Katie Hunt: Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 Honoree

Katie Hunt Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 honoree

We have exciting news!

Our very own Katie Hunt, Founder of Tradeshow Bootcamp, has been selected as one the first-ever Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 honorees.

Katie, along with the other 39 honorees, were selected based on leadership qualities, creativity, innovative thinking and commitment to the industry by representatives of Gift Shop, Stationery Trends, Museums & More, the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) and GHTA’s Young Gift Executives Program (YGE).

Katie is honored to be chosen as one of the stationery industry’s top 40 professionals under the age of 40, and would like to extend Congratulations to all the TSBC alums, speakers and friends that also made the list!

Below is the full list of honorees that were chosen as well as a snippet of Katie’s amazing accomplishments. Congrats Katie!

  • Caitlin Abshier, Owner & Founder, Cait & Company
  • Joanna Alberti, Founder & Owner, philoSophies
  • Lisa Ball Ponder, Fourth Generation Owner, Henry B Ball West
  • Steven Broukhim, President, Brouk and Company
  • Chad Corzine, Owner, The Urban Agriculture Company
  • Paul Cosaro, Managing Partner, Picnic Time Family of Brands
  • Jessica Dean, Guest Experience Manager, Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • Leslie Dickinson, Territory Sales Manager, Mud Pie Sales Division, OneCoast
  • Christa Dyer, Director of Operations, The DoSeum: San Antonio’s Museum for Kids
  • Courtney Fogarty, Account Manager, Incipio
  • Lauren Gryniewski, Owner & Creative Director, Old Tom Foolery / Modern Lore / Greater Goods
  • Molly Hatch, Designer & Potter, Molly Hatch Designs
  • Lindsay Henry, Founder & Creative Director, Inklings Paperie
  • Katie Hunt, Founder, Tradeshow Bootcamp
  • Kyle Johnson Smith, Design Manager, Coton Colors
  • Davidson Lewis, CEO, Eco Brands Group, Makers of Alchemy Goods
  • Inger McDowell-Hartye, Chief Curator, With Love from PDX
  • Lauren Miller Brekke, Vice President of Merchandising, Mud Pie
  • Carina Murray, Principal Sales Rep, Crow & Canary
  • Esther Ossei-Anto, Marketing Manager, Las Vegas Market
  • Elizabeth Olwen, Contributing Artist, Madison Park Group
  • Gina Peterson, Owner, Graphic Designer, Ginger P. Designs
  • Sarah Reed, Owner & Designer, Dodeline Design
  • Bridgette Reed, Owner, Olivia Sophia Stationery
  • Leanne Scanlon, Owner, Hardscrabble Gifts
  • Dylan Schauben, Vice President, J.Grob Associates
  • Serenity Shanklin, Store Operations Manager, Mill City Museum
  • Beth Snyder, Owner/Creative Director, 1canoe2
  • Kate Strzok, President, Broadway Paper
  • Virginia Thomas, President & CEO, Ann Page
  • Sarah Walsh & Erin Miller, Co-Owners, Haute Papier
  • Megan & Cedar Watson, Co-Owners & Operators, Paper Goat Post
  • Jessica Werner, Gift Shop Manager, Marketing & Event Coordinator, Long Island Science Center
  • Jacqueline White, Owner & General Manager, African American Art & More
  • Kristin Wilson, Designer, Grace and Serendipity
  • Kelly Wilson, Visitor Experience Assistant Manager, Mingei International Museum/The Collectors’ Gallery Museum Store
  • Christopher Wornom, Director of Business Development & Acquisitions, Evergreen Enterprises
  • Charlene Wright, Sales Manager, Emily McDowell Studio
  • Lawrence Yeh, CEO, Paper Pop Cards
  • Alaina Young, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Q Squared

Katie founded Tradeshow Bootcamp in 2011 after growing her own stationery line through trial & error. She craved community and realized that other stationery designers were in need of resources to help them scale and grow their stationery and product based businesses.

Katie earned a dual MBA in marketing and finance from Loyola Marymount University and has spent the last 17 years coaching large corporations and solo entrepreneurs on marketing and business development strategies. Katie is a firm believer in professional development, surrounding yourself with strong mentors / community and pushing ‘go’ even when you might not feel ready.

