AP9: It's Business (card) Time
We’ve got a site, email, social media, now what? The person you’re most likely to influence is one you’ve connected to by talking to them face to face. By the time that’s done, hand them a card so they can look you up later. What that? No card? Sounds like we’ve got our next topic.
Why Kill Trees in the Twenty First Century
I like trees. I hate using my printer. But there are things paper still works well for. Handing somebody a well designed card is a lot easier than trying to tell them your web or email address. It shows you are on the next rung of the ladder, like a professional. It’s cheap to do, so why not.
What do we need
You should know your own address and name. You want to think about what to leave off. I made the mistake of putting my phone number on my first set. It hasn’t lead to bad calls, but nobody needs that info on first contact.They can use my card to email me for and ask for or send a phone number for a follow-up.
My card has:
My author name: KL Forslund
My trade: Writer
My tag line: I write words. Some of them are good.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My website: www.klforslund.com
My Twitter/Fb handle: @klforslund (note how I made them the same)
Who Can Make Cards
Once again, I am not compensated for this recommendation. I used Vistaprint.com. They run sales often, so you can get a box of cards for $20-40. The site is easy to use for designing a card. There are other vendors with similar tools, I’m sure many are fine.
Designing A Card
I am not a graphic artist. But I read a few articles, and possess a fair amount of experience in layout. The key is not having too much visual clutter and being readable. Let’s review what I came up with on my first design.
I based the design on what I imagined one of my character’s cards. Black background is dangerous, you’ve got to use good quality stock. I kept it simple with three lines for my name, title and tagline (an older version). I chose a double-sided design, so I could put the rest on the back.
The back-side lists where to find me, and a QR code for people who like that to take them to my website. I don’t know if that gets used, but I could if I was clever and embedded a key in the URL for Google Analytics to track.
Don’t copy my card exactly, but this is a clean design, and I get compliments on it. A black on white would be great. Larger font size on the smaller print bits would be easier to read.
If you go with an artsy background, make sure the text is contrasted well enough. If people struggle to see the words, you lose.
My original plan after the phone number mistake, was to make another set of cards (black on white) without it. That way I’d have cards to hand to agents, and cards to hand to fellow writers or people who might follow my blog. When I get a book, I’ll want cards made that take people to my book page, so they can buy it. The QR code idea is very handy for that.
That’s all folks. In one afternoon, you can design the card and 7-10 days later a box will arrive. This is one of the easiest steps,but keep in mind, you did a lot of legwork to get ready for this. When that box arrives, take your time opening it. Inhale the fresh ink, and behold the next step on your path to being a professional. You still need to write, so don’t dilly dally and get back to work.
Keep up with the rest of my Author Platform series at https://www.klforslund.com/authorplatform