When you’re given a business card at a craft fair, what do you do with it?
I appreciate a well-designed business card and know how much thought, time and money small businesses put into them so I would feel guilty if I just tossed them out. I actually have a really cute box in my office that holds all the cards I’ve been given by handmade businesses over the years.
But. I am not the norm.
Over 80% of people toss the business cards they’ve been handed.
And if that business card was found in a swag bag, it’s even more likely to end up in the trash.
*I don’t suggest contributing business cards to craft show swag bags, it tends to be a waste of money. Check out these 10 tips to contribute an item that is profitable and more likely to give you a return on investment (i.e. bring more people to your table who buy so your sales help cover costs of the items you put in the swag bags) WHAT TO CONTRIBUTE TO SWAG BAGS.
Even with the respect and safekeeping I give business cards, guess how often I look in that box? Almost never.
Business cards do still have a purpose. And you can get more people to hang onto them if they’re used as a piece of marketing material and not just to communicate contact information.
Most people put their business name, email address, website address, and maybe social media accounts on their cards. A little boring and is likely information that can be found through a quick Google search (if they know the name of your business…here’s how to get craft show shoppers to remember your business).
Find out how to make that card a little more purposeful here: WHAT TO PUT ON A CRAFT BUSINESS CARD
The tips there will also help keep your business card out of the trash.
But let’s look at business cards from a different perspective…
We’re connected to technology and so we no longer reach for the Yellow Pages when we need a business’ phone number; we go online.
You have a website, social media pages, and perhaps an Etsy shop. These will all help increase your visibility online when someone types your business name into Google’s search bar.
But the purpose of handing out business cards is to stay at the top of our (potential) customers’ minds and keep our contact info at their fingertips. They’re to be picked up and put into our pockets, wallets or purses.
So how can you fill that purpose in a way that fits in today’s digital age?…..
Get your business card on people’s phones.
We’re always connected to our phones. They’re in our pockets or within reach and are the first thing we grab when we need information but are not next to our computers. So getting your business’ information onto people’s phones rather than handing out a card is a great way to help them remember you and to save costs.
How can you get your business info onto peoples’ phones?
Instead of handing out business cards at your next craft fair, get shoppers to snap a picture of a sign that’s an enlarged business card.
You could set it in a frame (glass removed to reduce reflection) or mount it on some foam-core and hang or prop it somewhere in your space. You can also use foam-core to add a note on a cutout that prompts people to use their phones and snap a picture instead of taking a card to reduce waste, costs and keep your information handy.
I suggest setting this business card display at the end of your table (zone 3). That way, people snapping pictures of your business card aren’t standing in the way of shoppers who may actually buy that day. Your table should have 3 zones, each with a significant purpose. Find out what those 3 zones are and the purpose they serve here: CRAFT SHOW TABLE LAYOUT TIPS.
I’m constantly looking in my phone’s photo albums…..mostly to check out photos of my cat, but the point is, I’m way more likely to come across your business if it’s on my phone rather than in a box in my office.
If you want people to think of you next time they’re in the market for the products you make, your business needs to be top of mind. And the way to stay top of mind is to stay in view.
This is the reason companies pay a lot of money for advertising. Brands don’t expect you to jump off the couch to run out and buy their product after seeing their commercial. But they know if you see their products and hear their name enough, they’ll be first in your mind when you are shopping.
Think about one of the least interesting things to shop for: insurance. If you had to look for a new insurance provider, who would you think of? I don’t have a clue what’s out there aside from GEICO and State Farm. They instantly come to mind due to the sheer number of times I’ve heard their slogans and jingles, seen their mascots, and laughed at their commercials. They’ve stayed in sight.
Your business needs to be seen after the craft fair and what better way than to get onto shoppers’ phones?
I would suggest keeping a few business cards to hand out to those who don’t have a camera on their phone or to include with your purchases. Remember, check out these tips for your physical cards so people are more likely to hang onto them.
The business card sign will be a fun way for your shoppers to interact with your brand, attract some attention, save some money, and stay in view.
Check out another version of this idea that simply uses a regular business card and adds a note next to it.
What’s even better than getting your business card on their phone?
Collecting their email addresses and permission to send them newsletters.