Katie has taught classes for CreativeLive, presented at Unique CAMP, Savvy Experience, Be Sage Conference, Seanwes conference, Nearly Impossible and written articles for UpperCase Magazine and Etsy Wholesale. Through Tradeshow Bootcamp, Katie has hosted more than 200 live webinars, 12 conferences and spent hundreds of hours providing 1-1 coaching to independent artists and small businesses.

Katie also recently launched her podcast, Proof To Product, which debuted at #19 in iTunes in the Arts category and #2 in the Design category. Proof to Product takes listeners behind the scenes of growing a product-based business. Guests share their successes, struggles and how they’ve made difficult but important transitions in their business to continue growing.

Katie’s strengths lie in connecting people and bringing ideas to life – brainstorming, making a plan and executing. She’s a bit type-A, overly organized and has an affinity for calendars, checklists and a love for notebooks that only stationers will understand.

She often describes Tradeshow Bootcamp as the perfect merging of her two worlds; her happy place where she can share her business expertise and knowledge with an industry and clients that she loves.

Katie has a passion for creating, a mind for business and a strong desire to help others succeed. When she’s not cheering on TSBC alums or dreaming up new workshops, you can find her spending time with her husband and four young children in Los Angeles.

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By |August 1st, 2017|0 Comments|

Podcast Round-up: Legal, Mindset, Hiring & Productivity

Tradeshow Bootcamp Podcast Round-up | productivity, hiring, mindset, legal, licensing art,

Looking for new podcasts to follow?  Below are a few episodes we though you’d enjoy.  They focus on business, mind-set and productivity.  Things we’re all grappling with everyday!

Licensing your content & brand

Legal Road Map with Autumn Witt Boyd | Episode 10
Autumn talks about licensing fundamentals including what it means to license your work, exclusivity vs. non-exclusivity and what to charge, and also how to protect yourself when you license stock photos or art from others.  Key Take Away:  A license is a contract, so be specific and put everything in writing.

The Secret Parallel Universe of Wholesaling

The Strategy Hour  | Episode 21
TSBC founder, Katie Hunt sat down with Emylee and Abagail of Think Creative Collective to talk about what it means to sell wholesale, how to know if you’re ready and how to do shows.  Great primer for those considering selling wholesale!

Conquering your Inner Critic

Work Your Wealth Podcast | Episode 17
Financial planner and money guru, Mary Beth Storjohann sat down with Reina Pomeroy, a life and business coach to talk about how to acknowledge and push through internal negativity and fear.  They talk about decision-making, setting your values and changing your mindset so that you’re celebrating your successes.

The Magic of Monotasking

Productivity Paradox with Tonya Dalton | Episode 10
Tonya Dalton talks about working with focus by practicing monotasking rather than multi-tasking.  She shares how multi-tasking can lead to distraction and when you dedicate yourself to do one thing at one time you’ll be more efficient, effective and feel more productive.   Free download:  5 Minutes to Peak Productivity!

How to Hire Help for your Creative Business

Dear Handmade Life | Episode 49
Listen in as Katie Hunt, Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson talk about when to hire help, how to find the right people and the benefits of bringing on help.

 

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By |March 28th, 2017|0 Comments|

Booth Brainstorm: Good Lighting

Good LightingExcellent lighting is critical to your trade show booth. You want your booth to be inviting and display your products in the best possible way. And, lighting is a big component of this. As you’re weighing your lighting options, keep in mind the reasons behind why you want to have great lighting in your trade show booth.

Your Buyers

Your buyers want to see what they’re buying. Good lighting makes the details of your product stand out—the colors, textures—and helps the buyers envision your products on their store shelves.

The Press

Members of the press love trade shows. It’s their chance to see new products, new concepts and trends in the industry under one roof. But, they need a well-lit booth to take great photos. The better your lighting, the more likely they’ll share a snap on social media or save a photo as a reminder to follow-up with you later.

Pro Tip: Don’t include glass in the frames of any art prints. Glass can create glare in photos.

Social Media

We always see an uptick in social media posts during show season, not just from exhibitors but also from people walking a show. Great lighting makes your booth more inviting and allows people to take and share better photos.

Pro Tip: Include your social handles on your wall so that people tag you in their photos.

