility spots. But I think where it comes in most useful is when you the podcaster are telling someone about your show. Word of Mouth marketing is by far the number one way podcasts grow. And nothing backs up your own word of mouth about your podcast then when you can hand over a card with your podcast info. One it makes it easier for them to remember the name and where to find your podcast and two it shows a higher level of legitimacy about your podcast, in that you spent the time and money to get cards printed.
For my own business cards for Libsyn on the back I have my three main podcasts Artwork with the URL’s for each podcast site page. I found not having a card for my podcast - Today in iOS was hurting me when I went to someone to ask for an interview at a trade show. But when I could hand them a card showing my artwork and website URL - I found them much more receptive to come on my podcast and also hand over samples to test on my podcast. At Show Stoppers - a special event for the media attending NAB - they required you give over a business card to get in. CES has had that requirement as well for the Press. A business card adds a greater level of legitimacy to your podcast.
Back to our NAB/NMX 2015 setup experience from above. After I finished the libsyn booth I gave my wife a call. When I told her about the issues she said I should leave those big bags of business cards behind as they weigh a ton. Blasphemy I said - I would leave behind libsyn flyers before I did that. I can easily replace the libsyn flyers - but those individual podcasters business cards - they are priceless. Ok well maybe not exactly priceless as a new suitcase did set me back $100 - but you get the point.
Next week will be the biggest Podcast event of 2016 - Podcast Movement. Are you going to be ready for the show with your own business cards? Or as the title states - What's going to be in your wallet when you get to Chicago?