Saturday, March 16, 2013

Business Cards, Part Deux

Okay, so it has taken me a while to get back with the program. Sorry about that. I am actually in my hotel at a show in the middle of Texas, so bear with me, or is that bare with me? I'm not really sure...

We left off with picking a font and deciding name placement on the business card. Let's work on the information to include and background imagery. Most of you already know this, but over time, even we old business pro's forget the basics of good design, cause we get so caught up doing what we do. But for the new business person or those that are considering jumping off the bridge, let's review.

Where should your business name go? Wellllll....that depends on the style of card you are choosing and what kind of business you have. Say you are setting up a more formal style of business like a computer software design business. You might want to use a vertical style card that is split in the middle by a simple line divider and a two-color background. Or you might like a traditional horizontal card style that features a small pic of your logo in the upper left hand corner on a white background. It's firm and precise.

For most art or craft type businesses,regardless of where you put your name, it needs to stand out.  I have found that most of us like it straight and center in the card. Start there and make sure it is centered. If it looks nice in the regular font, try bolding it and seeing how it looks. You can also try italics, but remember to make it easily readable. Once that little fit is done, you will feel like you've accomplished something. And so you will have.

Now, what else do we want on the card. Most everyone wants their address and phone number on their cards so customers have a way to reach them. Here is where it gets a little fuzzy for me. I wanted a mailing address, but I wasn't sure I wanted people driving by and wandering what lovely jewelry pieces might be lurking inside. Yes, Priscilla, there are dishonest folks out there, so it's better to be safe than sorry. Get a PO Box. Added expense, yes, but it can be used for "returns" (heaven forbid!) and still not give anyone an idea of how to bother you on off hours or when you are on vacation.

Same with a phone number. Get a MagicJack or another service like it. They work and are inexpensive. Oh, and like the PO Box, can be written off at the end of the expense!

We have our name, our address, and our phone. If you want a fax, there are some really cool and inexpensive online fax options, as well. You can send and receive faxes like the pro's. we add the fax number, too. Let's see. besides the name, we now have three additional lines of information.

Got a website? Are you on Etsy? How about Artfire, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Add your website or blog address for sure, but don't muck up the card with all the social media addresses. Put links to those on your website, Etsy, or Facebook page. We will talk about that more later. Personally, I only add my webpage, even though you can find me about seven other sites. I tell the peeps to check social media site for my bus. name, ggchambers. If they find me, I'm there!

You don't necessarily need your email address on your card either. Wait! There is method to my madness! I tell clients to email me through the website Contact page, or contact me through my Etsy site, etc. I do this because, God love 'em, sometimes the fans emails will have viruses you DON'T need or want, and driving them to one of your other locations gives them another chance to view your work and gives you more "hits" on your sites. If this is all Greek to you, you will just have to trust me...this is better for you!

Wow! You are just about there. Find a location for your business name, and locate the rest (hopefully no more than four more lines) below it in a smaller font. Not too small, like 5pt! No one can read that! Use a 7, 8, or 9 pt. depending on the font you have chosen. Make sure the normal human being can read it without squinting. Trust me, if they have to work hard to read it, it will end up in the trash, no matter how much they like your product. If your name is fancy, it's okay to use a plain readable font for the location info like Arial or Times New Roman font. Now...background....

For us craftier artsier types, we like color and pictures. We like the descriptives of what we do to be seen rather than read. Go for it! For those of you that like photography, take some pictures of your products and work up a collage of sorts. Or take your favorite product and do a pic of that. Just remember, we want our cards to be memorable, but not overwhelming, so you may have to run your pics through a program like Photoshop or have a computer savvy friend help you here. Fade it, crop it, do what you need to do, but don't overwhelm and distort the all important contact information.

If you are an artist of any sort, please don't use a white background...oh, and don't use hot pink just cause I said not to use white! Put some thought into it and make it your own. Make it talk about who you are and what you do. If you are a gardener, use plants and flowers. If you make jewelry, have your card reflect your style. If you build dog houses...use Fido's pic. You get the idea.

Now I'm babbling. I hope this helps a little. I know this is just a very teeny weenie part of starting a business or even maintaining one, but it's your business' and your first impression to the potential client. It reflects back to you. Just do your best and it will happen. Take! Print it!

Let me know if I should have proof read this more...I'm really tired!

Till next time...Stay Wired Up!!! Gail

1 comment:

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