Bright lighting increases visibility, accurately shows your products, makes a booth warm and inviting and creates a better setting for taking photos.  

Check out the booth case studies to see different types of lighting in use. There are lots of different options available to meet any budget.

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By |March 21st, 2017|0 Comments|

Must-Have Wholesale Terms and Conditions


Selling wholesale requires a completely different strategy than selling direct to consumer. Your wholesale customers have different motivations and weigh different considerations than retail customers. You want to make it as easy as possible for your buyers to buy—clear terms and conditions are one way to do this.

But what should you include in your terms & conditions?

  • Minimum Order Amount
  • Minimum Order Quantity
  • Payment Methods
  • Turn-Around Times & Shipping Info
  • Refund & Exchange Policy

The two most important pieces are your minimums. So, let’s dive deeper into those.

Minimum Order Amount

def: the minimum dollar amount a retailer must spend to place a wholesale order.

As much as we’d like retailers to purchase everything we’re selling, they won’t. So, you want your opening order amount to be consistent with industry standards, but you also want your number to reflect the size of your product line and the price-point of the items you’re selling.  

In the stationery world, $150 for an opening order and $100 for reorders is common. However, brands that have higher priced gift items or a collection with several hundred skus will likely have a higher opening order amount. Same goes for other industries with higher priced goods like jewelry and clothing.

Set your minimum opening order amount high enough so that you’re attracting serious buyers but not so high that they have to purchase everything you sell to meet your minimum.

Minimum Order Quantity

def: the minimum number of an individual SKU a retailer must buy. Also known as MOQ.

In addition to meeting order minimums, a retailer must also adhere to minimum order quantities, also known as MOQ. MOQ refers to the minimum number of pieces a retailer must buy of a particular SKU to place a wholesale order.

Every industry, company and even product category has different MOQ requirements. Sometimes MOQs are set based on industry standards. But oftentimes, those industry standards were set for purely practical reasons.

For example, mugs are often sold 4 per SKU becuase it is easier to ship mugs in quantities of 4. Greeting cards are sold in quantities of 6 or 12 because that is how many cards can fit into most spinners and other point of purchase displays.  

Ultimately, you set the rules for your business and can set your MOQ to whatever you’d like, but I’d encourage you to do your homework and familiarize yourself with what others in your industry are doing so that you’re in line with industry standards.

In the end, having clear and thorough terms & conditions will make you look polished and professional, even if you’re new to wholesale.

To help you get started, download our Set Your Terms Worksheet by entering your email below.

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By |March 7th, 2017|0 Comments|

Booth Brainstorm: Walls

tradeshow booth wallsWhen you’re planning your tradeshow booth, start with your walls. The type of walls you choose to use will have a domino effect on other decisions you make for your booth. For example, your walls will determine how you display your products, whether you use shelves, how you hang your signs and what lights you use. Plus, your walls set the stage for the overall aesthetic of your booth.

Whether you rent or build your own walls, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing your wall materials. How easy are the walls to transport and install? Can they be reused? How much will they cost? Do they display your product well?

Ultimately you want your booth to mirror your brand and highlight your products in the best possible way to garner sales. Here are some options to get you started.

Hard Walls

Plywood walls are gaining popularity among our alumni for a few reasons. If you’re planning on doing multiple shows, investing in hard walls up front can save you money over time. Plywood walls and pegboard walls are durable and can hold a wide range of shelving units and product displays. They can also be painted to match your brand. Shipping hard walls can be costly and installation can take extra time at set-up, so make sure you consider all factors.  

Hard walls are also available to rent through your show decorators (we love Manny Stone Decorators for NSS and NYNow!).  When you rent your walls, they will be installed before you arrive at the show so there is one less thing you need to do at set-up. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling far distances to your show.

Foam Core

Foam Core walls are a fan favorite for our alums because it can be a less expensive option than hard walls. The 4 ft. by 8 ft. panels come in white, can be matched to PMS colors or custom printed with your logo or placeholders for your products. Foam core board are 3/16-inch thick and if you’re DIYing foam core walls, you can attach the boards to the pipe framing with zip ties. If you rent your boards, Manny Stone Decorators will handle installation for you before you arrive at the show. If you choose to use foam core, be sure to think through your product displays.

