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Sunday, January 31, 2010

 

What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

by LuAnn Schindler

As a writer, you spend large chunks of time sitting in front of a computer screen, maintaining your blog(s), updating your website, and promoting your work via social networking outlets.

But in your rush to effectively market yourself , you may be forgetting one of the most basic marketing tools available: the business card.

A business card is one of the quickest introductions a writer can make. It's also one of the least expensive forms of self-promotion.

Take a look at your business card. What does it say about you as a writer? Does it make a statement about the type of work you produce? Does it let potential clients know you are serious about your craft? Does it provide multiple ways to contact you?

Business cards come in several sizes: the skinny, or 1 x 3 inches; the standard, 3.5 x 2 inches; or the oversized (offered by several printing companies), is 2.5 x 3.5 inches. The traditional or standard size is recommended by industry professionals, but it's clearly a choice you can make that best fits your needs.

Another consideration is font, size, and color. A serif font is easy to read. Make sure the size is large enough for "older" eyes to view it clearly. The color of the type can make a difference, too. Determine if the color will stand out against the background or if it will blend in and be unreadable.

Select the information you want others to know. At the minimum, include your name, title, and contact information, including a phone number, e-mail address, and web site URL. Some authors advise not to place a mailing address on the card because that information should be available on your online site. It's worth thinking about!

Use the back of the card, too! Special services or skills can be listed on the flip side. Use the room and promote what you are able to offer potential customers.

Design your own cards or use templates provided by online vendors. Sites like VistaPrint.com or 123Print.com offer multiple templates. These sites are cost effective, too. Depending on the style you choose, up to 200 cards can be purchased for around $10.

Another site worth checking out is Zazzle.com. You may pay more for the cards, but the site has thousands of designs to choose from and cards ship within 24 hours.

I just returned home from a PR trip in St. Augustine, Florida. As I was going through the stack of business cards I received from businesses, historical sites and fellow writers. The cards that stood out used vivid photography and a heavy paper stock. These examples also used the entire space of the card to promo themselves or their business.

Take a look again at your business card. Does it say all it can about you as a writer?

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3 Comments:

Blogger RfP said...

I disagree on using the back of the card. As the recipient of the card, I need that space to write notes for follow-up.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Gail said...

Great post and tips- thanks!

3:24 PM  
Blogger Lee Ee Leen said...

made me take another look at my business card

thanks!

3:59 PM  

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