Does Your Business Card Make the Right Impression? – Guest Post

Today’s post is from Dana Rasmussen, a talented writer at MediaShower:

In the 2000 film “American Psycho,” the character Patrick Bateman is horrified to discover his colleague’s business card is better than his. That leaves him with only one option: He’s gotta kill the other guy. While a business card is hardly something to get that worked up over, it is definitely one of the premier ways of highlighting yourself and your brand.

photo credit: San Diego Shooter via photopin cc

To make the right impression with your business card, follow these steps:

1. Describe the brand’s core values and philosophy on the business card without resorting to a deluge of words. It takes a little brainpower and a lot more creativity to make that a reality, but knowing what you or your business stands for should be as familiar to you as your own name.

2. Be Memorable. Think about all of the business cards you’ve ever been handed. Do you remember any of them? With the exception of a few, the answer to that is probably no. Business cards that stand out are ones that go the extra mile. They’re not standard white cards with the usual contact information. Consider making your card into something that people use. Make it a magnet, coaster, bookmark, or something else that is used and seen frequently.

3. Testimonials speak volumes about a business or brand. They show that others have gone before and enjoyed what they have experienced. If possible, include a short quote on the business card to show that your work, product, or service is appreciated.

4. Another way to show more about a brand is to also highlight what the brand supports. Gone are the days where a company stands for the bottom line and the bottom line only. Show that there’s not only a heart, but a team of real people who all care about more than their jobs by including a line, logo, or graphic of an organization supported by the brand.

5. Last but not least, make sure when you hand your business card out that you do so in a memorable way. That doesn’t mean a showy production is necessary, but try to add a personal touch to the exchanging of business cards. After all, if the goal is to do business with the person you are exchanging cards with, then it is important to establish a rapport so that your business card stays in his or her pocket – not the trash.

Make the Right Impression

When your business card accurately reflects who you are, what you do and promotes your brand, you’re then ready to give it out. Spend some time on the card, run a few ideas by colleagues or a graphic designer if you have one handy, and let your card work for you.

It makes all the difference in the world.

Dana Rasmussen writes about trends in the workplace and protecting one’s online reputation. Her business card is the one every other business card wants to sit with at lunch.

Cannes Lions Screening – NABS Victoria 2012 – Award Winning Commercials

Last night was the second NABS benefit that we’ve had the chance to attend, and like the one before this, it was a fantastic night.

The event was held at Victoria BMW, and it was filled with local agencies, printers, graphic designers, photographers, and every creative group possible. Part benefit, part networking event, it was a chance to dress up and enjoy a night out with people within the industry.

As a freelancer, it’s great to find events like this. Not only do you get to meet some of the key players in the local region, but you get to talk about advertising to someone other than your spouse. Don’t get me wrong – my wife is a great listener, but I’m pretty sure she can only tolerate hearing about deadlines, creative briefs, and communication challenges for so long.

What is NABS?

The National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) is a dynamic support system for all Canadian professionals in the marketing and communications industry facing personal, career and family challenges due to illness, injury, unemployment or financial difficulties. If you need assistance, they’re the people to call. Check their website for more information.

100% of the funds raised at events like the one held last night go toward providing a safety net for Canadian professionals. It’s very nice to know that should something go wrong, be it illness, injury, or economic challenges,  there’s a group there who can provide support.

Cannes Lions Screening – Standouts

Part of the event includes the screening of some of the best commercials from around the world. Many of them were creatively impressive, while others were…perhaps a bit more artistic. All of them were entertaining, but here’s a few that stood out for me.

Love to know what you think of them

There was a lot of snuffling about this commercial from Thailand

This one is pretty great and takes an unexpected twist

Saridon aspirin has a great concept, and they’ve presented in a few different executions. I liked this one, but check out the rest.

This concept for Gandhi Bookstores is fantastic, and was presented a few different ways. An excellent delivery with a great twist.

You’ve probably seen this Coke ad already, but it is worth sharing again. Excellent idea – catch people doing something good.

Probably my favourite from the whole lot. You can imagine this happening at your office, with your friends, or even yourself. Loved it.

