Beth Hautala

Children's Author

 

Handing Out Your Name

Someone asked me for my card yesterday, and as I handed over my contact information, it dawned on me that it might be time for a redesign. The old one is doing a descent job I suppose, but some of my tastes have changed and my current card doesn't quite reflect who I am anymore.

I love the idea of personal brand—which makes sense, I guess. My husband and I have spent the last seven years building our advertising agency, RedHouseMedia, so I probably should like working with brand identity. But beyond that, I love presenting an image that creates an impression. Not a "Whoa-aren't-you-something," impression, but an "Oh-so-THIS-is-who-you-are," impression. That's a lot to expect out of a business card, I know, but it can be done. 

As a writer—freelance, agented, published, or brand new to the craft—business cards are just as important as they are in the corporate office world. We live in an increasingly paperless age, but it's still nice to have a little slip of informational card stock handy. Conferences, seminars, classes, and even writing groups are great places for both distributing and acquiring contact info. And like a good query letter, a business card should jump right in and tell the audience your story. No messing around with backstory or character sketches. Just dive right in and say it clearly.

A good business card should accomplish three things.
1. Clearly present a name and simple occupational title.
2. Provide contact information at which the holder can be easily reached.
3. Offer a visual representation of the holder's identity. 

Moo is one of my favorite "ready-made" business card companies. They print small-batch, custom-designed products that make it easy for people to create personal brand identity. Cool, inexpensive, and good-quality, Moo is a great place to start. I especially love their mini-cards. —Also, as a side note, this is not a promotional blog post. Moo has no idea that I exist and I'm sure they don't need my approval of their products. 

As a writer, what do you think about personal brand? Do you have a business card or are you a fan of the "scribble-it-down-on-a-napkin" method? 

I can't wait to hear your thoughts!