I love business cards…and so should you.

Some of the different business cards I use for fat dog beads

Some of the different business cards I use for fat dog beads

Like a lot of you out there, I wear more than one hat these days. First, I am a freelance copywriter – with my own itty bitty ad agency. And second, I make and sell my own jewelry. In both cases, I’ve found business cards to be an invaluable marketing tool.
You can do so much with them. And I probably have only just tapped the surface of possibilities. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are two sides to every card – you need to use both of them (in most cases).
Here’s some examples of what I do with my business cards:

For bh creative (copywriting/ad agency)
I spent a little bit more money and printed them with Moo.com. Why? Because they are much higher quality than your standard cards (i.e. free or cheap ones). You can order them with rounded corners and either a matte or glossy finish. But the key to the Moo cards, is that you can have up to 50 different images on 100 cards (for a cost of about $20 plus shipping).

What I did with my Moo cards: I took 7 or 8 client testimonials – and put a different one, reversed out of a different color, on the front of the card (with my mandatory contact info on the back).  I could just have easily put different samples of my work on the front. And voila – you have a mini-portable portfolio.

Some of the moo.com cards I use for bh creative

Some of the moo.com cards I use for bh creative

When I am networking, I make a spray of my cards – each a different bold color with a testimonial on the back- and invite people to pick their favorite color.

You could also imprint different cards with your business philosophy…parts of your resume (if you’re looking for a job), or more. Consider these business cards your 30-second elevator speech.

For fat dog beads (jewelry company)

I have a lot of different (mostly very, very low cost) business cards for fat dog beads. First, I do have a set of moo cards – each with a different beautiful photo of different pieces of my jewelry. These really catch the eye at craft shows. I also have a collection of “mini Moo” cards which measure about 1″ x 2 7/8″ – but can also be customized with different photos on each card. These cards I may toss in with a package I am sending…or used at craft shows as well.

But it’s the no or low cost cards that I really go to town with.

One, is a “thank you” card with a code on it for Free Shipping for their next fat dog beads order. (These go to my etsy.com customers). Another is printed in a way that I can fold it in half, punch two holes in it and hang earrings from it on one of my displays.

Yet another is very brightly colored and has room for me to also punch holes in it and use it hold a pair of earrings I am mailing out.

I have a “free” card (which has a small line or two advertising the company I got it from) which I offer a 20% discount code on. These I typically hand out when I somewhere where someone admires the jewelry I’m wearing. Of course, all these cards have my contact info and links to my website, online selling venues (etsy and art fire) and my facebook page.

I’m sure there are some more great ideas out there for using business cards.  Feel free to post here!

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New Year New Attitude: The Bad Blogger Chronicles

Let’s face it. (Okay, let ME face it.) I am not a good blogger. I even have more excuses not to blog than to exercise. (Oh – like you don’t have a few of them yourself!)…so I decided to turn over a new leaf for the new year and call it like I see it. I am the poster child for bad bloggers.

basset hound puppy with bandaged paw

Good Reason For Not Blogging...

This is especially true when you consider that I am a freelance copywriter…I WRITE FOR A LIVING! But I guess it’s like the restaurant chef who eats junk food at home. You know what you SHOULD do. You know you CAN do it. You just don’t.

Being a more consistent blogger is on my To Do list this year. Here are some others, that any  one who works with crafts/jewelry  should take note of. (My etsy buddies – I’m talking to YOU!)

After the holidays, the sloooooow selling season begins. Here’s what I plan to do with all the time I won’t be selling my jewelry on etsy or artfire.

I bought a loose-leaf binder. 

Cataloguing My Supply Purchases

Sample Page From My New Bin

Why? Because I am determined to keep better track of what i spend on supplies to more accurately price my jewelry. At any given time, I may have 2,000 – 3,000 beads. And while I have a good idea of which ones I spent the most on, I don’t know them all. This year, I started documenting my beads.On a blank piece of paper,  I photograph the beads, the receipt and the business card of the shop I bought them from. (Which also helps when I want to order more of a certain kind of bead.)

