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Business Card Of A Freelance Writer
Ideas?
contentmaster




msg:3448418
 12:26 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

A friend of mine has been in the field of freelance writing for a number of years and now wants to have her own business card. Though she is a freelancer, she also works closely with a website and wanted to know -

1) Since the card will be used by her to network locally, is there a particular style that she should follow? What do most freelancers / writers include in their business card?

2) Besides contact details, is it general practice to mention the the range of writing services she offers?

3) Are one-sided cards preferred to two-sides business cards?

4) She has selected hand made paper cards. Are horizontal cards preferred or vertical business cards?

5) Is it okay to select a small image online and get it printed on the business card - say a picture of a pen or are their any issues related to this that she should know of?

 

vincevincevince




msg:3448421
 12:31 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'll address the few I can:

2) Besides contact details, is it general practice to mention the the range of writing services she offers?

I've seen this frequently. More often shown than not shown. On reviewing business cards to look for someone for a task, those with a short list of services get a better chance.

3) Are one-sided cards preferred to two-sides business cards?

Double-sided are now the norm, so much so that I don't think they're a real advantage any more; unless you've some striking branding or similar to put on the back.

4) She has selected hand made paper cards. Are horizontal cards preferred or vertical business cards?

Horizontal every time. Once that card is in the card organiser or folder it must match all the other cards. Nobody wants to have to turn their head ninty degrees every time they flick through.

5) Is it okay to select a small image online and get it printed on the business card - say a picture of a pen or are their any issues related to this that she should know of?

No, not unless the image is licensed for such a use. I the first instance I'd suggest creating your own artwork or licensing some stock images. You may find some 'public domain' images which are suitable.

contentmaster




msg:3448434
 12:47 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your inputs.

I the first instance I'd suggest creating your own artwork or licensing some stock images. You may find some 'public domain' images which are suitable.

Where can I find these public domain images / stock images? Can they be copy pasted and used as is (printed)?

jtara




msg:3448881
 7:41 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can they be copy pasted and used as is (printed)

More so than the web images you had in mind.

Bitmapped images (GIF, JPEG, etc.) are generally not suitable for use on business cards. They are difficult to impossible to scale while retaining detail.

You want vector graphics (for example, EPS) and an appropriate program to manipulate them. The shop that is making your cards probably has the ability to do this, if you can supply them with the image. Heck, they can probably supply you with the image - just tell them you want a pen - I'm sure they can scrape-up an outline of a pen! They can probably find one that Ben Franklin drew. ;)

You can purchase CDs/DVDs of general business-related images - probably at your local computer/software store, as well as bunches of places online.

I'd be careful with the latter, and stick with well-known names, as anybody can put a bunch of stolen images on a website and claim they are "public domain".

Fortune Hunter




msg:3448968
 9:48 pm on Sep 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think they're a real advantage any more; unless you've some striking branding or similar to put on the back.

I have a pretty wide portfolio of services I offer in my consulting practice so I use the back of the card to list those services, which includes the copywriting services. I have received so many cards over the years that are from similar types of companies that if there isn't something on the back to tell me what they do and it isn't obvious by the company name I typically never call or email them back. Therefore, to keep this from happening to me I decided to list a sampling of services on the back. This way if you turn over my card hopefully one of the things I have listed is something you need and you will call.

vincevincevince




msg:3449056
 1:12 am on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

the back.

Remember that people who keep business cards organise them. And people who organise them can generally only see the front without removing the card from whatever organising system or device they use.

contentmaster




msg:3449153
 4:13 am on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is it wise to club 2-3 web addresses (unrelated websites on separate subjects) a freelancer may be associated with on the same business card?

Can the other secondary websites feature on the back of the card?

Marshall




msg:3449165
 4:43 am on Sep 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

You may want to check this thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

Marshall

ccDan




msg:3451243
 9:28 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have received so many cards over the years that are from similar types of companies that if there isn't something on the back to tell me what they do and it isn't obvious by the company name I typically never call or email them back. Therefore, to keep this from happening to me I decided to list a sampling of services on the back. This way if you turn over my card hopefully one of the things I have listed is something you need and you will call.

