Whether you’ve decided to join the business world by making and selling crafts full time or you’ve made a dozen too many of your favorite craft that you need to sell so you can make more, you’ll need a stock and trade business tool to help you. This standard form of public relations and advertising measures only 3 ½” x 2”, yet can go the extra mile in keeping you in touch with people who want to buy your designs. In the Victorian times, a calling card was given to a house servant to announce the arrival and name of a guest. In modern times, we are often handed a business card as a form of introduction. The basic idea is the same. We want to give someone contact information so they can reach us in the future. We need a craft calling card!
Elements of a Business Card
There are several key components of a business or contact card. You need to supply your name and a way for the individual to contact you. While planning and designing your card keep in mind the following information that might help your buyer find you. You can pick and choose from these components, but remember never to assume your buyer will know your zip code or area code.
- Business Name (if applicable)
- Address or PO Box
- City, State and Zip Code
- Phone Number with Area Code
- Fax Number with Area Code (if applicable)
- E-mail and Web Site (if applicable)
- An illustration, graphic or key word that will help your customer remember you and your work.
Design of a Business Card
So many decisions go into creating the perfect calling card for yourself. Take the design of your card seriously. Your card will represent you in your absence. Think of this card as any other item you craft. Give it your best workmanship!
- You can create a ‘one of a kind’ card from scratch or you can choose to have a print shop print up your cards. Get several quotes from different print shops before selecting one to do your cards. Get design help from the print shop.
- You can use a computer to design a ‘one of a kind’ type of business card. Check out software available at an office supply retailer. Often you can also find sheets of business card paper to run through your computer in the computer address label area of the same type of store. Print out the basic information on your card but then get crafty. Rubberstamp some images on the card. Sew a zigzag stitch across the card. Stencil a design on the card. Or embellish with your craft style.
- You can find blank business card size cards at most stationary or print shops. Many crafters use address labels to fill in the contact information, then decorate or embellish like previously mentioned with the techniques of sewing, stenciling or rubberstamping. One of the coolest business cards I’ve ever seen was from a person who sold tatting. She used a rubberstamped flower stem and leaf image on the blank card, and then added a circle of tatting as the flower!
- Spend some time looking at the different papers, fonts, inks and clipart. Pick each with consideration to your craft. If you make porcelain dolls, you might like to have cards on delicate looking vellum. If you are going to sell children’s toys you might want your ink to be a bright primary color. If you sew you might want to select clipart of a pair of scissors, a pincushion or a needle and thread spool.
- Find or look at other business cards. Most printers will display past work in their shops. Be inspired by other cards; but never copy any card preciously. Take notes on what design features catch your eye.
- A business card can be done in a landscape design with means the width of card is more than the height of the card. A portrait design is the opposite. Most business cards are done using the landscape formula, but that doesn’t make it a must. Sketch out both layouts and decide for yourself.
Uses For Your Creative Calling Card
A business card is the best form of advertising you can invest in. Drop a few cards into every buyer’s bag! Hand a business card to each browser at an arts and crafts show. If you display your work in a craft mall or retail shop, leave a stack of business cards near your displayed work. Not everyone who takes your card will buy from you, but the cost of the cards is well worth the future customers who will contact you!
Many retailers have an area where business cards can be displayed. Take advantage of this free customer promotion. If your local retailer doesn’t have such an area, why not ask if a bulletin board could be posted for customers to interact. Church and school bulletins/newsletters often ask for advertisers to help offset the cost of the newsletter. A business card is the perfect item to reproduce for such an ad.
A business card can be designed so that when the card is folded in half it can be used as a price tag or even a gift tag. Place the graphic with you name from center to the far right. Place your contact information from the far left to center of front. (You’ll actually be printing the card from the back. Ask your printer for help in the layout.) Leave some blank open space at center and fold. You can also have your printer pre-fold the cards for a small fee.
A fellow crafter shared this great idea with me. “One year I used my business card as a tool to promote sales. I told each customer that each time they made a purchase from me I would punch their business card. Four punches would get them a 15% discount on their fifth purchase from me. I used four different decorative paper punches (small punches of a heart, star, diamond and teardrop) and punched each corner. My customers appreciated that I was rewarding them for continued sales and I had a good record of who my loyal customers were.”
Always keep several business cards in your wallet or purse. You never know when you might need one. A friend of mine creates wonderful brooches. She wears them all the time. People consistently ask her were she got the brooch she’s wearing. She proudly says, “I made it myself.” And hands the person a business card. Over the years she’s handed out her card on airplanes, grocery stores, the post office, and even while standing in line to vote! Don’t be shy about your talents. Keep your cards handy to hand out.
Calling cards can change over time. You may want to spiff it up every few years. Keep at least one of your first business cards tucked away in a safe place. One day you may be able to fondly look back on your beginnings with great pleasure. It’s important that you give your customers and your potential customers an easy, handy reference to contact you in the future. The business card fits that bill! Much success to you!