Yesterday, a friend told me that she created her LLC in social work and she has no business cards to hand out to clients! She really didn't even know where to begin! Listen people, EVERYONE should have a business card!!! REGARDLESS of what you do!!!
The average person, even most business owners, do not know how to properfly market themselves or their company! (I will be blogging a lot about business.) Even stay at home moms should have their information on cards to hand out to potential play dates or new friends!
I'm going to be up front and say that I am an anti-technology person. (Yes, as I'm sitting here typing on my computer.) I actually do not even own a cell phone, by choice! (Life is so peaceful without it!)
LISTEN: GO BACK TO THE BASICS!!!! Go out and MEET people! Hand out business cards! Animals use their senses, and we humans are becoming disconnected to the world. The tactile texture of touching them, the visual pleasure of looking at them, and the joy of being gifted a cool unique piece of art is memorable! Not the number that will eventually become deleted from a cell phone.
How do I begin?
Want someone else to do the work for you? You must complete step 1-4, then present it to your designer!!! Also, expect to PAY them for doing this work for you. (Unless you have a VERY generous friend who will do it for free....)
Dawn, this is for you!
1. Get paper and a pencil. That's right. Put down the computer. (whooo hoooo!) Start making a list of words that come to your head that describe you and/or your business.
2. If you have not done this already, create a business name! Start a new list of sample names, using your last list to help you.
3. Decide if you want a slogan. If you do, come up with one. (Again, do this on paper with a list!)
4. Write down all of the information that you would want on a business card. You know, Name, Address (nowadays, unless you have a place of business, you can leave this out), Phone, Email, Web Address....
5. Images!!! This is another toughie. (And why Corporate Identities are best placed in the hands of a professional.) PLEASE make sure you use a HIGH RESOLUTION picture if you want to use a photograph! Sometimes, it's not worth using a picture because it is hard to see type over it. I would suggest a logo. (See below.)
6. Logos: I LOOOOOOVE designing logos! Part of the reason why I love to design logos is because few have the actual real skills of doing it properly! What that means for you, it's tough. You can do it, though. Start looking at other business logos that are in the same industry. What colors do you like? What designs strike your fancy? Print out the images and better yet, sketch them on paper! A logo can be VERY simple. Look at Nike and McDonalds! Make a final sketch using a full sheet of paper. Take a black sharpie and trace it really bold. Fill in parts that you want to be filled in. Now, take a picture of your design and have it fill the camera viewing area with very little white space. We can now upload that design as a jpeg. for most online printers!
7. Sketch out your business card on paper. Place where you want all of the information to go and where you want the image to go. Do you want one-side or two? Benefits of one side is to have a place on the back to write out information if you need to (dates, times, etc.). Benefits of having a two-sided card is so somebody won't write on the back and you have extra information, such as schedules, listing of services offered, etc.
8. Find a local printer!!! I stay away from the larger companies like VistaPrint, Kinkos, Staples, etc. They may have reasonable prices, but you can get the same prices from local small businesses!!! And the quality is usually better! You can usually find one that has an online way up creating your own card and uploading designs and pictures. I use Image Media in Tarpon Springs, FL. (www.imagemedia.com) I am lucky to have a great local printer nearby and there is nothing better than to go and pick up the work that you created! The smell of those places are awesome! (Mmmmm ink. It's the designer in me.) Their customer service rocks, too!
9. Start handing out your new cards!
Things to remember:
NEVER.........EVER EVER EVER..... Take someone elses name, logos, or slogan. Better yet, never take anything from anyone elses site! This doesn't mean you can't "alter" something, as in changing the wording so it is nowhere near close to the original. You will be more remembered by being original anyways. Respect others always, and you will be respected. Also, you don't want the embarrassment of a costly lawsuit. Just say no. :o)
NEVER settle for the first ideas that come to your head! Try to aim for at least 10 ideas for each list.
Your first business card design will not be your last. As you evolve in life, so will your card. Put on it what you need right NOW, than worry about others later. Luckily, cards are pretty cheap to print today!
Wow, that was sort of exhausting to write out. I guess so is creating a good business card! You can do it!!! Please let me know if you have any questions.
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-Psyche, Founder of Hoopin'Spiration
Hoopers are welcome to use the Hooper Trading Card designs (form this year or previous years) as a template for their business and social cards.