Creating Business Cards for Rare Disease Advocacy
Think back to any time you shared about your rare disease with someone.
Perhaps it was with a stranger, and it was just in passing.
Perhaps it was with a technician completing a medical test for you and in the small chit-chat that often takes place when they ask what you're there for and why and say something like, "I've never heard of that disease."
Or perhaps you were at a medical conference connecting with other patients and medical giants.
Seize the opportunity
In any of those moments, there was an opportunity to share some information about your rare disease, but it was limited by time constraints.
Did you wish you could have shared more, though, or had a quick, easy way to provide contact information or direction to information for that person to learn more? My answer to that is to have a business card ready to hand out.
This or That
Do you consider yourself an advocate for a rare disease?
Decide what information you want to share
Advocacy moments aren't always planned. Often, they're spontaneous moments that arise out of chit-chat. Business cards are a quick, simple way to share information, and many companies are available that allow for the design and printing of them at a reasonable price.
The first step is to decide what information you want to provide. How much or how little information you want to share is completely up to you.
You may only want to provide directions for learning more about your rare disease rather than how to contact you directly. Or, the main purpose may be how to contact you, even if you don't have a website for advocacy. It can be as simple as your name, email, and conditions. Or, it can be as elaborate as a website, social media platforms, and QR codes to websites.
How I designed my rare disease business cards
I like to have a front and back to my cards to provide more information without making the design appear too busy or bulky. People tend to want information from a brief glance. If there's too much information, we glaze over it and think we'll go back to it another time but often we don't. It can tire the eyes and brain and feel mentally exhausting.
My advocacy business cards have changed over the last 11 years as my advocacy efforts have evolved. In the beginning, I would not have dared to create or even hand out business cards for my blog. I wasn't ready to associate myself with my blog; it was all done anonymously. However, as I grew in confidence and publicly identified myself, I began to increase the advocacy avenues I used.
Which best describes your relationship with rare disease advocacy?
My business cards have evolved with me
With each evolution, my cards grew with more information available to provide to others. I recently just updated my cards again, actually. Not only did I add QR codes to websites for my book, shop, and research fund, but I also listed my name instead of my blog's name. For contact information, I listed my website, social media handle, and email.
This change from my blog name being front and center to my name being the first thing allows for more versatility and makes the connection more personal. Every situation doesn't call for sending someone solely to my website. It may be for collaboration and for those cases, my actual name is the most important information to provide initially, then followed by contact information and my advocacy resume.
Do you feel comfortable sharing about your rare disease? How do you take advantage of advocacy moments? Have you ever considered making advocacy business cards? Share more in the comments below!
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