In a previous post I suggested 10 reasons why you might have and use business cards for your crafting shop or business.
But what should you put on your business cards? How much information is too much? What can you leave off if you don’t have much room?
As in all things, ultimately it is always up to you. Different people (and different types of business) will have very different business cards. The following are some suggestions of things that are commonly included, with some reasons why you might wish to add them to yours (or not as the case may be).
This one is rather obvious. Make sure your brand name is nice and prominent. If you are an artist this is usually your own name.
Logo or other image
If you have a logo then it usually would be a must for a business card as you want to ensure the logo and your brand name are strongly linked. Some people like to have the logo taking up quite a bit of the card’s area, maybe half of a side. Others prefer a smaller specimen. If your logo is quite simple and bold then you could consider using it like a watermark and having it printed, in a washed-out form, behind (underneath) the text components.
If you do not have a logo then you may consider adding an image of your product or something relating to them. An artist’s business card is just crying out for … artwork! If you want to display a larger image then consider a two sided card, such as those produced by Moo, that allow you to put a picture on one side and your details on the other.
Most artists use their own name as their brand name anyway. So why might you want to add your personal name if you sell under a shop name or brand name?
* If you are trying to reinforce the hand-made aspect of your products, your name will help personalize your brand.
* If you have a few people working in your business then you may consider their having their individual names on their cards to make it easier to identify who it was who made the contact.
* If you are including a phone number then a potential customer may feel more comfortable knowing the name of the person who will be answering the phone.
Your website address
If you sell online then obviously you want to make sure that your new contact can find your shop! If you have an Etsy or similar shop then do consider getting a .com domain name if you can to point to it as it is much easier to remember something like tinteddy.com rather than an URL that includes Etsy – plus you are promoting only one brand.. your own!
What you actually do
Sometimes your brand name makes this obvious. Your new contact may not look at your card for a while, and if they can no longer remember who you are and what you do then your card is probably destined for the dustbin. A shop called “Wooly Hats 4 U” is probably fine, but most artists who sell under their name will include a line saying their medium or style:
Bob Smith – watercolour artist
Jenny Lewis – fantasy artist
Helen Timms – Custom portraits in oils
Claude Manare – modern textile designer
There is rarely room on a business card for much information about your products, but if you have room for a short description then it can be helpful:
“Hand knitted alpaca wool hats for all the family”
“Specializing in watercolor images of local scenes”
“Original jewelry by award-winning designer”
“Beautiful hair bows for beautiful young ladies”
Remember that a visitor to a craft fair or show, for example. may accumulate quite a few business cards at a time. You need to ensure that they will be able to identify what you were selling from that card. Or else a rival stall holder may well get the business that they actually would have preferred went to you.
Your email address
This is very handy, and essential if you do custom products. Ideally get an email specifically for your business, using your .com if you can. It looks more professional, and is easier to remember an address like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com rather than a generic free address like gmail or yahoo ones.
Although you may prefer to only sell online, there are people who may prefer an alternative way of contacting you.
* People who are not comfortable buying online (depending on your target market, this may be quite a large number)
* Blind people may well prefer a phone call to email
* People requiring custom items that will need quite a bit of discussion before creation
Having a phone number has other benefits too:
* Another means to contact you
* A phone number can help add to the overall impression that you are a “proper business”
* It may help reassure a potential customer that you are friendly, open and available (even if they never actually want to phone you)
If you are concerned about using your home telephone number for this purpose then you could consider using your mobile phone, a cheap pre-paid mobile phone just for this purpose or an internet based phone service such as Skype or Google’s phone service.
Social Network contacts
Many people add their Facebook, Twitter or similar name to their business cards. If you do a lot of selling via this medium then it may well pay off to include them. If your card is looking a bit too busy though, your email and shop web address should take preference and will provide means to contact you. It is probably rarely wise to list a lot of different social networking links unless your business is actually involved in this niche. Make sure that all your various social networking sites have links to each other where possible (most include areas specifically for this). Then no matter which one your customer uses to find you, they can still find and use another medium if they prefer.
Anything else to include on your business cards?
Some people include things specific to what they sell. A bead seller might include a ruler on one side of the card so customers can easily see which they require. Here are some more things that I have seen sellers include on the reverse of a basic business card to make it more useful and special.
Chart showing colours available
Details of upcoming shows that the seller will be attending
Quotes from positive customer reviews
List of magazines that the seller has been featured in
Montage of pictures of products
A mini project using the sellers supplies
Links to Youtube tutorials
Most business cards get thrown away and never referred to. To give yours the best chance of being kept by a potential customer, and used to contact you, requires making sure it contains all the information the contact needs, looks good and stands out from the crowd.