Business Cards. Do you have them? I didn’t, until very recently. Seeing as I’ve spent the last five years doing the mum thing, I can honestly say I haven’t collected very many. When I started freelancing from home, my original clients were gained via word of mouth and they all knew me in some context or other, so I didn’t feel the need to flash a card at them. In fact, I’d even begun to wonder if the digital age had negated the need for a card – after all, it’s pretty simple to jump on the web from anywhere with a smartphone.
When I started working freelance, I lacked the confidence to promote myself, particularly in a verbal situation. I love being a mum, but I struggled to reconnect with the woman who had been a professional writer before the kids had come along. When people asked me what I did, I would say “Oh, I’m just a mum, you know, looking after the kids and such.” As things started to chug along, however, my confidence grew. My writing abilities hadn’t faded over time and the more I used them, the more I believed in myself. I started answering with “I’m a mum and a writer.” The next question is almost always “What do you write?” which leads to a lengthy explanation and a fantastic opportunity to say “here’s my card, the web address is on there if you want to check it out… and feel free to get in contact if you ever need a quote.”
Except I couldn’t do that, because I didn’t have a card.
A lot of people suggested designing one myself, but I knew it needed to be done digitally, and by someone whose graphic design skills far exceeded my own. Enter Ellyse, the mastermind behind the incredible Marx Creative. She currently lives in Newcastle, NSW, with my equally fantastic brother – so yes, one day she’s likely to be my sister-in-law, but once you look at her website you’ll realise that a family bias is not needed here. Girl’s got some wicked skills. Over Christmas just gone, Cam and Ellyse came down to little old Victoria and stayed with us for a couple of weeks. During that time, we had a fair few exciting and creatively minded girly chats – and before you know it, she offered to design a business card for me.
The design brief I gave her went like this: “Not white. I like colours. Professional… writerly, but not stuffy because I’d like it to have broad appeal. My name on the front, but the details on the back.” As soon as I stopped talking I felt terribly guilty. After all, it was pretty vague. But Ellyse put on her thinking face and said; “What’s your favourite colour? I think I have some ideas already.” The answer is pink, in case you didn’t already figure that out.
Several dinners and some video games later, Ellyse tapped me on the shoulder to say the draft copy was ready. I was totally blown away – she’d taken my dodgy brief, tapped into my soul and then arranged it neatly on a business card. It was perfect. Like I said, girl’s got some wicked skills.
After a little technical fine tuning and a couple of questions about how many I wanted (the answer to which was my white-faced expression of fear), everything was finalised. All I had to do was wait a couple of weeks, and voila! They arrived on my doorstep in neat little boxes. I made embarrassing squeeing sounds when I got the cards out and immediately wanted to hand them out to everyone I met. Just having them in my hand boosted my confidence a thousand per cent. Who’d have known business cards could be so much fun?
What about you? Do you have business cards? Did you design them yourself, or get a professional in?