Friday, October 10, 2008

Marketing on a Shoestring

My stickers and business cards;
Sticker on my donated work

So many of us write posts, list goals, and forever chat on about how we are going to market our art more. It's one of those "easy to talk about and aspire to" topics that ends up more "I just can't get to it, it's hard to implement" topics. This post is about a step towards implementation that I recently took.

If you are looking for a way to get custom address labels or business cards for under $20, here's my story:

Last month I donated a piece of artwork as a door prize at a conference for a few hundred people. I was thrilled to be able to do this. I couldn't help in any other way with the conference, so this was my chance to help out and I got to do it by creating art (one of my favorite activities).

As I was making my list of what to do, I realized that I really wanted a sticker to go on the back of the artwork, giving my info. So I spent an evening trying to find some stickers that I could afford. This proved much harder than I thought. I had a referral, but the company had since stopped making the stickers I was after. Then I found

What I purchased

Including shipping, I purchased 140 address labels (with my art as the backdrop) for around $11. They arrived within a week. I am very pleased with them. They are not the large oval or square sticker I had originally been after, but they certainly will do nicely for my current purposes and are within my budget.

I also decided to order business cards. I got 250 business cards (with my art as the backdrop) for $8.

All that to say, I am very pleased with the service I received from Vista Print.
  • I got a high-quality product.
  • I could afford what I got.
  • My artwork is on the cards and labels.
  • I received my order quickly.
If you have "do some marketing" on your to-do list, I'd definitely recommend VistaPrint. Since I've gotten the cards I've run into people who wanted to know where my blog feels very professional to just be able to hand over a card, rather than scribble on the back of something.

VistaPrint does have a "Refer a Friend" program. If you click to VistaPrint from here, you will get a special promotion on a purchase and I will receive credit for your purchase. You certainly don't have to click that, you can just go to I've never done a program like this before (and don't plan to do more), but I did want to share my experience because I think there are several artists out there like me trying to make the leap from hobbyist to professional on a shoestring.

And whether or not you decide to go with Vista Print, I'd recommend getting that marketing done! It took me a couple of hours to find Vista Print and decide to go with them. It took maybe an hour to turn a photo of my work into the image I wanted to for the cards and stickers (cropping, resizing, adding text, etc.) So for three hours, I gained some professional materials, some right-to-hand marketing tools, the belief that I could make this work, and now I'm a little farther down the marketing road instead of stuck at the beginning. That's a pretty good return on my investment of time.


Jennifer Rose said...

the cards and stickers look very nice :) I keep meaning to design new business cards and postcards. Once I do I really only have to pay for shipping because of all the offer codes I get. Lots of emails from them, but I'm not going to pass up free cards :p I haven't heard anything bad about VistaPrint, they are recommended by a lot of people. :)

Jeanette said...

This looks good Rose. Consistant branding that you can carry through on all your marketing pieces provides a professional looking image for you.

I used Vista Print for postcards, business cards and some magnetic business cards. They have a Canadian version so not just USA. The prices are good and turnaround time great.

I'd continue to use them and recommend them too.

Rose Welty said...

Seems like Vista is doing alot of marketing just now. I hadn't heard of them and only stumbled on the website after some digging, but we just got a package from Amazon and it had Vista fliers in it. I was surprised at what I got for the price.

Thanks for the encouragement about the "branding". It's funny I entered Vivien's "competition" to check off a goal. But, actually, it's turned out to be a really important thing for me.

Kari Gibson said...

By some huge coincidence, I have just ordered some of the business cards from Vista over here in the UK - totally delighted with price, quality and service. Yours look great (as do mine)!

Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks for the great link to VistaPrint. From what others have said in this post they sound like a good economical company to consider.

I've been printing my own marketing's time to give up some of the smaller (non art) time consuming jobs to that I have more time to draw and paint.

This is just what I've been looking for.

Thanks so much.

Rose Welty said...

Marsha, you are so welcome. I posted it because I thought there might be someone out there like myself...glad to help.

Belinda Lindhardt said...

Well done Rose they look great :)

Ann said...

Those look great Rose. Thanks for the link. I've been printing my own business cards but maybe should check this out, it sounds like a good service. And one less thing for me to keep up with!

Teresa Mallen said...

Rose, you must feel very satisfied to get something like this off of the 'to do' list. Congratulations on gettting further down your marketing road! I am sure your helpful info will be an encouragement for others to give this a try.