“Do you have a card?”
Even as an unpublished and inexperienced writer, I was ready for that question when I attended my first Christian Writer’s conference. I had taken an online workshop on how to prepare for the event.
I walked into the 2010 Writing for the Soul Conference, business cards in hand, and networked with confidence.
At first, it was a bit intimidating to declare my dream on paper. If I had a business card, I would have to be serious and committed to facing rejection.
It doesn’t matter if we’ve been published or not. A quality business card is a vital networking tool that shows we’re serious about our craft.
To design a card for maximum impact, keep it simple.
There are four things that will make your card look professional, even if you print them at home.
1. Quality printing.
– If you run out of ink or your photo is blurry, do not use the cards.
2. A quality headshot
Mine was taken in my living room by my awesome teenage son.
– The photo will help people associate your face with your name.
3. A reader friendly font and text size
– If you can’t read the information at arm’s length, adjust the font size.
– Script is often hard to read, so stick to something like Times New Roman.
4. White space, even if your background is not white.
– Avoid a clutter of information.
What information should go next to your great head shot on the front of your card?
1. The name you use as your byline
– Bold letters, in a larger font size than your contact information, attracts the eye.
2. Title directly under your name
– Keep it simple.
– Use “Author” if you’ve had a book published.
– Use “Writer” if you are unpublished or have smaller pieces published.
– Include “Speaker” if it applies.
– White space before you add your contact information is refreshing.
3. P. O. Box or mailing address, including the zip code
4. Phone number, including the area code
– Think professional, not cutesy. (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)
6. Website address
– To make it stand apart, skip a few lines after entering your contact information.
– Use bold letters and the same font size as your contact information.
How can you have fun distributing your card with consistency and a smile?
Keep your networking tool in several easy to reach places. A pocket, that won’t cause the paper to bend, a quick access area in a binder or a side pocket in a purse are good options.
Some conferences provide plastic sleeves for name tags. Behind a name tag is a wonderful slot for at least ten business cards just waiting to be whipped out as you introduce yourself.
Maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking with and finish your handshake before you get your information into their hand.
The beginning of the conversation is the best time to ask, “Do you have a card?” Once the exchange is made, you have a conversation piece.
What if your new friend doesn’t have a card? Don’t hesitate to give them yours.
A good business practice is to hand your card to a person every time you meet them, until they can associate your face with your name.
The most important thing to do is relax and enjoy meeting the people God has placed on your path.
I pray the Lord will build your confidence and your network as you share your professional business cards wherever He leads you.
You never know if that contact will lead you to a divine appointment.
Why do you think it’s important or not important for writers, published or unpublished, to have and distribute professional business cards?