BEA 2013 Tips & Tricks
Part 4: The Art of the Business Card
When I did one of my previous posts, I was amazed at how many people asked questions about business cards and what to put on them. I admittedly didn’t hand out a lot of cards at BEA (a regret of mine because I was shy and overwhelmed and gawking more chatting with people), but I vowed that wouldn’t be the case this year.
That being said, I do remember last year when I was prepping for BEA and designing my own cards, I relied heavily on the input of one of my favorite ladies: Julia from Rex Robot Reviews.
Julia had been to BEA in the past and she really helped me the most when it came to what I should/shouldn’t put on my business cards. Here’s what I figured out, and maybe this will help you, too.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, your blog is your brand. That name you painstakingly picked out, the layout and colors on your website, and your personal info all need to come across on a tiny rectangular piece of paper.
You have a lot of options when it comes to cards, but my favorite site by far (and where I believe most people get their cards) is Vistaprint. They have free cards, discounted cards, and premium cards that come in boxes of 250. They allow you to be a simplistic or artistic as you want. You can edit fonts, colors, and everything in between.
When I designed my card, I knew I wanted something straight-forward and to-the-point. I wasn’t looking for flashy, but that’s me. I picked a color of my card that was about the same color as the layout of my blog. I think some people did themselves a disservice because they picked cards that looked nothing like their blog. Luckily I have (what I’ve been told is) a fairly memorable blog name. There’s not another Irish Banana in the blogging world that I know of. But people who have book, bookworm, book addict, reading, shelves, etc. in their blog name get a little harder to distinguish. I might not remember your blog name, but I damn sure remember what it looks like.
Make sure you can convey that in your card. This is crucial. I’m not saying you have to make your business card and your blog design perfect matches (same image, banner, whatever), but it most assuredly helps. Most people (publishers, authors, bloggers, etc.) come back with a stack of business cards. When they flip through them, make it as easy to identify your blog as possible.
Here’s where I got a little concerned. When Julia was coaching me about cards, she sent me one of hers and I noticed that not only did she have her blog info (website address and email address), but she had her personal information on it as well—home address and phone number. I immediately asked her why and she told me that she, too, debated over it, but was glad she included her personal info because it made it so much easier for publishers and authors she gave her card to, to contact her. In fact, she received several things in the mail after she came home from BEA from these people.
It makes total sense. If you all you have is your email address, someone has to email you and request your address and then send you something—a book for review, swag, or whatever. Having your address on the card cuts out that time-stealing middle step. Make it as easy as possible for yourself and the people you want to work with.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re moderately concerned about putting your personal info out there. We live in a world of identity theft and craziness and I wasn’t 100% comfortable with putting all my business out there for anyone to have.
This is why I have two business cards. Again, thanks to Vistaprint, I got a free set of 250 cards and then an additional 250 for $10. 500 cards for $10 + shipping? Not bad at all. My second set of cards were the free ones, and unfortunately there are only a few preset designs that are free to choose from. But they were free. On these cards I put my name and basic blog info. These were the cards I passed out to bloggers while I was sitting in line.
I might also occasionally go to the library and tuck these inside of YA books there, too.
OK, so you have the obvious: Blog Name, Your Name, Website Address, Email and then whatever personal info you want to have. Well, what else is there?
There’s a lot of extraneous info you might want to put on the card: twitter handle, your title (Reviewer? Blogger? Literary Guru?), or a bit about your blog? I had some cards that were not your normal business card size – they were smaller or oddly shaped to stand out. The only problem with the smaller cards is I know I lost several because they slipped out of my stack.
Some people like a matte look to their cards, some like them glossy, some like them with a blank backside others have info on there.I know it can be frustrating, but Vistaprint allows you the freedom to make several and play with the options. I sent pics of them to some friends and asked what they thought of them. The choice is totally yours, but whatever you do, make sure your card stands out. Make sure people remember you and your blog.