Marketing Monday: A Creative Alternative to Business Cards

An alternative to a business cardBusiness cards. Some say you should have them. Others say don’t bother. There are some Independent Authors that suggest using your book as your business card. Personally, I think that would be a great idea if you had a) the money to give your book away and b) a shrink ray. I have neither, which meant one thing. I needed to get creative.

As a Highly Sensitive Person, creativity comes naturally. It’s almost as easy as breathing. That’s why many of us have chosen the careers we are in, because it gives us a creative outlet. Yet, when it comes to marketing ourselves or our product, we can become overwhelmed by the possibilities, choosing either to do nothing or doing the same thing everyone else does. That’s where I was when I was trying to decide if I needed a business card or not.

My first decision was not to bother. Business cards aren’t expensive, in fact you can get free ones from Vista Print if you can’t make your own, but if you’ve ever been stuck with multiple cards that either have an error or just aren’t needed anymore you can understand my hesitancy. I’m an Independent Author who will have multiple books and using a business card to promote them would mean a reprint every time a new book comes out. Of course I could have gone with a plain business card with only my name and contact information, but, for me, it’s about the books.

After guest teaching a Sunday school class, though, I knew I needed to rethink the idea of a business card when one of the students asked for more information about the book and how to contact me so she could “pick my brain.” All I could do was hurriedly jot my contact info on a scrap piece of paper and hand it and a copy of Fear Not! to her. I was pleased she wanted the information, but embarrassed at how unprofessional I looked at that moment.

It was back to deciding how to design a business card that would be “timeless,” yet promote each book I wrote. At first I considered putting a small picture of each book on the card. I gave that idea up when I considered the need for more information about each book and the small amount of space available (not to mention that reprint thing!). I also considered going with just contact info, but I’m convinced I need to promote my books more than myself.

Suddenly I struck upon a very creative idea. Why not a bookmark for each book? If it’s the book that’s important, what better way to promote an Independent Author than with a bookmark? What I love about the idea is that a bookmark is small enough to be carried around in my purse for easy distribution, but large enough to put quite a bit of information on it. Not only that, but, since readers are the target market, what better gift to them than a bookmark? (In my Mom’s case, it’s another one to add to her rather large collection. :D)

I don’t know that a bookmark would work for everyone, or even every Independent Author. What I do know is that HSPs are great at creatively thinking outside the box when we give ourselves time and permission. Finding a creative solution to any challenge, marketing or otherwise, is one of the great things about being an HSP on The Road to Writing.

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