Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to make your own business cards

When I was at the craft show on Saturday, I asked a couple of the vendors if they were on Etsy.  One said no, that the whole Etsy thing overwhelms her.  I handed her my business card and said she should check it out.  She commented that even setting up a business card seems overwhelming to her.  I realized that there might be others like her out there, so I decided to try putting together a tutorial on how to set up your own business cards.

First I have to say that there are so many easy to use products available now that you can print almost anything yourself and save yourself a lot of money.  Probably the biggest name brand in printable products is Avery, and they do produce a good product.  I tend to gravitate towards their materials because they are readily available, not too expensive, and easy to use.  Plus, they have an awesome website with lots of templates to use.

For my business cards, I use an Avery business card product, number 8371.  The product number is important because you want to be sure that the template you use for your cards will work on the blank product you purchased.  There's nothing more frustrating than cards that won't line up correctly!

Avery Business Cards for Inkjet Printers 8371, White, Matte, Pack of (Google Affiliate Ad)


If you buy a "generic" check to see if it references an Avery product it is compatible with.  A lot of big box office suppliers sell their own store brand and these are good to use if they are compatible.


Here is what I did to make my own business cards:

1.  I purchased Avery blank business cards, number 8371.

2.  I went onto the Avery website to download a template that would work with these cards.

Go to http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/ to get started.  Once there, click on the "Find a Template" button. 




Next enter the product number of your printable product and click the search arrow.  In this case, the number was 8371

 This will take you to a page with lots of templates to choose from.  In this case, I chose the blank, wide format.

Next click the button to download the template to your computer and follow the instructions on the screen:

Once you get the template downloaded, go ahead and open it.  You'll see what looks like a table with 10 spaces per page:


This is where you'll design your card.  You can make it as simple or as ornate as you like.  You do want to make sure you have basic information on it.  Just design the card in one "cell" or rectangle of the table like this:

When you're satisfied with your layout and design, highlight the text to copy it, then paste it to the other cells, like below:


Be sure to SAVE your card layout--you don't want to have to do all of that work again!  Next print your cards.  I recommend printing a test sheet or two on plain paper before using your printable business card  stock

Have fun making your cards!



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Monday, October 29, 2012

Craft shows

Wow, its been a while since I posted!  I'll try to do better.

Sales on my Etsy shop have been pretty good, considering that its really new and I'm still learning a lot about promoting, etc.  I've decided to do a local craft show on December 1, because it seems like a good way to make some sales plus promote my shop.  As usual, I'm researching like crazy, because that's just the kind of nerd I am.

I have read several good blogs on craft shows and learned quite a bit, but decided I need to see this stuff in action, so I've scoped out local craft shows prior to mine to see how its done.  Now, I am not new to craft shows as a customer, but am as a vendor, so my focus in going to these is to observe other vendors and how they promote their goods rather than buy anything.  (I may buy something if it looks good, though!)

The first one I went to was this past Saturday in Kent, Washington.  It was pretty small, but had 3 or 4 jewelry vendors.

The first thing I noticed was the range in prices.  Some people had their items priced very low (under $10), while others were more mid-range ($25 - $35).  No one seemed to be selling much, although I did show up around 1:30 pm, so maybe sales were winding down.  I talked to one vendor for awhile about selling at craft shows, and she said that sales had not been that great.  She also encouraged me not to base my decision to pursue the craft show circuit on one event.  She said she had been selling her jewelry for 9 years and some were good, some not so good.  I figure if she's been doing it for 9 years, she must have more good days than bad.

The other thing I noticed was that the booths with some really unique, pricier stuff were not staffed by anyone when I went by the first time.  When I went back to the first one, the vendor was still not present.  At the second one, she did eventually show up, but then when I started asking questions, she answered a cell phone call and was clearly too busy to talk. 

So here is what I took away from my first craft show reconnaissance mission: 

1.  Keep prices reasonable.
2.  Know that some craft shows have better sales than others.
3.  Be present at the booth at all times.
4.  Don't talk on the cell phone when a potential customer is present.

More later....

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