#FreelanceForum – A Great Success

On Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 we had our first FreelanceForum, and it was awesome!

The event was conceived by the smartkids at contently.com as part of a FreelanceForum week, and we were happy to be part of the local process.

We were joined by a group of local freelancers – graphic designers, writers, communication experts, and more – to discuss the freelance opportunities available to us locally and globally.

We reached out to some of the local businesses to get their support, and we were thrilled at the immediate and positive response they all gave us.

Please help us say thanks to these folks for helping us make the Victoria forum better than expected. They didn’t have to help, but they did and we’re grateful
 

functionfoxFunctionFox - We received some great support from the FunctionFox team, including media releases and some help through social media. As well, we were happy to have them offer a free trial to everyone who attended the Forum.
If you’d like more information about TimeFox and how it can help you ensure you’re getting paid for 100% of your billable time – please contact Darren today.

 
53815381Studios - The 5381Studio team provided us with copies of 123CopyDVD and Defender Pro, and we were able to share these titles with pretty much everyone who attended. They specialize in time-sensitive projects and are one of the few West Coast destinations for retail software publishing and online sales and marketing. Check them out if you have an idea that you’d like to bring to market – they’re really great folks to work with.

 

 

 

 

 

Hemlock_Logo_Integrity_Col

 

Hemlock Printers - Gord Wright and the folks at Hemlock have been quick to help us anytime we have a freelance event – in part because that’s how they started. Hemlock provided us with the pens and pads as well as the gorgeous photobook that Ian won. Check them out to see the great selection of products and services that freelancers can use to help their clients create impressive print collateral.

 

 
viatec_logoVIATeC - Holding a meetup in a coffeeshop is great because it’s free’ish and pretty easy, but when you’ve got a good sized group, it’s hard to hold a conversation. We emailed the VIATeC team to find out if they’d be interested in lending us the space to hold our event, and they responded less than 30 seconds later with an answer of “absolutely!”

Many of the businesses that VIATeC supports are small startups, and this is a great target market for pretty much any freelancer. Check out the VIATeC website, or sign up at www.tectorian.com

 

Thank you all for making the #FreelanceForum fantastic – looking forward to our future conversations.

Free Book Friday – Target Acquired

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.
~Stephen King

To follow up my last post, Writers Write, I thought I’d share an excerpt from my newest short story, available on Amazon today and tomorrow for your favourite price  - free (if you’re reading this in the future, the price is still a pretty reasonable $.99 – so feel free to buy it!
 
 

Target Acquired

 

“The good news is – the parts you requested are on their way. The bad news is they were made overseas by the lowest bidder….but yours will probably work just fine…”

Kent hung up the phone. He’d gotten an answer but it wasn’t the one he was hoping for. His sight had been slowly deteriorating for the past ten years, but everything had gotten much darker and fuzzier in the past six months. A hitman with poor eyesight was either a soon-to-be-dead hitman, or an unemployed hitman. He didn’t know which was worse, and all he could do now was wait for his new eyes to arrive.

***

Kent had read the advertorial for the nano-eyes four months earlier, and immediately booked an appointment with the only cyberdoc he could trust. Not that the Doc was trustworthy, it’s just that Kent had known him to rarely have fatal accidents in the operating room. Cyberdocs don’t worry much about malpractice suits, as cyber-augmentation is still a black market and there are no pesky rules to protect the patient’s health. Since most operations have a BYOA – bring your own anesthetic – policy, it’s not uncommon to hear of overdoses or “complications.” As well, some of the less scrupulous cyberdocs learned that if the patient dies before the augments are installed, they can still sell the parts as new to someone else. A person is very vulnerable while under the influence of their anesthetic of choice, and since no operation starts until the doc has been paid in full, Kent had a good reason to distrust them.

Kent had to have the nano-eyes but he wanted to keep this information on a need-to-know basis. He didn’t care who knew about his augs once they were installed and working properly, but he didn’t want anyone, especially his competition, to know until after the procedure had been completed. He’d worked hard to keep his vision problems hidden from the rest of the world and he didn’t want to get taken out while he was waiting for a delivery to come across the ocean.

