What Does Your Business Card Say About You?
by LuAnn Schindler
As a writer, you spend large chunks of time sitting in front of a computer screen, maintaining your blog(s), updating your website, and promoting your work via social networking outlets.
But in your rush to effectively market yourself , you may be forgetting one of the most basic marketing tools available: the business card.
A business card is one of the quickest introductions a writer can make. It's also one of the least expensive forms of self-promotion.
Take a look at your business card. What does it say about you as a writer? Does it make a statement about the type of work you produce? Does it let potential clients know you are serious about your craft? Does it provide multiple ways to contact you?
Business cards come in several sizes: the skinny, or 1 x 3 inches; the standard, 3.5 x 2 inches; or the oversized (offered by several printing companies), is 2.5 x 3.5 inches. The traditional or standard size is recommended by industry professionals, but it's clearly a choice you can make that best fits your needs.
Another consideration is font, size, and color. A serif font is easy to read. Make sure the size is large enough for "older" eyes to view it clearly. The color of the type can make a difference, too. Determine if the color will stand out against the background or if it will blend in and be unreadable.
Select the information you want others to know. At the minimum, include your name, title, and contact information, including a phone number, e-mail address, and web site URL. Some authors advise not to place a mailing address on the card because that information should be available on your online site. It's worth thinking about!
Use the back of the card, too! Special services or skills can be listed on the flip side. Use the room and promote what you are able to offer potential customers.
Design your own cards or use templates provided by online vendors. Sites like VistaPrint.com
offer multiple templates. These sites are cost effective, too. Depending on the style you choose, up to 200 cards can be purchased for around $10.
Another site worth checking out is Zazzle.com
. You may pay more for the cards, but the site has thousands of designs to choose from and cards ship within 24 hours.
I just returned home from a PR trip in St. Augustine, Florida. As I was going through the stack of business cards I received from businesses, historical sites and fellow writers. The cards that stood out used vivid photography and a heavy paper stock. These examples also used the entire space of the card to promo themselves or their business.
Take a look again at your business card. Does it say all it can about you as a writer?
Labels: business cards, LuAnn Schindler, self-promotion
How To Pitch in 30-Seconds or Less
"Hi, my name is Angela Mackintosh. I'm an award-winning painter, and once lived in a commune where I shared a single shower with over fifty neurotic artists, whose exploits I describe in my book Secrets of Salon-Style Living
. I'm seeking an agent for this collection of humorous essays and would like 30 seconds of your time to tell you about it. Is this a good time to talk?"
I just pitched you, and if I'd really written that book, it would probably be a good one. I haven't though, and made that up as an example...although, I did live in an artist commune where I shared a shower and bathroom with fifty people from all walks of life! This was a long time ago, and I was in my twenties. Thinking about it now, it could be a good book!A well-rehearsed pitch can be used for a variety of purposes:
- Pitching an editor or agent a story idea, column, or book.
- Selling a product, advertising, or service.
- Networking at a conference or event where there is limited time.
- Promoting any-and-every thing.
Whatever you want to use it for, make sure that you have the follow-through to back it up, or you'll be wasting your time. The beauty about sound bites is you can create a variety of them for any purpose, and by rehearsing, you'll never be at a loss for words on the phone or in person. It makes for a powerful introduction. So, how do we do this?Capture the listener’s attention...fast1. Start with who you are:
state your name and job title, or what you are seeking. "Hi, my name is Debbie Dogwalker, and I'm a professional dog walker who writes reviews of dog parks in the city."2. Tell them what you want:
state what you’re after. "I'm interested in placing some of my articles with your magazine, Dog Owner's Digest
."3. Let them know why you're the best choice:
list any writing credentials, experience, degrees, and training that relate to your topic. "I've owned a dog walking business for over ten years, and have written articles for Dog Lover
magazine, Pet Pride
, and blog daily on my personal blog, Dog Days
." Whatever you do, make sure the qualifications listed match your intended goals. Don’t write about how you won first prize in the chili cook-off, unless it's making chili for dogs...not hot dogs. Remember to keep it brief and memorable. Emphasize your specialties.4. Action:
be specific and tell them exactly what you want. Just go for it! "I'd like to show you some of the articles I've written for consideration in becoming a regular contributor to your magazine." There, you said it. Exhale. The call to action is what leads to further interaction.
30-second pitches, otherwise known as sound-bites, are easy to craft, and you can create a variety of them for different purposes: writer's conferences, phone pitches, query letters, job interviews, networking--anywhere you need to present yourself quickly
You may cringe at the fact that you're selling yourself like a commercial, but believe me, it's more effective than stumbling over your words! So that's why it's important to rehearse and perfect your words by saying them out loud first. Your listeners will be impressed, and you'll have the confidence to sell yourself, or your product, with little effort.
