Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Part Three: The Business Card

Most of what I’ve covered for the one sheet applies to business cards as well. These are basic design concepts that apply across the board. And even more so for the business card, because it’s a very small area of advertising designed to impart your most important information.

When I first started attending conferences, I found it odd that writers would include their picture. Now I understand its benefits in the connections we make and helping agents and editors remember who we are. They meet with so many people over the course of three days. A picture is a great way to stay in their memory. I do recommend you spend the money, if possible, on a professional photographer. In fact, each conference, a photographer is contracted for this very purpose. And at prices you just can’t beat. Take advantage of this opportunity. Trust me, even cropping a family portrait will still scream family portrait. It’s not just the quality, but the pose as well that can make a difference. If money is an issue, exchange services with someone. Ask around your church, or perhaps you have a family member or friend who does photography as a hobby. Just try to make sure it looks as professional as possible.

For your business card layout, you need your picture, which should be a high resolution image—around 1 MB or more—your name, email address, phone number and your web address, if you have one. Optional but helpful tidbits are a tagline and a blog addy. Don’t use a tagline just to have one. If you’re not sure yet what genre or style you plan to write, better to leave this off. And if you’re not a consistent blogger or don’t really keep up with it well enough, better to leave this off for now as well.

Use a good card stock for your printing. Here are some online printers that offer good service and competitive prices. I’ve worked with most of these and have found they’re all pretty good. And they have templates to step you through your business card design without additional charges—a great alternative if you can’t afford a designer.
  • Print Runner
  • Vista Print
  • Printing for Less
  • Print Place
  • Got Print
Tomorrow we’ll finish up our exploration into conference materials with the 3 Cs and how they can fit neatly into your marketing materials for the future. Don’t forget to leave a comment for more chances to win Writing for Emotional Impact, and questions are always welcome! See you tomorrow!

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