A Business Networking Idea

I love the blog Lenox Knits. Paige, the owner, is very insightful and talented. And I'm not just saying that because she sent me a gorgeous scarf and headband - both of which I absolutely adore.
Once I read Paige's revealing post about the things she's learned regarding her business sales, I had an idea. I'm sure you all smelled the smoke. Ha ha

After looking over the states she has sold to, it dawned on her that a large portion of her business comes from one state in particular. Paige feels this is due to her contacts - and their referrals - live in that state.

This information made my brain start working...as much as it hurt and I tried to avoid it.

Has anyone ever thought of doing "card exchanges"?

For example, I live in Colorado. The southern part of Denver, right at the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. And it gets cold here in the winter. Not as frigid as it did when I was a kid (and I walked 5 miles - in the neck-deep snow - to and from school, uphill both ways, don't cha know) - because the winters have been more mild for the last few years. That doesn't mean we don't get cold temperatures and snow, though.

Lumberjack Chic - Handmade Orange Knitted Scarflette by Lenox Knits

To me, this is prime weather for Paige to sell her scarves. Not only are her items well-made and gorgeous times 10, the weather demands warm clothes. The problem is, Paige doesn't live in Colorado. Or the southern part of Denver, right at the foothills of the beautiful Rocky...I'm sure you get the point. And even though everyone I know around here uses the Internet, many people don't know about etsy or Artfire. So it doesn't matter how much advertising Paige does in those venues...or how well-made her items are...or how awesome her creations are. If people don't know where to find her - or that she even exists - she misses out on those possible sales.

Patchouli Bling Soaps by The Soap Seduction

Since I really like what Paige creates, and I can vouch for her high quality and timely shipping, wouldn't it make sense for me to trade business cards with Paige - so we both have access to a part of the population we wouldn't normally reach? I'm not talking about trading business cards and then being obligated to shove those cards in the hands and pockets of everyone you know locally. That would be in bad taste - and if there is one thing you should know about the Queen, I don't do things in bad taste. (I leave that to my childebeasts.) However, it would be handy to have a few cards to pass out to people when conversations about the cold weather, or winter clothing comes up. Don't you think?

Having some cards on hand of those artisans you admire - and are in a different niche from you - would not be competitive. It would, instead, be cooperative. We would, in effect, be furthering the handmade movement. Which is good for all artisans. Even if the people I hand Paige's card to don't purchase anything from her, they may find themselves in a situation where someone they know is interested.

Multi Colored Dyed Bombyx Silk Cocoons by Split Rock Ranch

I see it as another way of networking. What do you think? Would you be interested in furthering your business - and the business of other artisans - like this? Or does this method of networking strike you as inappropriate?

Emerald (Imit) Pendant - faceted imitation emerald oval, sterling silver pendant
by Gems by Jerri

I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


5 Royal Responses:

One Creative Queen said...

i think any exposure is better than none.

One Creative Queen said...

I think you be co-rect 110%. ;)

One Creative Queen said...

I think you could totally be on to something my friend. I would love to exchange cards with you and anyone else who agrees. You've picked some great sellers to feature here and you made me blush with your high praise. It would require getting some sort of mailing list but if however you want to do it you have my support. Let me know what you need me to do. 8-)

One Creative Queen said...

I actually like this idea. You certainly have a point there! Anyone who wants to get in on this can exchange addresses. Participants can then send a chunk of business cards to everyone on the mailing list, thus recieving other's cards in return. The reciever of the cards can either include them in shipping their own items out to customers or take them to shows with them for people to pick up. If this actually comes to something, I would love to participate!

Cruise Vacations said...

Nice article!!!!!.....

I also read Lenox Knits's Article. You are absolutely right , she is very talented.

Thanks for sharing.

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