Did you know that “checking email” is one of the top 2 reasons people go online? (source)
Starting a newsletter (it’s easier than you think and will take you 10 minutes to set up today….here’s how) and sending subscribers great content on a regular basis (here are 5 ideas for what to send your subscribers to make a sale) is even more effective than getting shoppers to save your business card.
Not only is your business more likely to be seen when it shows up in a potential customer’s email box, it also puts you in the driver’s seat.
If a craft show shopper snaps a pic of your business card, you must then wait for them to make the second contact with your business; to look at that photo and type your website address into a web browser or contact you.
If you get their email address, you can pop into their email’s inbox whenever you like (*within reason…I explain the rules and etiquette of sending a newsletter in HOW TO START, SEND & GROW A SUCCESSFUL NEWSLETTER). And they’re more likely to see that message than if you post it to Facebook or Instagram.
Social media platforms have complicated algorithms that determine which posts will show up in people’s feeds and when. Which can make it difficult to reach the audience you’ve worked so hard to build.
Shift that hard work to building your email list. Email doesn’t have a complicated algorithm. If you send a message to someone, it gets delivered. It can, of course, end up in the spam folder if you’re not careful, but there are ways to avoid that, which I share in HOW TO START, SEND & GROW A SUCCESSFUL NEWSLETTER.
“The rule of seven” states that it takes consumers seven interactions with a business before they’re ready to buy. I’m sure it’s not exactly seven interactions before every sale; it may be more or less for you. Many people do buy on the first interaction (e.g. they discover your business at a craft show and buy an item).
However, one thing is for certain:
Consumers like to do their research and think things over before spending a chunk of cash.
If your handmade business sells high-quantities of $5 items, you may not need to worry about those seven interactions. Most people don’t hesitate to spend $5 on an item they love.
But most businesses have a range of products at varying price points, and they want to sell higher ticket items. In this scenario, most craft show shoppers will buy a lower ticket item from a business they’re unfamiliar with, and then keep an eye on that business and think about purchasing a higher-priced item if they’re happy with their first purchase.
In this case, more than one interaction is required and email is the best way to ensure you create those multiple interactions.
Your emails act as reminders. Without those reminders, they may or may not think about your business or visit your website.
Make sure you start your newsletter and start collecting email addresses at your next craft show. There’s even a free newsletter signup form here you can print.
*Please be sure you understand the rules and laws around email marketing. You cannot simply start sending people your newsletter just because they’ve contacted you and you have their email address. There are laws you must follow in terms of how you collect email addresses and obtain consent. A topic also covered in HOW TO START, SEND & GROW A SUCCESSFUL NEWSLETTER.
And if shoppers don’t take a card, snap a pic, or sign up for your newsletter?
Hopefully, you’ve created a business, products, and a display that shoppers remember. You’ve gotta make sure you’re not just another jewelry, soap or scarf vendor. You’ve gotta become THE jewelry, soap or scarf vendor selling…..whatever it is it that makes your business unique.
Being handmade, made by you, or “your designs” isn’t enough to make a business unique these days. There are millions of handmade products for consumers to choose from. You need a strong unique selling position (USP). These are 3 COMMON MISTAKES HANDMADE BUSINESSES MAKE WITH THEIR USP.
From defining your brand, USP, and message, to grabbing attention and increasing sales, you’ll find it all in this FREE challenge.
Think of it this way; if a shopper didn’t grab your card but ended up contacting the event organizer to find out your company name, could they describe your products and brand in just a few words? For example:
>>A jewelry vendor with the white and teal booth selling only turquoise pieces.
>>The soap vendor with a booth that looked like a candy factory and sells candy-scented soaps.
>>The scarf vendor who uses cruelty-free wool.
If you immediately remembered GEICO’s commercials when I mentioned their name earlier, it’s because you made a connection with their brand. You may not have a strong connection with auto insurance….most people don’t….that’s why they’ve created a connection with people another way: through humor.
You need to uncover your brand and message, and figure out how you’re going to make a connection with people. That’s how you’ll truly get them to remember your business. I’ll help you do that in this FREE email challenge.
And don’t forget to follow the rules. No matter how small your handmade business is, there are laws you must follow. Check out: LAWS FOR SELLING HANDMADE
My FREE 5 day challenge will walk you through building a display that shoppers notice as soon as they walk in the venue and will be sure to remember long after they leave. Sign up for the FREE challenge below: