Monday, July 27, 2009

Business or Networking?



Recently I have been thinking about business cards. People attending the Spinning Gold Conference are going to need one (if reported experiences of overseas conferences are anything to go by...)

But what use is the business card to a writer?

Writing is a business but you don’t have to be tied in to the standard business card model.

The Business Card is a Networking Card.

Networking cards have a different focus. They can have a personal statement or quote on them describing you - a selling point if you are looking for a job, a list of your achievements, a mini cv, your book cover or website logo or a classy photo of yourself....

A while ago I posted about branding for writers. It is something that I see as being of more and more benefit to creative people.
For a writer your name is your brand. So your networking card needs to reflect something of your personality /name/ brand.

One of my very favourite networking cards is Bob Kerr’s. For those of you who have met Bob Kerr, you will appreciate the genius of his business /networking card.

Bob is very tall. Bob wears jeans most days and is a fabulous illustrator and fine art exhibitor. Bob’s card reflects the first view most people have when they meet him. It is his self portrait in oils from the waistband of his jeans down. On the back of the card are his name and studio details.

Of course before you become famous and can employ staff to answer the phone (or not, as the baby is running and answering the phone for me at the moment) you don’t want every Tom, Dick and Harriet interrupting your creative time so what information do you want or need on your networking card?

In my researching of different business cards I have found that concerns about identity theft are changing the way some people are thinking about the information they put on their networking card. Their address and phone numbers and personal email address’s are not on the card. All their web contacts are tho, website, blog, twitter, facebook etc urls are listed on the card.

So if you are thinking about your contact details maybe an online email address is for you. Don’t forget that you can write a personal phone number down on the card before you hand it to someone important. You will get a pen at the conference...(and some other goodies.... )

If you are a creative....and all writers are, we have a unique opportunity to make our networking card stand out, reflect our personality and say something about us.

I am enjoying working with my very creative friend, Trish, on ideas for my networking card which will get its debut at the Spinning Gold conference.

It would be great to see, at the conference, networking cards reflecting the personalities of the wonderful writers and illustrators we have here.

If you want some inspiration Smashing Magazine recently posted an article on some of the best and most creative cards out there with comments about their effectiveness and if you want a most different take on the business card watch the video...





Happy creative branding
maureen

4 comments:

Melinda Szymanik said...

I'm still undecided on business cards although i've got great use out of postcards with my book covers on one side and details/blog address on the other. And I'm also undecided whether I want to laugh or run away screaming after watching that business card guy!

Maureen said...

Postcards of your covers make a great statement and are a good selling tool...and you can write them off on the tax as necessary promotion expenses...
If you have different books coming out with different target audiences that could become expensive as publishers don't stump up any money for promotion...and the author doesn't get much money for the book...
You could play around with the collectors tag of limited edition signed postcards...
I guess I'm looking at a great business card as a longish term investment...which I can still give away with links to my books online...
re the video ...yes I laughed...but he's right you don't forget a card like that or the guy either!...There are parodies of that video up on youtube

Fifi Colston said...

hahahah...reminds me of American Psycho.

Maureen said...

hmmmmmmm yes....

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