Conference Basics: Business Cards
I am a very honest person, to the point of being blunt. So let me be blunt. I, like at least thirty percent of the people in the world, have a major flaw. We will remember your face forever, will remember where and when we met, but we will probably forget your name five minutes after meeting you. Not very comforting when you’re trying to launch or improve your writing career, right? So, what’s a would-be author to do?
It’s simple; get a set of business cards. Many writers have a business card, even if they don’t have published credits yet. A business card, like an author’s website or blog, conveys an impression of professionalism and seriousness. It’s an important, yet inexpensive tool for making great connections. Add a headshot, and you’ll be batting a thousand!
The Basics of Business Cards
- Business cards are as diverse as greeting cards. Shop around. With the internet, you can find several companies that offer inexpensive, and sometimes, free business cards.
- How do you choose a design? The websites offer many designs, colors, styles, and fonts. Choose one that appeals to you. Find a style that matches not only your personality, but your genre as well. For example, if you write children’s stories, you won’t want a stuffy, formal-looking card. Look at other writers’ business cards. What do you like about them, and maybe more importantly, what don’t you like? What catches your eye?
- Decide ahead of time what pertinent information you need to include. Do you want to include both a home phone and a cell phone number? Do you have a website related to your writing? Do you have a Facebook or Twitter account? Consider using the backside of your business card to include your author bio. When people take your business card home from a conference (along with many other cards), give them something so they’ll remember you.
- Be creative, because the honest truth is: Most business cards are boring. When you’re a writer, you can’t let that happen to your business card. That little card is an opportunity to show off your talent. You want something on there that jolts their memory, and gives a sense of your personality.
- Leave room for a headshot! You want people to remember you, so do everything you can to insure that.
- Most importantly, like with all writing, edit your card! Is everything there? Did you spell everything correctly? Especially double-check email and web addresses. With auto-correct, your computer may change something important.
- If you have published work, give away business cards at the freebie table at a writing conference. If possible, include a picture of the book cover on the card. Attach a piece of candy as additional motivation for someone to pick it up.
- Punch a hole in the top of your business cards, thread a string or thin ribbon through, and offer them as mini bookmarks.
- Tuck your business cards in thank-you letters.
- Have them available to share at networking events, readings, and book signings.
Trish Nall, KCWC Treasurer