Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best of the ABS - Can We Talk?

Tari wrote this wonderful article on promotional items for your business. Maybe a few of these suggestions will end up on your list of goals for 2009. First posted on April 3rd.

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.


cindy said...

Since I'm fairly new to this, I don't use too many items. Business cards, custom earring cards, and soon to have custom necklace tags. I loved the article. You might want to check out this site, if you haven't already,
She has lots of great tips!

VAharoni said...

I was just thinking about buttons!
I have my own 'calling cards' 1/2 sized business cards I have printed onto polymer clay!
Polymer and SeedBeads!
Handmade Wonders & MORE

Tari of said...

Thanks Cindy and Valerie!

Donna said...

I use VistaPrint almost exclusively. If you hold out on their e-mails, about twice a year they have 500 business cards for free plus shipping. I use these for earring cards and jewelry tags. You have to live with their logo printed lightly on the back. If you want the back white, then you'll have to pay for them.

Ben said...

Premier Paper also specialize in carbonless paper. Worth checking out.