Monday, August 23, 2010

Business Cards: Marketing You

Do you have business cards?
Do you carry them with you?
Do you actively pass them out?
So far I've only been good at giving them to some family and close friends.
When and to whom do you think it's a good idea to pass one along? And how do you go about doing so, without feeling schmoozy and horn-tooting?
The upper-left insignia is not truly crooked; it just came out funny in this recreation. And the dark lines are where I marked through my address and phone number for today's purposes. 'Cause not just everyone needs those, you see.
What do your business cards look like?


Diane said...

I need to make me some of those. I think I'd be a little self-conscious to pass them out though... :O)

Lori said...

That is a beautiful card. I will probably have cards of my own someday. I do not know how brave I would be either, giving them to people, unless they ask, of course.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I had cards made when I first began as an editor at R&T - but, I ordered too many *laugh* - and they gathered dust - just not much opportunity to pass them around, though I did at conferences, I believe.

Then when TG came out last year, I ordered these beautiful expensive ones -fewer of them - and they are about gone . . . passed them out at book fairs and conferences and I'd put them inside books I gave away or signed or whatever.

This time I'm ordered less expensive ones from Vista!

There isn't as much opportunity to pass them as a "business person" would I guess, but, I do like having them in the case someone asks (sometimes they do) or some opportunity comes up.

Love yours!

Amy Sue Nathan said...

I used mine when I went to BlogHer (years ago) and writer conferences and have enough left over to wallpaper a small country.

Since my freelance work is all conducted online/email, I don't need them. I truly think a website is the new business card!

For fiction, your calling card is your list of publications or a sample of your work, imho.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Mine are from Vistaprint, too! I love that they have lots of great designs, and they're very affordable.

Amy, I like what you've said. I never thought about it that way, but it's true. I do still like having the cards, but so far they've just been truly handy only occasionally. I like Kat's idea to hand them out at book signings.

Janna Leadbetter said...

*ahem* Not that I've had any book signings or anything. :)

Slamdunk said...

I don't have any since I am just a recreational writer.

I think they are a great idea. Cards get easier to disperse the more you do it. I really don't think it is overboard or anything--just comes with the territory.

Oh and I like your design.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I have 'em. I pass them out fairly regularly, as the occasion calls for it.

I love my job. It's untraditional, but I'm proud of it so I pass them out as I would if I were still in sales (like I wrote that as appropriate).
~ Wendy

Jeanette Levellie said...

I like your card, Janna. This is a great topic. I had 500 made through Vistaprint, then went to a writers conference where I learned I should have my photo on them. So I started over, and created my own. The photo is on the left side in one box, then info like name, email and blog address in the right side box. I do not have my physical address, but I do have my tag line: Nutty with a Dash of Meat. Whenever someone asks what I do, I say, "I'm a writer." When they ask what kind of writing I do, I give them a card. It's a very natural part of introductions in any situation where you are meeting new friends. And a MUST at conferences. The photo helps the person you give it to remember you better.

I also tuck them into the anthologies I sell, that include one of my stories.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Oh, now I never would have thought about a picture, but that makes sense.

I guess it just takes a certain flow, and I need to practice.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

When I went to my first writers conference I spent lots of hours creating and printing business cards. I went crazy and handed them to everyone...waiters, kids, other writers...

I haven't given anyone one of them for about a year because I get tired of the question, "What have you written? Have you been published?" And then their smirk when they find out I'm not on the NY Times best seller list!

I'm sure people are using my business cards to pick at something in their teeth or clean out between the cracks of stuff in their keyboards! LOL!

Unknown said...

I don't have any made yet... but I do have one of yours! :)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

OH YES! I always have my cards with me or with my husband. Since I feel that cards are the first business impression you make, well, I spend a bit on them. They're folded in half, colorful, (with one of my illustrations) and they're shaped like a book and look like a mini book. People don't toss them away like they do others.

