An Important Marketing Tool
This weekend I'm headed to my first conference after my move to California. One of the most important marketing tools to take to conferences are business cards. From attending many conferences, I'm always surprised when an editor or agent only has a few business cards—and they quickly run out during the event.
Or I will meet with a writer and give them my business card. As I extend the card, I always ask, “Can I get your card?” At every conference, there is a high percentage of first-time attenders. They will say, “No, I don't have a card” or “All I have is for my business.”
I will pull out my notebook and get their email and phone number for follow-up. Often I suspect, I'm one of the few editors who make this effort. It has repeatedly paid off from my perspective with additional opportunities and connections.
If you are going to a conference or any face-to-face type of event, get some business cards. You can make your own cards with a package of blank cards at some office supply place and a simple Microsoft Word template. There is no need to be without business cards if you are taking some simple preparation steps for the conference.
In preparation for the conference this weekend—and also for my other conferences this fall (see the link for my schedule), I made a new personal business card. Yes I have my Morgan James Publishing Acquisitions Editor business cards and will use them throughout the events. In this article, I'm focused on my own personal business card.
Because I moved, I needed new business cards. Since I was printing new cards, it gave me the opportunity to think through my information on the card. Yes I changed my office address but what about the other elements on it? Were they the right elements for the audience (the people who will receive them)?
This week I received a new book from a new author. It included her business card. From hard earned experience, I've learned to not throw away the envelope before I look at what is inside the package. Why? The author's business card included her name, phone number and email—but not her address. The only place her mailing address appeared was on the outside package. I suspect it was an oversight on her part. The most difficult thing to proofread is something not on the page.
Here's the front of my new business card:
It includes my business mailing address, my personal email, my website to purchase my latest book and my twitter name. I added www.askterrywhalin.com to this card because I hold regular teleseminars with a different focus at this website.
Did you notice what is missing? I did not include my phone number but the information is on the contact page of my personal website. I'm not hard to find.
Now look at the back of my card:
My target audience are writers or authors or would-be writers or would-be authors. I'm giving away my free ebook, Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. Anyone can get this free ebook, 24 hours a day at www.StraightTalkEditor.com.
I purchased my cards through Epic Print Solutions. Please check out their site because they can help with any printing need at a reasonable cost.
Finally, think about your own business card. Is it complete? Are you thinking through how the audience will use your card? Does it include something to help others such as a free Ebook? Are you using the card to build your list and connect with others? If not, can you take steps today to begin to put together such an action plan? I recommend you consider my Ebook, The List Building Tycoon or get the Amazon Kindle version of this Ebook. Read it and follow my advice in it.
Your business card is an important market tool for your arsenal. Are you using it?