Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bead Biz - Can We Talk?

It's coming up on show time for many artists and designers.
Let's talk about self-promotions.

It is absolutely necessary to have a business card. You can design one yourself or pay a graphic artist to do their magic for you. It should represent you and your business. A business card is an item that is always picked up at shows and should be shipped with orders. Your card usually ends up in a pile with other cards that will be looked at later. Stand out from the crowd! I like to design business cards vertically instead of horizontally. I believe you can get more info onto the card in this format.
The best price for 4 color printing is Vistaprint. Sign up for their mailing list and you will receive loads of offers for free items. I have had business cards, postcards, magnets and note cards printed through them. You just can't beat their prices.

The next item after your business card is a postcard. This is a multi-functional tool for marketing and so cost effective. They can be mailed out prior to the show you will be exhibiting in and telling your customers your booth information. They can be used to showcase a new item or design in your line. Postcards are in essence a larger business card that can be mailed, handed out, hung up or left at other businesses as a pick up item. 4 color is very eye catching and stands out.

More ideas? Of course we have plenty. What about buttons?
Not the type I make but the advertising type button you pin on. Melanie uses them in her packaging and for shows. People love to collect these adorable buttons. Choose a great image or catchy phrase.
Melanie chose to showcase 4 different beads and she has one that has "I Heart Beads." Mine has "Fun, Funky & Functional" printed on them. These are great promo giveaways at shows. I have used "One Inch Round" and Melanie has her buttons printed at an indie business "Button Arcade." The great thing about both places is that you can put text on the edge, such as your business name or website.

Yet more!?! Last year I took a leap in the self promo world and had pens and sticky notes printed. I was trying to think, what would people hang onto longer than a couple seconds that they could use. You always need a pen. The sticky notes were cute and functional. Being the purple freak that I am, I made sure the pen wrote in purple ink. Believe me I scoured the internet for the best prices. Unfortunately the prices change every year from vendor to vendor. still had the best price on a basic stick pen at .24¢ each. This year the best price for sticky notes was Quality Logo Products. Ask for Anthony, he's a hoot to deal with.

Custom 2 part order forms are great and look professional. They can have all your vital information and be referred to later by the customer. Plus the credit card receipt can be stapled to the written receipt. I use 2 sizes. A small size 4.25" x 5.5" for retail shows and an 8.5" x 11" for wholesale shows to write orders. I didn't want a pad that involved carbon paper. and both have many different sizes and formats to choose from. Of course price is always paramount.
There are thousands of promo items out there. You need to decide what fits with your business and your budget.

Recently I purchased fitted table coverings. And they come in purple (oooo, aahhh), which is what I ordered. I was getting tired of the individual pieces of fabric on the tables. The fitted cover will look more professional at shows and help at outdoor festivals with fabric blowing in the wind. Plus people were tripping on the fabric.

Presentation is everything!

Tell me what promo items you use or have used. Do it work well?
If you have a great resource, please share! I need a good resource for banners at a good price.
Our money needs to be stretched really far these days.


Brenda said...

Great ideas!

As far as banners are concerned, try
I personally have not ordered from them, but I know people who have. They were impressed by the cost, quality and turn around time.

Tari of said...

Thanks Brenda!
I did some searching (I love the internet!) and found
Full color graphic banner $24 for a 2x6!!
That is the best price I've found so far!

Anonymous said...

This post is a great kick in the backside! Self promotion is so much fun...and way more WORK than I ever imagined. Thanks for the tips and resources. Ditto on Vistaprint for cards. I've been using them for a few years now and love them.

Moo cards ( are awesome as well! They're smaller than regular cards, but they're super quality and design really makes them stand out! They make great tags as well.

Tari of said...

Thanks Joy! I looked at Moo cards a while back. I'll have to look at them again.
Thanks for stopping by!

glshowlin said...

I need new business cards and I think the idea of a vertical one is great.. Thanks! Over the years,I've had lots of fun with promo. I started out with pens and when that first box came it was such a rush, that my business had done well enough to have them to give away, what a feeling. Then on to buttons, notecards (postcards sound good) I'm due to do something again, hmm, there is alot out there to choose from now. Tari, I've just got to say ~ I just love your colourful stuff~especially the faces!

Mary Tafoya said...

Some people complain about VistaPrint but I've never had any problems with their service or quality -- and just yesterday I ordered from their FREE offers: business cards, return address labels, postcards, oversized postcards, a free notepad, sticky pad, pen, a stamp for my new Etsy shop (I have one for my old shop already) that I put on sales receipts, and I paid $1.99 for two refill pads. All in color printing. The total order came out to $22.00. You do pay for shipping. Hehe.

The trick is to sign up and wait a few days. They'll send you an offer for free stuff.

Thanks for a great post -- I really want to make some buttons! I appreciate getting not one but 2 sources for that!

Anonymous said...

You can get 50 free magnets here:

Tari of said...

Gaela-You're welcome. Vertical is better. With Vistaprint I did it both ways. I hadn't had a 4 color card till I started using them. That was one of the best decisions I had made with printing!
I'm glad you like my colorful art!

Mary-great deal at Vistaprint! Glad you like the resources!

Please stop back again!

Linda Augsburg said...

As a person who picks up a lot of cards at shows and then can't remember who's who, the photo cards are a great trigger for remembering someone's work.

Invoice said...

Thanks for sharing this information. Very informative.