Friday, October 26, 2012

lOOk at YoUr bUsiNeSS CaRd

Hello, lovely people of the blogosphere! This week will be a designer's look at what you're doing on different platforms and will be called lOOk at YoUr xXx. Follow along and learn! Today I'd like to talk to you all about your business card(s).

A business card might not seem very important. After all, it's just a tiny piece of card stock folks either file away, throw away (yikes!), or stick in a Rolodex, right? Wrong. A business card is oftentimes your one chance to make an awesome first impression. By now you know the drill, so get out your pencils and paper and follow along. Read carefully because I'm going to be giving you tips you may not have ever heard.

Get out your card (either printed or a digital version) and let's start with what you're doing now.
Observations:
  1. Is your phone number prevalent?
  2. Is your name or pen name easy to read?
  3. How big is your card?
  4. How many pieces of information are on it (name, phone number(s), url, blog, twitter, book title(s), etc...)?
  5. What are your images?
  6. How many colors are you using?
  7. Can someone tell at a glance that your card matches your site/blog/twitter?
  8. Are all elements aligned the same (left, right, center)?
  9. Does your card have a die-cut?
  10. Rounded corners?
Now, let's see how your answers measure up and how we can fix some common issues:
  1. What can you do to fix the readability of your card?
  2. Can you add your real name in addition to your pen name?
  3. Does your card really need to be bigger than a standard size?
  4. How many pieces of information do you need? Write down the ones you cannot live without.
  5. What images can you add/change for better branding?
  6. Do you really need fifty colors? Remember your branding and try to stick with one or two plus black.
  7. Consider a couple of ways you can make your card fit your brand.
  8. How can you make that info/image line up?
  9. Do you really need a die-cut or rounded corners?

Here's some tips and tricks to building a better business card:
  1. Make your phone number obvious and a good point size (I recommend 11pt or up for a phone number). After all, if you're giving someone your card, you generally want a phone call, right? Think about using . instead of - in your phone number because it takes up less room. Example: (800) 435-6817 as compared to 800.435.6817 and you can Kern those together.
  2. Look at your fonts. If you branded and chose a font back from Monday's post, make sure your name appears in the one that's easiest to read.
  3. I know you'll tell me I'm crazy, but a lot of people still use a standard Rolodex. They punch cards and stick them in there. If your card doesn't fit, it's going in the garbage. 3.5"x2", please.
  4. While more information may seem better, sometimes it's just not and can cause a cluttered look on your card. Choose that which you cannot live without and ditch the rest. I suggest name, phone number (really just need one here), website, and Twitter @. If you can't live without your cell phone number, fax number, amazon author page, blog, and twenty other URLs, you may want to hand out posters instead. Just sayin'.
  5. Is your logo or headshot on there? If not, add it. Use a black and white photo to keep printing costs down.
  6. Use your brand color(s). Keep in mind you can use 50% opacity on those and get a whole new range of options for the same price!
  7. If you don't need a die-cut or rounded corners (you don't), get rid of them. They invade your printable area and make your print job more expensive.
  8. Think about being unique. What about a business card on the end of a bookmark (for authors) or on a magnet for the fridge? It's all in the little things you do. The bookmarks don't even have to be perforated, just have a line where folks should cut it away. BRILLIANT!
Now on to a tip not a lot of folks know about. There's an app for many smartphones that allows you to scan a QR code containing contact information and adds it right to your contacts. Might it not be a good idea to have that QR code printed somewhere on your card? Then, someone can scan your card and have all your information in their phone as well.

Check out this nifty little site: http://www.qrstuff.com/

Then, if you have the app, scan my code below to see how it works. **NOTE** phone number and address have been changed to protect the innocent!!

Now that's just cool. I don't care who you are.

Find more tips like these in my book The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book and take your future to new heights. It's just $2.99 on Amazon. Don't want to buy one? Enter my great giveaway to win one! Three are available. Today is the last day to enter.

Did you enjoy my five day's worth of lessons? Download a free PDF and keep them forever! Follow the link: Give me the PDF!!!!

No e-mail address or login required. Enjoy!

Question of the day: Have you learned anything this week?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

2 comments:

  1. I have this book, and I'm going to make it a point to read it BEFORE my next book comes out. So much I need to fix or initiate. Wish I had had this book when my first book came out. I've been flying blind in so many ways. Sharing you again. *habit forming*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Please do! I hope you picked up the PDF also :) Feel free to share it with everyone. Good habits, woman! Only takes 14 days to form a new one! Thanks for the comment and the share, Tia!

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