You do have a business card, don’t you? One that makes it clear you are a writer?
If you don’t, you should.
Business cards are one of the finest ways to promote yourself as a freelance writer and one of the the cheapest too.
Why Writers Need Business Cards
Writers need business cards for all sorts of reasons, including:
- Business cards are so very easy for writers to hand out – almost everywhere. Or leave them places, like at restaurants and banks.
- Properly done, business cards quickly state not only who you are but what you do – write (or edit, or take photos, or whatever combination of skills you want to market).
- Business cards provide an opportunity for additional communication. When people take my card (the front and back are right here) and look at it, they usually either ask me more about my writing and ghostwriting or comment on the image.
- Cards let people find you again – both professionally and socially.
- A business card says you are a professional.
Your cards should have, at a minimum:
- Your name
- Your job title
- Your website
- Your phone number
- Your email address
By job title I mean a word or phrase that states you are a writer. If you have a specialty, that should be listed as well. For example, my card says:
Those are my threespecialties. If you don’t have a specialty, simply add Writer or Freelance Writer.
Make Contact Easy
Adding your phone number and email address makes it super easy for a prospective client to contact you. Add your website and you’ve given a way for anyone to check your professional credits.
By the way, I no longer include my physical address on my business card. First of all, it takes up too much space; second, people can get it from my website.
Design for Clarity
It can be a challenge to get all the information you want on the card in a way that looks good and is readable. But it’s worth fiddling until you get it right.
Pay particular attention to the typestyle, size and color. A serif style is easiest to read, and make it large enough so even aging eyes can see it clearly. Watch the color… I had a set of gorgeous cards but the white I’d chosen as the type color didn’t stand out enough against the background, so I threw them out.
For a little extra money you can use the back – you can even put a mini-resume there. Of course, if you leave the card blank, you can hand write a phone number there for certain people, making them feel special.
Speaking of Money
You don’t have to spend a fortune. You can get good looking and inexpensive business cards from VistaPrint. That’s where I’ve gotten my cards for years. It’s easy; they have a ton of designs, and you can even upload your own logo.
Of course, if you know a good designer, don’t hesitate to use them; you’ll pay more, but it can be worth it.
Spread ’em Around
Once you have your cards, don’t leave them in the box! Keep some with you at all times.
Hand them out at every opportunity. Even if the person you’re talking with has no need of writing, their needs may change or they may know someone who needs a writer. In fact, I often hand people two business cards and saying something like, “one for you and one to pass on.” The more cards you pass out, the better your chances of getting work as a result.
Leave a card or two with your tip at restaurants. Enclose them when you pay your bills or send other correspondence. Post them on bulletin boards at your church or school or even the Laundromat.
Two things happen when you spread your card around. The first is obvious—you simply never know who needs some writing or knows someone who needs some writing. The second is subtle, and has to do with reinforcing your own confidence in yourself – always worth doing.