Foam core cannot accommodate heavy shelving, but it’s great for light weight products. In the paper world, most exhibitors affix cards directly to foam core walls using double sided tape or velcro. Foam core walls are a one-time use, but they look great and can be customized to match your branding.

Set Paper & Fabric

Set paper and fabric walls are the two lease expensive wall options. However, if you use canvas, fabric or curtains you bring from home, most shows will require you to fireproof the fabric; an extra step and cost that you’ll want to factor into your timeline and budget. Your set paper or fabric walls can easily attach onto the pipe frame of your booth, and will hang in front of the drape provided with your booth. Since these walls can not support shelves, you’ll need to get creative and either find a way to hang your products from the pipe or utilize stand-alone shelves. Think through how you want to merchandise your products when determining whether these walls are best for you.

Want to see these walls in use? We have a number of case studies that will help you along the way. Then, take a look at your signage so you can draw people to your booth!

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By |February 28th, 2017|0 Comments|

Alumni Spotlight: Loudhouse Creative

Alumni Spotlight Loudhouse CreativeWe love to spotlight our TSBC alums because we believe there is always something we can learn from one another’s experiences. Francesca Fuges of Loudhouse Creative recently exhibited at the Las Vegas Market; her second tradeshow in the last year. We sat down with Francesca to get her feedback on the show. But first, her story.

Francesca started Loudhouse Creative in 2013, primarily as a design firm working with branding and packaging clients. In 2015, she stumbled upon letterpress printing and started making greeting cards for friends and family. She fell in love with the process of printing and wanted to expand her design work into sellable products.

Although she was new to the paper business, Francesca signed up for the National Stationery show immediately. Knowing she needed help marketing her new business and figuring out the mysteries of selling wholesale and trade shows, she joined us for Paper Camp in 2015 before her National Stationery Show debut.

Prior to NSS, Francesca spent time developing her product line to include greeting cards, gift items and she added a holiday collection.  She researched retail stores that had a similar aesthetic to her cards and created a mailer introducing herself and her line.  Both exercises are key to creating a solid wholesale foundation.

Las Vegas Market | January 2017

Francesca is freshly back from the Las Vegas Market, where she was one of the Artisanal LA vendors. She used hard-walls for her 7’ by 6’ space, which was located toward the back of the show but on an end-cap giving her lots of space to spread out. She used vinyl signage for her logo and booth number. She utilized two types of shelves to display her cards and also hung an aisle sign to draw traffic into her booth.

“Since my location was less than desirable, I had to hustle for my orders,” she said. “I’m not a natural hustler so it was a growth experience for me. But the retailers were so nice and many from stores I wouldn’t normally think to send mailers to, like pharmacies, clothing boutiques, hotel gift shops, etc.”

The overall vibe of the Las Vegas Market was very different from the NSS as well. While it was a little slow, the cost of doing the show was significantly less than the NSS.

“I felt a lot less intimidated than I did at NSS and therefore it was easier to talk to people. Since there were only a handful of stationers (it’s primarily a gift show), we were able to stand out a bit from the other vendors.”

Francesca was comfortable with her investment in the show and pleased with the results.  Participating in a shared booth lowered her exhibiting costs and Artisanal took care of logistics like ordering walls and lighting removing items from her to do list. Francesca felt that the energy in Las Vegas was slower than New York, yet she received the same number of orders at both shows — but the order in Las Vegas were higher volume and larger dollar amounts. Francesca said that show management was very accommodating and sent a crew to unload her car and bring her boxes to her space!

What I’d Do Different in Biz

“I created and launched my line within a year (while also learning to letterpress and trying to discover my illustrative style). Looking back on it, though I’m glad I created a deadline for myself, I would have taken a bit more time to really craft my line, particularly my illustrations, and figure out my ‘look’ instead of rushing to be ready for a launch date that was self-inflicted. Since NSS, I’ve gone back and changed several cards in order to make them more visually interesting and removed cards that I was unhappy with.”

Biggest Tip for Newbies

“Find your unique voice and style in order to stand out in the market. Be selective with what you put out into the world and make sure your line looks like a collection. Create rules for yourself to follow as a guide—colors (envelopes and overall palette), font style, tone (funny, sweet, snarky). This helps in creating a cohesive line and building a successful brand. That said, don’t let the rules stifle you. They can be broken. It’s your business. To quote Cartman, ‘Whatever, I do what I want.’”

