How and Why Cards Can Work for You

As fan of craft/handmade fairs and markets, I visit them whenever I can. I love seeing a variety of wonderful and lovingly made hand made products, and like picking up business cards or postcards of sellers whose work I’m drawn to. The postcards are great for sending to friends and they give me the seller’s contact details so I can contact them about selling at Brighton Craftaganza if they are from the area.

But of course, business cards and postcards work in the favour of the sellers in many more ways than these. If picked up, they can remind a potential customer of their work at some point in the future when they may have some spare cash or when they have a specific present to buy. Even dropping the business cards or postcards in to any correspondance could mean sales in the future, if they advertise an online shop or Etsy/Folksy link.

I would also argue that stalls at craft markets/fairs that have business cards and/or postcards to pick up can be more appealing than those without. They show that the seller is passionate and committed enough about their work to take that extra step of getting cards printed; it shows they love what they do and that customers are important to them. I can also imply that they make and sell their work regularly, because a more established seller can provide a potential customer with more reassurance than a one-off maker/seller.  

Of course, the business card/postcard needs to provide details so people can contact a you with an eye to making a purchase. Ideally a seller will have an online shop of some description, but if you haven’t got that far, a facebook page or blog can be a relatively easy and free way for potential customer to A) see more examples of your work, B) show your work to their friends, and C) get in contact with you. But even if your card just has a photo of your work, your name, phone number and email address, it’ll show customer that you are serious about what you make and sell.

Plus, don’t overlook the notion of reciprocity. Reciprocity means giving something to someone (be that a physical object, or something more abstract like a smile or the time to chat) which triggers in them the need to give something back to you. It’s something that we spent time discussing during the ‘Sales for People who Hate Selling’ symposium we hosted last year. We talked about it then in different forms, for example, how a seller asking a visitor to a craft market a question (for example, how they are or asking for their opinion on something) and paying close attention to what the visitor says, makes that visitor feel special and will subconciously feel happy to allow the seller to speak in return (at which point the seller will then take the opportunity to tell the visitor about why their products are so fantastic!).

But reciprocity can work really well in the craft market situation in a physical way with things sweets and postcards. By engaging a customer with a smile, a ‘Hello, would you like a free postcard?’ and physically handing it to them, you are creating a situation in which the visitor will feel like they want to give something back to you. If you’re lucky, that might be a sale, but at the very least they’ll probably hover at your stall for a fews beats longer than they might’ve otherwise, which might allow them to see something which catches their eye, or give you the opportunity to show they your work and tell them about it. This may sound like some ‘dark arts’, but they are proven to work! And even if it doesn’t work by directly resulting in a sale that day, they may then refer back to that postcard when they get home (as discussed above) or more generally create a more pleasant atmosphere at the market around your stall which means you’ll have a great day!

So if you didn’t previously have business cards or postcards to give out when selling, I guess you’re now convinced they make sense?! Where do you get some? Here are some popular options:

www.uk.moo.com is a very popular option among designer-makers. They offer attractive formats for creating custom business cards, mini-cards and postcards with very little effort. Another real plus is that you can upload just one single image (of your work or your logo, for example) or lots of images  so your cards can be all the same or you can have a variety.

For greater value, you could try www.vistaprint.co.uk. This company often offer special deal and promotions including 250 free business cards. But be warned, if you choose to order from them or contact them, you can expect lots of advertising emails!!!

I have also seen some designer-makers use www.abacusprinting.com.     

If you have any more tips or links to help other sellers with this form of advertising and promoting, please leave a comment!

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