Selling your own stationery designs or filling orders for off-the-shelf stationery products gives you a way to make money from people who need invitations, cards and paper products. Whether you sell to individuals or businesses, using a variety of marketing strategies to make your stationery products stand out from a crowded marketplace is key to success.
Filling a Niche
Identify what makes your products unique, such as the themes you design if you create your own or the quick order fulfillment you provide. This helps you create a brand name people remember when they need those specific stationery products or services. Identify the characteristics of your ideal client, such as engaged couples, new mothers or parents of seniors about to graduate from high school who want custom invitations.
Meeting with other businesses that provide services to the same target market helps you get in front of more people who need stationery. For instance, if you primarily sell customized invitations, attend networking events and contact caterers, boutique baby stores, videographers, party or event planners and venues that lease space for events. Attend trade shows that attract these types of networking partners. Introduce yourself and seek referrals from business owners who work with the same target market. Get in touch with printing services that do not offer design services but that may have business clients or know individuals that need stationery products.
Sell your stationery at online marketplaces such as Etsy, Folksy or Big Cartel. These sites cater to artists and designers who make their own products. Setting up an e-commerce shopping website with the capability of taking custom orders is another option. Add a gallery to your site to showcase the various types of stationery products you sell. Set up Facebook and Instagram pages to post photos of new designs, custom invitations and other products you sell. Create a blog, and tell the stories behind some of your products, such as talking about how you came up with a custom invitation design based on a client’s unique interests.
Set up a booth at local craft shows, farmers markets and women’s or wedding shows to introduce your stationery products. If you opt to sell your stationery products to other stores or buyers at wholesale prices, you need to reach as many retailers as possible. Setting up a booth at the annual National Stationery Show in New York gives you a chance to get in front of thousands of buyers for large retail chains and smaller retailers looking for new greeting cards and stationery.
Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.