The flip side (no pun intended) of that is that if they don't see what they need listed, they will call someone else. So, it's perhaps better to be more general and less specific with something like "for all your ____ needs!"

Which you could squeeze on the front.

I'd bet that most people never read the backs of business cards except for when someone hands it to them and tells them there is something on the back. People will typically staple the card in their Rolodex or maybe scan it into an electronic card file. In either case, the back will never be seen again.

jimbeetle




msg:3451246
 9:38 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

is it general practice to mention the the range of writing services she offers?

Something along this lines works. I used variations of it back in the days.

Mary Jones
Writer

Copywriting and Editing
Technical Writing
General Business Writing
Annual Report Consulting

jtara




msg:3451252
 9:46 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

In either case, the back will never be seen again.

In most cases, the CARD will never be seen again!

Your best chance to make an impression is when you hand a person the card. If it's appropriate to do any kind of sales pitch, you will probably do it at this time. If you are in a rushed situation, you can at least suggest that more details can be found on the back of the card. If you can get them to flip it over, you're already getting somewhere. It's a useful indication of interest, but one that you won't get if there's nothing there on the back.

Why not summarize on the front, and provide more detailed information on the back? Why not? Ink is cheap.

contentmaster




msg:3451640
 1:39 pm on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

My friend has decided to list her services and contact details on the front. She prefers to have a simple one-sided card.

What next?
How would one network using a business card?
Whom should you hand over your card to locally?
Drop it in a bowl with all other business cards at a fancy restaurant?
Or wait till you come across a prospective client?

jimbeetle




msg:3451699
 4:03 pm on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just make sure she always has a stack of cards with her. Give or exchange cards in any appropriate situation, professional or social. "By the way, here's my card," can lead to, "Yeah, I met a writer last week. Let me find her card for you."

ccDan




msg:3452094
 6:33 am on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Why not summarize on the front, and provide more detailed information on the back? Why not? Ink is cheap.

Why not just create a brochure? If there is too much information on a business card, it is not going to be read. It may even be hard to read if the type gets too small.

If you can get them to flip it over, you're already getting somewhere. It's a useful indication of interest, but one that you won't get if there's nothing there on the back.

It can also be an indication that the person is feigning interest so that you will GO AWAY. Pretending to show an interest makes the person think they've made an impression, thank you and walk away hoping you will call.

pageoneresults




msg:3452102
 6:50 am on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay, you may find this hard to believe, but if there is one thing I'm an expert at, it is business cards. I've probably designed well over 1,000 unique cards since 1990 when I entered the advertising and marketing industries.

I'll take an educated shot at it...

1) Since the card will be used by her to network locally, is there a particular style that she should follow? What do most freelancers / writers include in their business card?

Name, Title, Address, Telephone, Facsimile, Mobile, Email, Web.

Those are the basics. You can then expand from there...

Logo, Tagline, List of Services, Since 1926, etc.

2) Besides contact details, is it general practice to mention the the range of writing services she offers?

Absolutely! I can't tell you how many cards I've been given and after looking at them was left wondering what the heck that company or that person did.

3) Are one-sided cards preferred to two-sides business cards?

Yes. But, you can produce an effective two sided card also. Just be sure you treat the second side as "a bonus" if it is looked at.

4) She has selected hand made paper cards. Are horizontal cards preferred or vertical business cards?

Horizontal is the defacto standard. Vertical cards are fine but break the traditional format. Vertical cards don't sit well in business card holders.

5) Is it okay to select a small image online and get it printed on the business card - say a picture of a pen or are their any issues related to this that she should know of?

Just be sure it is a "royalty free" image. Don't just copy something you found as it could come back to haunt you, especially with the visibility that business cards get.

I'm going to add another option...