Were they expensive. Yes, but I've connected with editors etc. BECAUSE OF THEM!

Have a great week,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Alicia Cluck said...

I know that you and I aren't really in the same business, but I have a trick that might work out for you if you just want to get your name out.

When I'm out running errands I pin my card to any bulletin board that a store or restaurant has set up for that purpose.

Also, if you're eating out and the waiter/waitress does an extra good job I use the back of my card to write "Thank you!" and leave it on the table with the tip. You never know who might know somebody that could do wonderful things for your career if they happened upon your name.

Lydia Kang said...

I don't have a writing business card, but if I ever go to a conference I'll make some!

Jill said...

I have some business cards that got from Vistaprint. I like them very much, but I've only given out a few. I would definitely use them if *when* I have a book signing. : )

Tana said...

I don't have any. I feel silly but I should do this.

Patti said...

I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable passing them out until I had a product to sell or a service if I wrote for magazines.

Terri Tiffany said...

I got some made years ago and send them to people when I gave away books, to an editor and when I submit by mail.(some places still want that!) Mine has a picture on it, my theme, and some basic information. Yours are pretty!

Katie Ganshert said...

Like Terri, I made some last year. Only I never really used them and now they're outdated. I don't think I'll get more anytime soon.

Southpaw said...

No, no, and no, but I should, I should, and I should.

Melissa Amateis said...

Yes, I have business cards, and I've given them out to mostly friends and relatives, and a few times I've given them out to potential leads for freelance work, etc.

The cards features an old typewriter and a art deco lamp sitting on a desk. I think it reflects my vintage style. :-)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Nice. I had some I made last year that are pretty basic but I'm going to redo them for the conference this year and add my picture and something more specific about what I write.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I like your cards! I got mine through Vistaprint, and they're gorgeous. I give them out with every signed copy of Cinders. It's a good way to get your name in people's hands - and they can pass it along to their friends. :)

Patti Lacy said...

Love your cards.
I do have them, and got them originally to convince myself that i WAS a writer. Lynn Austin had told us, after my second writers' conference, after we wrestled with God over whether we were a writer, to do what we needed to act professional, etc.

I printed up kinda a plain, Celtic print thing.
Still have just a few left.
Need to order more.


Unknown said...

I don't have business cards and I'm not sure I need them, at least not right now. I haven't written anything that's been published so I think that once I've published something I could probably snag a few business cards, but until then I'll just admire others :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

I found some business card stock at a yard sale about six years ago for $5.00. I went into Microsoft Publisher, found a design I liked, and printed the cards.

They've undergone some changes over the years, but they're purple and white, with a Scripture in the header.

I carry them, and pass them out when I meet someone interested in reading or writing. People will often ask me if I have a card. The opportunities come naturally. A writers conference is a great place to give out a card.

Susan :)

Nadine said...

I only have them for the business, not for my writing. I really need to make some though.

Thanks for the reminder! I'm going to try and make some this week!

septembermom said...

I've been thinking about doing it as I'm looking to do some "non glamorous" part time work as a typist or admin assistant. I love your card. It's very sophisticated.

JKB said...

I don't have any yet, but I'm gonna get some soon! Bookmarks and swag too!

I love your cards!


Inklings and Notions said...

It does seem like there is a fine line when it comes to when to give out a business card. I usually just hand them out when people ask what I do and seem generally interested in the bakery. Or, now when I hear someone is on a gluten free diet and needs more variety.:)

Joy said...

It's quite the opposite with me, I almost never give my business cards to family and friends!! I give my card to people I meet at certain gatherings where networking for business opportunities, is the main but subtle reason to meet. Usually every one here gives cards to each other.
My cards have only my business email address and my phone number, and my name of course with the company logo.

Deb Shucka said...

I love my business cards. Had them made a year ago, my first ever, and I give them to anyone who's willing to take one. :-)

Yours is gorgeous.