I attended a business networking event today. Not because I have a business to market, but to hear a friend speak.
The networking part of the seminar encouraged business card trading, and when we entered, we placed business cards in a fishbowl for prize drawings. Only one problem with this – I have no business card.
How does one narrow an identity down to 3.5 by 2inches. What do you include or leave out? I have many jobs or identities. The only one I get paid for is teaching. Does that make teaching my business and therefore should go on my business card? (I don’t see many teachers exchanging business cards.)
But many facets of my life or identity are not professional like: mom, pastor’s wife, writer, singer, and so on. These are just as much a part of who I am.
So the question really boils down to branding. What is it about myself that I am trying to market?
To keep it strictly professional, I could say Teacher/Writer. But then I feel the need to qualify…English Teacher? Writing Teacher? Blog Writer? Aspiring Writer? Despairing Writer? (Just kidding on the last one)
(Incidentally my husband often accuses me of overthinking things)
Attending the seminar today made me realize that I needed branding. And if I was serious about being a writer, I needed to claim it and not qualify. I am a literature teacher. I also teach writing which means I study and practice the craft with my students, and write on a regular basis outside the classroom, therefore I am a writer.
Maybe I can fit everything else in fine print around the border, just to be completely honest about who I am.