• I am working on increasing my supply of FREE GIFTS that go along with purchases to repeat buyers or those who spend a certain amount.

I have one large plastic container of what I call “cheap beads.” Now, they are not all inexpensive beads. But for one reason or another, I don’t like to use them much. I know I could separate them out and sell them as “detash” on etsy (great actually for BNR or BNS’s)…but also use them to make simple pendants…or cell phone charms…or the like. They make pretty decent giveaway gifts.

I am determined to print out all the email/blog/internet tips, articles, tutorials etc that I have been amassing on my laptop.

If I print it out, chances are it will get read (one of these days….) I have also stopped ordering new books/magazine until I’ve had a chance to read the many (many!) I have sitting on a shelve in my office. One thing I have started doing is having sticky post-it tabs with me when I do read a magazine/book. That way I can bookmark anything I want to try/read again.

I bought a blank notebook.  

New Geometric Earrings - Work In Progress

Work In Progress - New Geometric Earrings

I started sketching some jewelry ideas. I will also attach any cool things that may inspire my jewelry designs – color combinations, other jewelry, architectural details, etc. I’ve even started marking measurements down of new geometric earrings I’m playing around with. It’s one thing to make something once. They key is to be able to make it again.

Anyway….that’s it for the BBC (Bad Blogger Chronicles) this time. Who knows when my next blog will appear?????

Can Someone Show Me Where The “Do Over” Button Is On My Laptop?

Today’s tale of woe starts and ends with me. I did something stupid. Really, really stupid.

I accidentally forwarded an email to someone that had some snarky comments in it from another person. (Yes – directed towards the person I sent it to.). Big, big, bigger-than-big mistake. The person who made the comments didn’t really mean them. He was just letting off steam, and the other person became his target.

Aqua Sapphire Blue and Silver Crystal Beaded Pendant Necklace

Sapphire Blue Sterling Silver Pendant Necklace

And so, anger and hurt feelings abound. My friend wrote a lengthy, heart-felt apology. I called and left an apology. And I sent an apology as well.

Don’t know what else to do. Either the person has to forgive us, or not. Sure hope he does, though.

Wouldn’t life be great if we could have a “do over” button? (Maybe like that EASY button from the Staples commercials?) So when you ate 10 pieces of chocolate candy when you really only meant to have an apple, you could just push the button – and “poof!” calories and guilt disappear. Or when you accidentally wash a wool sweater (am I the only one who’s done this????) and it shrinks – just push that good ol’ button and ta-duh! Good-as-new sweater.

Turquoise Blue Lampwork Bead Swarovski Crystal Lariat Silver Necklace

Turquoise Blue Lampwork Bead Swarovski Crystal Lariat Silver Necklace

Think how sweet it would be? What would you do over if you had the chance?

Oh….the possibilities!!

Match Your Socks To Your Pants, Not Your Shoes

Words of wisdom from unlikely sources, Vol.II.

Went clothes shopping with my husband the other day – which was a cause for celebration in unto itself. In all the years we’ve been married, I’d say I shopped solo for about 99.9% of the clothes he wears. But he needed a new sport jacket, so I convinced him to shop with me.

Purple Lampwork OOAK Pendant with Sterling Silver Star

(Shopping in Mark’s language means you go into one store, try on maybe 3 jackets and buy one.) But for some reason, he actually allowed the salesman to bring over “accompaniments” that would go well with the jacket. He ended up buying pants, shirts, ties, a belt and even some socks. I was very proud of him.

But, as a card-carrying digressor, I must get back to the point of the story. While I was waiting for Mark to get his jacket marked up by the tailor (note to self: why don’t they have tailors in women’s stores?????), I was admiring the socks the salesman had brought over. But I was puzzled by the color choice. According to him, you are supposed to match the sock color to the color of your pants. Because the ankle/foot is part of the leg.