Give it a try! Happy pitching. :)
Labels: pitching agents, pitching editors, self-promotion, sound bites
Happy Saturday! It's another time to celebrate!
has been accepted to bestezines.com
-- a site which highlights a wide variety of quality ezines.
Our contributing editor, Sue Donckels, has been working overtime promoting WOW!,
and her hard work has paid off. So, as we round out this issue on self-promotion, you can see that all it takes is a bit of effort, some research, and perseverance. Sue has shown us that no matter what you're promoting, if believe in it, you can achieve great things! Thank you
Sue, and to everyone who has contributed to WOW!
because you are what makes us, as women writers, able to share our voice in unison.bestezines.com
allows readers to post ratings and reviews. If you'd like to share your opinion, we'd love your support. We strive to offer you the best resources, contests (when we grow, we want to offer you more!), and content for women writers.
As we actualize this issue, The Wings of Self-Promotion
, we'd love to hear what you've accomplished, or how you've tried to promote yourself this month. No matter how big or small, if your work was accepted or not, whether it was word of mouth or a submission... we want to know:What have you done to promote yourself this month?
Labels: best ezine, self-promotion, women writers, wow wins award
How to Make Self–Promotion Wings
Ever since I entered the writers' world, I’ve reverted back to a teenage phase. No, not the finely-tuned, slim, and energized body that could eat any amount of food without weight gain. I’m talking about the acne. One rite of passage for writers involves the dreaded rejection letters. Each one feels like a new pimple on my face.
Like pimples, rejections always show up at the worst possible times. Some look smaller than others, but some are downright hideous. The biggest ones last the longest and affect my mood. Overall they me feel a little uglier on the outside as well as inside, on the face of my ego.
But this month’s WOW! issue shines a whole new light on my rejection acne.
Even though I’m not that far into my writing journey, I anticipate self-promotion flights in my future, and that means I need to grow or build wings. I’m not part of any avian-human DNA experiments, like one of my kids' favorite characters, Max Ride, so I’ll fashion wings from writers’ materials. I need only poster boards, scissors, glue, and my new attitude.
I’ll cut wing shapes from two poster boards, either formed for an angel, fairy, dragon, or bird, or whatever I feel like on that day. Each wing will be adult-sized for maximum mental impact. On each one, I’ll trim and glue my rejection letters, like feathers. The more feathers I “grow,” the higher my flight potential . . . someday. I’ll make sure to hang my wings on my desk wall, adjacent to my M.C. Escher poster, where all images blend into one another, and every object has its place.
I found a greater purpose for my rejection letters that means a lot more for me. It’s time I grow up in that sense anyway.
When running daily errands, the people we connect with may have more impact than you think.A recent example:
I went to the bank and met a new teller I hadn’t seen before. She motioned me to her window, jet-black hair and a grim look on her face, obviously unnerved by the day’s tediousness.
“Can I help you?” She didn’t even look at me as I set the check on the counter; I smiled awaiting her gaze. When I didn’t speak, she looked up. “I’d like to deposit this into the WOW! account,” I said.
“The... Wow?” She met my eyes and smiled, obviously intrigued.
“Yeah, my biz.” I pushed the deposit slip across the smooth tabletop.
Glancing down at the thin white flake, then up at me again, she asked, “What is it that you do?” A glimmer shot across the green flecks in her eyes.
“Oh, we have a website for women writers and readers—
“Really! I’m an avid reader,” she blurted. “You know what I like to read?” Her eyes darted from side to side, as if reading was taboo to her manager and job description. “Chick Lit...” she whispered.
“Oh, one of my favorite genres!” I went on to tell her about all the authors we’ve interviewed and slipped her a card. “If you’re ever online...”
Now she’s an avid fan and subscribes to our newsletter. It’s amazing how the people you meet in everyday life does wonders for promotion.When you’re excited about what you do, it comes naturally.
A trip to the local liquor store garnered a business proposition. The owner felt my excitement and wanted to invest in our company.
Now, of course, you shouldn’t take every offer, but you should feel some satisfaction in the fact that others are interested in what you are promoting. Simply gaining their interest means you have what it takes to make your product (or yourself) sell.Let’s put this into a writer’s perspective.
Throughout your day, how many places do you frequent? What relationships have you garnered in your day-to-day life? It doesn’t matter that these people are out of your idea of what book promotion should be. Everybody reads something, whether online, the news, a telephone book, or a candy wrapper... it doesn’t really matter because it’s all about human relations.The more people you share yourself with in your daily life, the more prosperous you will become.
It’s a simple fact that I can’t stress more.Q:
What are your daily errands?Q:
How many people in your daily life/errands do you actually share your writing career with?
Labels: book promotion, buzz, self-promotion, word of mouth