He made the arrangements with Pascal and waited for the augs to arrive. Pascal’s newest title was cyberdoc, but Kent had known him as a computer geek, guru, ninja, and there was even a time when everyone had to call Pascal a “wizard” if they wanted his formidable talents. Pascal was thorough and discrete, but he wasn’t cheap. The best rarely are, and Kent knew he was over a barrel with his situation and Pascal saw it the same way. They arranged an outrageous price, and when Kent made the final payment, Pascal ordered the parts.

Kent could see the world getting darker every day, literally as well as metaphorically, though he really wasn’t interested in the existential view of the world. The only things that mattered to him were the contracts he was assigned. Since his sight began to fail, he needed to be picky about the jobs he took. Anything requiring up-close work was fine, but the risks were high. He preferred the safety of a long-range scope on a high powered rifle, allowing him to make the shot and get in his car; on his way out of the state before the first responders were even on site. Kent was a single bullet assassin. Anything after the first shot was messy, so he took the time to get it right the first time. A half-inch hole an inch above the left eye was his signature, and he’d left his mark on hundreds of targets over the past fifteen years, but hadn’t taken a job in over two months because he wasn’t confident he could make the shot. Every day without his augs was a day closer to blindness, but Kent knew he wasn’t going to have to worry about that. If it got bad enough, he had a solution. His final kill wouldn’t leave his signature, but fellating a .38 effectively solved everything.

Finish reading Target Acquired on Amazon.com

Movember – Not Just Lip Service

The 'stache is back!

To start, I need to apologize to my wife.  Despite having a moustache when we first met (me, not her) she still managed to get past the revulsion of my hairy appendage and eventually (in a moment of weakness) agreed to marry me.  That being said, let’s just say November is not her favourite month thanks to Movember.

Movember, the international month of the moustache (of if you prefer, mustache), was created in Australia (but an “Australian moustache” is a different hairy beast…) to create awareness and raise funds in support prostate health.  MoBros and MoSistas around the world have raised over $176 million since 2004. Last year in Canada, over $22.3 million was raised and directed to programs in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship, and research.  Now that I’m 40 (sorry Mom), it’s become rather important.  I’d hate to think that 40 is middle-aged since  I plan on living well into triple digits, and unless Apple starts a personal augmentation product (PAPs for men and women!), I’ll need to take care of the parts I was born with.

Last year I participated in the Movember follicle challenge (growing hair on my face is something I’ve been able to do for quite some time), but that’s all I did.  I grew hair. I didn’t shave.  Since I’m a fulltime freelancer, suffice to say it wasn’t a huge inconvenience for me.  This year, I’d like to contribute a bit more and that’s where you come in.  If you click right here, you can donate a dollar to support my fuzzy lip.  Technically, you’re supporting a darker part of me, too – but try not to think about that.

The drawbacks of sporting a moustache:

  • Being called “Officer” all the time
  • Constant offers to star in “All Male Cast” movies
  • Parents instinctively shielding their children from you
  • Looks of utter disgust from the ones who normally love you
  • Coffee tastes funny when strained through a ‘stache
  • Special bonus for those over 35 – Salt ‘n Pepper.

This year I’m asking my friends and family to donate one dollar. A loonie. A buck. You can donate more if you’d like, but I’ve tried to make the process as easy as possible for you.  Click the button, enter your info, and then feel warm inside for helping make a difference. Or be happy that you (or your man) don’t have to rock the ‘stache since I’m doing it for you. Live vicariously through my hairy lip.

Please Donate a Dollar

If you aren’t able to donate, please share this message with your friends/family to help support the cause.  Help create an awareness about Men’s Health concerns, and maybe you’ll help save a life. Hopefully it’s mine!

Thank you

Thanks for reading this, thanks for sharing it, thanks for laughing at my ‘stache, thanks for the condolences for Barb, but most of all – thanks for digging into your pocket and donating.  It’s very much appreciated.  From the bottom of my heart, as well as a much lower spot of my anatomy.

(If you prefer to use the official Movember donation page, please go right ahead.  You can click here to be taken to my profile page)

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