You’re working your booth at the craft show or holding down the fort at your brick and mortar shop. Lots of people are coming through looking at your products, but of course not everyone is buying. But this doesn’t mean they don’t love what you do. For whatever reason, they may just not be ready to buy.

I’ll admit it: I am often that person. I love window shopping and I usually don’t buy something until I’ve thought about it for 18 months. But when I’m at a craft show or boutique, drooling over the pretty things (hopefully metaphorically ????) I am primed to form a connection with the businesses. I just need to remember them. So I pick up their business card.

How to Make the Most of Your Business Cards – Plus Creative Alternatives! / Elise Epp Design

Make Your Business Cards Work

Set a goal.

I would hazard a guess that not a lot of you take out your business card collection with any great regularity. If you want to turn a drooler like me into a customer, use your business card as part of a sales funnel that leads potential customers to the next step. Ask yourself: what is the best way for customers to develop a relationship with your business (aka where do you post most often)? Instagram? Facebook? Your email list? Then tell your customers to go there – and make it obvious that they should.

Incentivize action.

Give your customers a good reason to remember you, like offering a discount code if they sign up for your email list. Or hold a contest on Instagram for people who share photos of your items/booth/shop with your hashtag. Be creative!

Give your pitch.

Instead of just listing your information, use your business card to give a very short elevator pitch. In a sentence, say what makes your business THE business to remember. (No need to be stiff – use your brand voice and personality!) That’s especially helpful if people have a stack of cards at the end of the day and can’t quite remember which cards belong to which products they saw.

Alternatives to Business Cards

“Ugh I’m soooo tired of business cards! That’s way too buttoned up for my creative business!”

I get it. But I’m going to warn you: the internet is full of super creative business card ideas that you shouldn’t use. They are often expensive to make (like the cheese grater) and seriously, is anyone going to grate cheese with that? No. The receiver will just be confused about how to store it or dispose of it responsibly.

Instead, I here are 5 simple ideas that give you a little extra creative room.

Postcards

The extra space gives you more of an opportunity to show off your work, and it’s still small enough to stuff into your purse but not so small it gets lost. If you’re selling your wares at a craft show, consider doing a special run of postcards with a photo from your latest collection on the front and a short blurb about your brand on the back (plus your contact info, of course).

Coasters

Make a beautiful coaster and it will sit on someone’s desk for ages. This is, of course, best if it is relevant to your business – maybe you are a potter and you make mugs!

Small Envelopes

A business card-sized envelope with your information stamped on the outside and something cool on the inside! The envelope lets you customize it for a given season or event. You could include coupon codes, folded up photos from your latest photo shoot (say 5x7s on glossy magazine paper?), or whatever your imagination can dream up!

Folded Cards

Folded cards give you extra room like a postcard but they can still fit in your wallet. Show your style on the outside and tell your story on the inside! (Or, of course, arrange it however you like.)

Mimic Your Hang Tags

Do you have hang tags that you loooove? Then there’s no need to start from scratch with your business cards. Swap your contact info in for sizing info and you’re good to go! Plus, if your hang tags are non-rectangular, the untraditional shape will add a special touch.

Are Business Cards Dead?

Some people say that with the kinds of technology around now, there’s no need for business cards. And you know what? They have a point. After all, instead of taking your business card, customers could snap a photo of your shop sign or add you on Instagram on the spot.

But sometimes technology doesn’t work or you’re out of data or you’re in a rush or there’s a throng of people in front of everything. You want to make it easy for your customers to connect with you – and sometimes a little piece of paper is exactly the tool you need.

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