One month from today I'll be settling back into my studio after the SCBWI Annual Conference...

And with that in mind, I am putting up a series of posts full of tips on getting yourself and your work ready for the four fun-in-the-sun filled days of children's book networking that the conference provides!

Last week's post found here  featured tips on making your Promo Postcard a pin up.

This week's post gets down to the business of business cards!

You may well ask: Why do I need business cards if I already have promo cards featuring a sample of my works and all my contact information?

And I'll tell you...


1. Business Cards are less expensive to produce than promo cards.

You get what you pay for. Rather than ordering an enormous print run of boffo-socko-discount postcards of iffy quality,  I always opt to order a smaller print run of  high quality postcards, and supplement that with a plethora of high quality business cards.  The key to using business cards and promo cards interchangeably is to create card designs that work together.  That way, matter which promotional tool you choose to hand out- you are presenting  a unified look.

For example...

Here is the front of my Promo Card from summer 2010...


And here is the front of  my business card from summer 2010...



What's more, the same font and  high-wire walker, were used as the profile picture for my Idle Illustration facebook page, as well as the title card in my hard copy portfolio.


So, no matter how people were introduced to my work initially- when they chose to explore my work in another medium- for example: going from business card to  online portfolio- seeing the same introductory image let them know immediately that they were in the right place.



2. Ease of distribution.

As you walk around the conference with your arms full of coffee cups, folders, portfolios, etc... it can sometimes be a bit of a to-do to get access to your gorgeous 5x7 promo cards. Business cards, on the other hand, can be kept in your pocket, or better still... inside the handy name-tag/necklace all conference attendees wear. That little plastic sleeve is just perfect for tucking in a few of your cards to hand out, as well as neatly tucking away the cards you collect.


And speaking of the cards you'll collect...

There will be a lot of them! SO many that you might have trouble keeping them all straight as to which card belonged to which person you met by the end of the conference. Heck, forget the end of the conference- try the end of each day!


I am terrible with names.

Really terrible.

Embarrassingly terrible.

Just ask my friend 'whats-her-name'... (ba-dum-bum-bum)

So,  I have a trick that I use to help me put faces with names and I will share it with you here... (drum-roll please)

I carry a micro point sharpie on me!

I know, I know, it sounds unremarkable, but read on...

When I meet someone new, and we have exchanged cards, and part ways- I immediately jot down a few things about our conversation on their card. It may be a note about what they look like, something funny we discussed, or a project in which they were interested. SOMETHING to jog my memory, so that when I am back home again in my studio, a month from today and find myself sorting through all the lovely promotional swag I've collected- I will have have the context to reconnect the name on the card to the person I've met.

This one simple thing makes post conference follow-up emails a breeze!