Now, I don’t claim to be a fashionista, but I always thought most men matched their sock color to their shoe color. Simply put, my fashion world was rocked.

I paused to consider what other misconceptions I’ve been carrying around with me, and how could I use this news to improve the jewelry I make? (Everything eventually comes back to the jewelry.)

And here’s what I decided: just because something has been done a certain way, doesn’t make it the only way to do it…or even the best way to do it.

Zebra Striped Lampwork Bead Sterling Silver Bracelet

Black & White Zebra Striped Bracelet With Stunning Blue Crystal Beads

Take wire wraps. Most experts think that a cabochon should be wrapped in precisely measured, cut and wrapped wire bundles. Certain wires are pulled at certain points to “lock in” the cab. It’s a very time-consuming, everything-needs-to-be-done-just-so type of process. And, certainly, while this can look very nice, it’s also very formal and fussy looking for my tastes. So I am experimenting with my own types of wire wraps. (hint: use the cheapest wire possible when you are experimenting. A lot ends of going in the trash.)

Bottom line? Don’t be afraid to change things up a bit. Break out of your comfort zone. Not everything you do will be a winner…but you just may end up with something really unique and very cool.

As for me, I may not wear any socks with my shoes.

 

The Write Stuff…what happens when a copywriter becomes an Etsy seller

I lead a double life. I am a copywriter…running my own little ad agency out of my house for the past year since I was laid off from my job as a creative director.

But for the past few months, I’ve also starting making, and selling, bracelets on Etsy. Getting started on Etsy takes a bit time  – much of it reading through the wealth of information available to help sellers start their shop and make it a success.

A lot of info deals with how to get great photos on your site. But not so much is available on how to write your descriptions.

As someone who gets paid to write, I thought I’d share some of my top tips:

#1 Share your passion.

You create beautiful things and sell it on Etsy because you love what you do and want to share it with others. What gets you excited? The colors you used? The fabric? The pattern? Did you have something special in mind when you created your jewelry/greeting cards/painting/whatever? If you want people to get excited about what you’re selling, share YOUR excitement with them.

(Example: “I found this amazingly beautiful fabric at a little shop in the country. I just couldn’t wait to use it…and worked all weekend…”)

#2 Tell People What Makes Your Stuff Different, and Better Than The Rest

Why should they buy your jewelry/greeting cards/painting/whatever instead of someone else’s? You know that your stuff is unique – tell people what it is that makes it special.

(Example: “I’ve never seen anything quite as blue as the Caribbean Sea in early morning. It’s a color that I absolutely love. The beads in this bracelet have captured that ever-changing blue-green color….”)

#3 Paint A Picture To Show Your Buyers How Your Item Fits Into Their Life

Don’t just describe the item. Describe how that item can/will/should be used. Make it easy for your buyer to decide they want/need/can’t live without it. Suggest alternate uses for your items.

(Example: “This crystal beaded bracelet is perfect for formal occasions. But looks just as great with a boyfriend shirt, jeans and boots. And what a terrific gift for your son or daughter’s teacher at holiday time!”)

#4 Use Creative Descriptive Terms To Make Your Item Come To Life

While great photography goes a long way to showing someone what your item looks like, nothing replaces being able to touch, smell, and/or taste your item. But you can give your buyers a real sense of what your item is like by describing it in sensual terms. (As in hear/see/taste/touch). Your words will help them “see” how special your item is.

(Example: “How blue is the sea or the sky? A million shades of blue….some of which have been captured in this pastel perfect one of a kind bracelet in shades of blue from lavender and periwinkle to turquoise and more.” OR: “Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the beach on a hot summer day. A warm breeze brings the scent of salt water…suntan lotion…sun-kissed skin. These candles have captured that summer scent….”)

Is it necessary to write lengthy copy? No, not at all. Sometimes all it takes is a few choice adjectives to make your point. You go to a great deal of trouble to make your items unique. The copy you sell them with needs to be just as unique.