Being Laid Off Part III: Personal Marketing Collateral

After getting laid off, one of the first pieces of professional advice I received was, “Get business cards with your contact information on them!” I had a box of 500 business cards from my employer, so it was, frankly, strange to think that they would be completely useless just when I needed them most.

The first thing I did was print up basic, black-and-white cards on a sheet of Avery Business Cards (5371) I had lying around. They were ugly, but they got the basic job done: I could easily leave my contact information with people I met.

Lo and behold: what in my inbox should appear but an offer from Overnight Prints for 100 free business cards! (Sorry, the offer expired on January 11th, but keep an eye out!) Unlike other vendors, they would not print their own logo on the back. I could design my own card, and I would only have to pay shipping. Similar offers are available from VistaPrint, Prints Made Easy (Coupon code: First One Free), and GigglePrint.com. A couple of people have also recommended MOO.com.

When you think about product marketing, you naturally think about marketing collateral: pamphlets, brochures and data sheets that help spread the word about your product. If you treat the job search as an exercise in marketing and selling yourself, you start to think about establishing a personal brand, creating a memorable impression, and making your collateral stand out from the mix. I’m fortunate to have talented graphic designers among my friends, and I tapped them for design suggestions.

For excellent examples of straight graphic designs, this series of books is available from the library:

There’s a limit to what you can do when you’re just uploading an image, but here’s one of my favorite designs from this site:

Marriage Counselor Business Card

Here’s another favorite from this site:

Hair Styling Business Card

Here’s what I settled on for myself: businesscard.JPG

I may do something more low-key next time around.

Tags: Design, Fun

Updated at: 17 January 2009 10:01 AM

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