I featured these tips on my Facebook page a few months ago and it proved to be very popular, I got a ton of feedback and lots of 'thank you's' for anyone that missed it the first time round or isn't a follower of my Facebook page, I'm sharing it again today, I hope you find this helpful!
Here are some tips for those of you who like to sell your creations, I get asked about this a LOT so I hope you find them helpful!
1. Take a close look at your work and be honest with yourself, is it of sellable quality? Just because your mum, husband or dog like it doesn't mean it is, they are biased remember! Compare your work to others, not to copy or for style, everyone is different, but for quality - would your cards sit proudly next to those you see in shops and magazines or would you feel they don't measure up. This doesn't mean you can't ever sell your cards, just that you aren't ready yet - make a note of what you need to improve on!
2. Check your work for quality and finish, are your edges straight and neat? is there any visible adhesive? Are your edges ragged? Do you have smudges? Would it survive the post? Is your card blank of good quality to stand up on a shelf? Ensure your work is of retail quality.
3. Package them well, think about how cards are packaged in card shops, pick good quality (doesn't mean expensive!) bags, add a sticker or small stamp to the back with your details (think repeat sales!) if your card has an insert print the wording on a piece of blank paper and include that in the back of the bag facing out so people know what they are buying.
4. Think about your avenues to sell them, pick around a dozen of your best cards, take them to local gift shops, boutiques and independent florists and ask to show them to the manager - pick a quiet time of day to do this, they won't have time to speak to you on a Saturday afternoon!
5. Let your friends and family know you want to sell your cards, often they would love to buy from you but don't want to ask in case they are being a burden, also they might know someone else who would love to - spread the word!
6. Think about all the day to day opportunities for selling your cards, can you take them to work? your child's school? a social group or club you go to? You could even organise a card party, set your cards out on a table, ask your friends to bring a friend and lay on a few drinks and snacks, and of course your business cards (you can get free ones from Vistaprint!) a great way to network!
7. Think about repeat business. If someone asks you to make their mum / sister / cousin a birthday card, make a note of the date, the following year you can give them a reminder a week or two before and hopefully secure another order. If you offer this 'reminder' service to busy people they may buy all their cards from you to ensure they never miss an event!
8. VALUE your work. Handmade cards are not the cheap option, a lot of time, love and thought goes into your work, anyone can walk into a card shop and pick one up off the shelf - if you don't value your work noone else will. When you talk about your work focus on the handmade, personalised and special effort that goes into your cards - they are a luxury item and should be valued as such!
9. Set up a website or a blog, this won't be of any help if you don't publicise it however! Direct people to your website or blog, show your work on there to the best advantage (you can have the best card in the world but if your pictures are dark and blurry noone will know!) use this as your online portfolio, add the address to your stamp, business cards, facebook page and anything else you can think of! Used properly this will be a great tool - you don't need to spend a lot of money (blogs are free to set up!), have web building experience or sell your cards online, as long as it looks bright and not cluttered, shows your cards off well and has a clear way to contact you. If you have testimonials from satisfied customers use these on your website!
10. Ask people what they want, if you can personalise something to people's needs they will love it, adding someones name, nickname age or favourite colour to a card can win people over! It also means if they know someone with an unusual hobby or interest you will be the first person they think of!
I hope these tips have been helpful. If you have any questions please ask and I will do my very best to answer them! Look out for my next 'tips' facebook note and blog post soon, if there are any topics you'd like me to feature just let me know and I'll do my best! :o)