6) Foldover Cards

I've worked with many foldover designs. Basically it is a card that gives you four (04) 3.5 x 2.0 panels to work with. Of course you treat that front panel with extreme care. With foldovers, your options for design are infinite. Think of it as a mini four (04) page brochure.

Choice of stock, printing and/or decoration methods also have an influence on business card impact. Embossing, foiling, unusual shapes, diecutting, foldovers with an off-fold, foldovers in vertical format. Your options are only limited by your budget. ;)

pageoneresults




msg:3452108
 7:10 am on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

What next? How would one network using a business card?

Keep cards with you at all times. Keep some in your glove compartment, your wallet, your purse, etc. Always have a card on hand to present to someone, always. Well, there may be exceptions. :)

Whom should you hand over your card to locally?

Why those who would be interested in your services/products of course.

Drop it in a bowl with all other business cards at a fancy restaurant?

lol! You can win a few free meals this way, that's for sure. Been there, done that.

Or wait till you come across a prospective client?

You never know who your next prospective client may be. If the opportunity presents itself, hand over a card. They are usually the least expensive piece of printed material you will purchase and they have the most impact. They are the First Impression, make it a lasting one.

Oh, be sure to study up on cultural differences in the exchange of business cards. You'd be quite surprised at how important that little piece of paper is. There are certain ways to present your card depending on culture. Never, ever, ever, take someone's card and put it in your pocket right away, no, don't do that. In some cultures, that is a sign of disrespect. You should honor the fact that you can present your card and treat it like so.

Never pass a dirty or tattered business card, that is extremely tacky!

Fortune Hunter




msg:3452354
 6:14 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

What next? How would one network using a business card?

I generate a huge part of my consulting business through networking as well as finding great investment partners, sub contractors, and other interesting individuals. This is simply too important to not have them on you ALL the time.

I purchased a bunch of those little metal card cases, I think I paid about $6.00 for each one. I bought like 20 them. I filled them all with cards and keep on in my glove box of my car, one in every pocket of my suits and sports jackets and have one that I put on my dresser each night so I remember to drop it in my pocket in the morning with my wallet and cell phone. I can be reasonably assured I always have a card somewhere within easy reach.

Second, consider joining a networking/referral group. I personally am a member of BNI, Business Networkers International. The group was started in California some years ago, but is all over the world now. There are typically several chapters in any reasonably sized city and even some smaller towns. You can locate a chapter and learn more by visiting their web site bni.com. The group's main purpose is to refer business to each other. I love the concept and the great business I get each year from it. I understand there are even competing groups now, although there are none in my area.

I would also consider reading a book by Keith Ferrazi called "Never Eat Alone" which you should be able to get at Amazon. I believe it is a NY Times best seller. It is hands down one of the best networking/business development books I have ever read and really help me.

contentmaster




msg:3452763
 1:57 pm on Sep 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

thank you all...

dragsterboy




msg:3461362
 12:47 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Mary Jones
Writer

Copywriting and Editing
Technical Writing
General Business Writing
Annual Report Consulting


very professional

Habtom




msg:3462408
 9:33 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Besides freelance writing, if you do infact design websites, how would your business card would look like?

Or, it is alright two different business cards? Something doesn't feel right here.

Fortune Hunter




msg:3463121
 8:32 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

Or, it is alright two different business cards? Something doesn't feel right here.

I am not sure I would do two cards. I do both copywriting and web design as well as a few other things. I use one card and one brand. I think if you start creating multiple cards for everything you do, each with a separate look you will start confusing people.

On the back of my card I do a simple bullet list of services offered. One of those bullets is Copywriting & Direct Response Marketing and another is Web Design.

However don't over think this. The fact is nobody will hire you from a business card. You will still have to have a conversation with them and do all the sales steps before a deal is done. The card is simply a way to have them contact you and if you list things on the back then it should be a memory jogger for them, hoping for more than that from a card is probably asking too much.

Marshall




msg:3463142
 8:52 pm on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

One thing to do since it is so easy to create your own cards, is design several versions and show them to friends and colleagues and get feedback.

Marshall

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