There are customers all around you for your greeting card company. You can market your cards and services to consumers, professionals or business owners. Here are just a few ways to find customers to boost your sales:
Attend Trade Shows
There are many trade shows to attend every year, which are geared toward putting the owners of greeting card companies, distributors and sales representatives in the same room. Some of these include the National Stationery Show and the Dallas Total Home and Gift Market. This is a great way to find your "anchor" customers: retailers. Your anchor customers are ones that can afford to provide you with a steady income, because of their size or revenue. You'll want to have one or two of these while you find smaller business or other customers to supplement your income.
Check the Ads in Trade Publications
If you're unable to attend a trade show due to the expense or distance, or in addition to attending trade shows, check "wanted" and other ads in trade publications. Companies who are looking for freelancers will post an ad. Some distributors will post ads with information about their submission guidelines. A few of the trade publications you may want to purchase are GREETINGS etc., Stationery Trends Magazine, and Party and Paper Retailer. Keep your receipts, because purchasing these publications counts as a business expense.
Join Local Business Associations
Many small business owners may want to do business with your greeting card company. They want to keep their business in the minds of prospective customers and clients, and cards are a friendly and effective way to do that. These businesses don't want a generic card found in stores, but specialized cards, written with their needs in mind. That's where you come in. However, you can't isolate yourself at home and expect to find customers who are small business owners. One way to get to know them is to join trade associations that serve the business community, such as your local Chamber of Commerce or other business networking group.
Once you join, you'll want to establish your presence in the group, so that they remember you when they need your products. The best way to do that is to become active in the group, by volunteering, speaking or participating in events.
Major bidding websites often list jobs from employers looking to hire freelancers to write for their greeting card companies. Some websites like www.elance.com or www.guru.com are worth checking out. The employer will post a job with a description on what they're looking for, and providers (like you) will write a proposal for the job, including how much you'll charge and your turnaround time. The employer then selects a provider based on the bids. An employer may be another greeting card company who needs to outsource the work, or a freelancer who is not able to complete the work on time or is looking for an expert. The benefit of bidding on work is that the customers are ready to make a purchase, and it can be a great source of repeat business.
You can find the customers you need for your greeting card company by checking these sources regularly. It will take time to establish a reputation in this industry, but once you do, your customers will find other customers for you.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.