Day 5: Review Your Marketing Materials

Many writers limit their print marketing materials to a business card. Others use brochures, print portfolios and other tools to promote their work. There’s certainly no single right way to use print materials to market yourself, although there are a couple of wrong ways. In order to make sure that your printed house is in order, I’ve put together a checklist to review your printed materials.

A Heavy-Duty Review of Your Marketing Materials

  1. Are all of your marketing materials consistent? Do you use the same logo, colors and fonts throughout your marketing materials?
  2. Do your print materials match your website? Many clients will go online immediately after receiving print materials, and if your business card or other marketing materials are too different from your website, a prospective client may assume she’s in the wrong place.
  3. Do your business cards and other materials have a finished appearance? I’ve met so many writers with business cards printed on perforated stock at home that I’m convinced that paper companies hand out sheets of the stuff at writing conventions. The only thing that sort of tells a prospective client is that no other client wants to pay you enough to get real cards printed.
  4. Are all of your materials up to date, especially your contact information? No one ever remembers to scratch out old info in the middles of a conversation with an ideal client, but the fastest way to lose a deal is to not receive the message that it’s being offered.
  5. Do you actually have enough copies of your business card or brochures? I’ve run out unexpectedly more than once… I try to make a point of having at least 100 on hand at any time.

Don’t Have A Business Card?

I have a fairly simple business card in PDF format — if you don’t have any other options, you can lay one out in Microsoft Word, although I use InDesign myself. Any time I need more cards, I use a web-based printer like OvernightPrints or VistaPrint, depending on which company is running a sale this week.

If you’re starting from scratch, there are a few elements that your business card absolutely must have:

  • Your name — even if you have a business separate from yourself
  • Your business name, if appropriate
  • Your website
  • Your email address

You can put your mailing address and a phone number if you wish. If you are freelancing part-time and do not have a day time phone number, I’d leave it off. It’s not that unusual to handle most projects via email these days. I’m also very wary about putting down my home address as my business address. I give out my card to just about everybody, and I’d prefer not to have a surprise on my doorstep. Instead, I give out my P.O. box as my main mailing address.

Want to share your business card? A good example is worth a thousand words, so feel free to link to your card in the comments.

Just joining us? Check out where we started with Setting Your Goals!


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