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Saturday, July 26, 2014

 

Business Card Love

I just ran out of business cards and I’m beside myself!

In a good way, I mean. I love getting new business cards!

I love that for twenty bucks or so, I can design exactly what I want for my business. I love that I can correct the past mistakes. And I love that each time I go through the process, I learn a little bit more about branding—and about myself as a writer.

So I gathered up all the business cards I’d collected from writers through the last year to find what I really liked, and what worked well. And I thought about how I wanted the world to see Cathy C. Hall, the writer. Then I designed my new card. (Wheee!)

But first, here’s the essence of what I kept in mind when designing:


PICTURE, PICTURE, PICTURE

I am horrible with names (especially if I’m meeting lots of new people!), but I’m very good with faces. So when I see a card with a face, I remember that writer (or agent or editor or publisher). Don’t you?

That’s why I always put my face on a business card. Front or back, I don’t think it matters as long as the picture is recognizable. (Haven’t you seen those cards with a twenty-years-younger face and found yourself wondering if it’s the same person? Don’t be that writer, please.)


WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Oh. My. Word. It’s hard to believe that writers will sometimes put their names in the fine print of their business card. You need a magnifying glass to read it!

I always make my name just a bit bigger, and sometimes in a different color. Now, I know authors work hard to get their books noticed, but your name is important, too, so make it stand out! After all, for most writers, our name is our brand.


CONTACT!

If agents or editors give you their card, they want you to send material. If writer friends give you their card, they’re hoping you’ll get in touch. So it’s pretty darn important that contact information be on the card.

I put my email address on the front of the card. (And please make sure that your name is in your email address.) And I also include my website on the front of my card. I don’t list all my social media addresses on my card because that’s easily found on my website. That’s a style issue, I think, but I’d rather leave off all the Facebook, Twitter and other media so I can squeeze a little bit more out of my name!

EXTRA, EXTRA!

Once I have the necessaries, I’m ready to add the extras, all the fun stuff where I can get creative.

I like to include the tag line from my website, and artwork that ties everything together, so that my brand is reinforced. But I’ve seen writers who use a simple title like “Author” and include book cover art. Or writers who tie in their genre with the background of their cards. Say a science fiction writer whose name floats on a starry night sky.


When all is said and designed, I think the best business cards for writers work because they’re packed with clean, professional information as well as personality, and I’m always working toward that goal. If you have any ideas about what works—or doesn’t work—in a business card, I’d love it hear it!

And now, the unveiling of my newest card. I think I like it.

For now.




~Cathy C. Hall















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14 Comments:

Blogger Sioux said...

Cathy--Your new card is sharp-looking. It's funny and businesslike, all at the same time.

I'm trying to listen to your tips, but the picture part slays me. (I'll think about it ;)

4:21 AM  
Blogger Margo Dill said...

Love it-- from your pic to fitting in your brand! I like how clean and easy to read it is. I have trouble with trying to fit too much on the card. Where did you get yours? Did you feel they were reasonably priced?

5:00 AM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

Sioux, I have seen your lovely face--go for it! And Margo, I used Vista. They had a fishing template that I like for the tie-in to my site, and yep, I like their reasonable prices! (They usually have deals, too!)

5:57 AM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Cute and fun, Cathy! My business cards are about a year and a half old - and I have completely changed my writing focus, so I am SO in need of new ones (and a new tagline, to be honest - part of what has had me putting it off). You may have just motivated me. :) Thanks!

8:30 AM  
Blogger Suzanne Pitner said...

Your business cards are as creative as your writing! It looks great, and that's terrific that they had a fishing theme to follow your brand. I use VistaPrint, too, and I've always been happy with their products.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Kelly H-Y said...

Cathy!
I love, love, love your new business cards! Your tips are right on, and your cards reflect them perfectly. They are clean-looking and get the point across ... and they reflect your sense of humor, as well, which I adore!

2:42 PM  
Blogger Tina Cho said...

Nice, Cathy! This was the 1st post I've read about business cards. Great info to remember. Thanks!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Cathy C. Hall said...

Why, thanks, y'all! (You made me blush!) But I'm glad that the message I wanted to come through seems to have come through--dare I say it?--swimmingly! :-)

8:42 PM  
Blogger Juliana Lee said...

Love the card! Going to my first conference in Sept. Hope it's not too late to get a current picture on a business card!

5:59 AM  
Blogger Donna Volkenannt said...

Hey Cathy,
Great post and oh-so-cute Cathy card. Love the fishing tie in. It's very alluring.

7:16 AM  
Blogger DonnaLouise said...

Great card, Cathy. Funny and a fisher, I knew I liked you for a reason! Great tips and love your pic! :0)- Donna Sadd

10:27 AM  
Blogger Beverley Baird said...

Love your card and advice!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Great advice and I like your design. I'm with Sioux about the picture part, but I totally get it.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Lisa Claro said...

Love your card! I learned about the photo on the card from you, Master Y, many moons ago. Great idea, and it DOES help later, especially after a conference when so many cards are collected that it's impossible to remember everyone.

9:09 AM  

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