Of course, we want to shout out some of the other alums who were also at Las Vegas Market. Congrats to Cara at Underwood Letterpress, Alex of Chez Gagné, Lisa of Tiramisu Paperie and Julie of Kiss and Punch Designs.

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By |February 21st, 2017|0 Comments|

Packaging Your Products Without Breaking the Bank

product packagingCan we talk about product packaging for a minute? You want your products to look unique and stand out from the crowd, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it.

There are so many packaging options available, and it’s important to know when to follow the crowd and use standard packaging and when to get creative and do your own thing.

Ultimately, your product packaging must make it easy for the end customer to understand what your product is and how they can use it. And, from a business standpoint, you want to ensure that your packaging looks great, is scaleable and doesn’t cut into your profit margins. Here’s where to focus.

Keep it Simple

We all want beautiful packaging, but the more elaborate it is, the more expensive it is in terms of both time and money. While that gold twine and foil-stamped tag that are hand-tied to your boxed notes look super cute, they add an extra step and more cost to your fulfillment process. Plus, what happens if you get an order for 1,000 boxes? Can you get that out the door quickly?

In the stationery world, cello sleeves and clear acetate boxes are the norm for a number of reasons. Keep it simple and where there’s an industry standard, stick to what is tried and true.

Keep it On-Brand

You want your audience to immediately identify with your product and recognize that it’s your brand and product when they see it. Think about your colors, your logo, your style and include these elements on packaging. You can dress us standard packaging with custom stickers, belly bands or insert cards, all low-cost items that add personality while not adding huge steps in the fulfillment process.

Keep Costs Down

Remember that you need to factor packaging costs into your production costs. If you don’t know what it costs you to make one single item, run those numbers now. Factor in your hard costs of creating your product, your packaging costs, your time and any labor costs. Run these numbers for each type of product you sell (mugs, art prints, greeting cards, etc.) and revisit them regularly so that you know these numbers well. The higher your production costs, the lower your profit margin and we want high profit margin!

Some Resources

  • Clear Bags gives us a run-down of stationery packaging from the last 20 years, and we imagine that it will continue to develop as our industry’s needs change. How will your business meet tomorrow’s changes? Clear Bags is also a great resource for packaging.
  • GT Bag is another great resource for cello sleeves. If you need bags with flaps, they have amazing non-static strips! Let them know TSBC sent you for a discount on your first order.
  • Digital Lizard is a commercial printer offering all sorts of custom print services that work well for packaging—insert cards, belly bands and stickers.
  • Sticker Giant provides a wide range of custom sticker options for your product packaging or your shipping boxes. You can even get 20% off your offer with our coupon code: TSBC15

Try to find a balance between using packaging that mirrors your brand, makes it simple for you to fulfill and merchandises well for your retailers. Use our Price It Out worksheet can help you get started. Grab it below.

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By |February 14th, 2017|0 Comments|

Wholesaling: Top Tips for Building Your Catalog

building your catalogCatalogs are an important and necessary sales tool for your wholesale business. But they are also expensive and time-consuming to produce so you want to make them as effective as possible.

Whether you’re attending tradeshows or sending samples to stores, a catalog is a must-have. Let’s take a closer look at what to include.

Contact Information

A catalog is meant to generate business, but when your contact information isn’t easy to find, buyers may go elsewhere.

Add your contact information at the footer of every page, without exception. Include your phone number, email address, website and social media handles. That way, a retailer can immediately get in touch with you if they have questions or want to place an order.

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are an important part of your catalog. You want to clearly explain what the products are, how they are used and provide concrete details that will help the retailer know if they are a good fit for their customers. Don’t leave questions unanswered.

Your product descriptions should include what it’s made of, the size, pricing information and your minimum quantity requirements. Have trouble coming up with the right words? We’ve got some help for you.

Product Photography

Product photography is what separates a catalog from a line sheet. Investing in product photos is a worthwhile investment because you can use the photos across your sales tools and marketing materials, including email blasts, social media posts and press inquiries. Whether you hire a pro or DIY your photos, use a mix of styled photos and direct images so buyers can see the details of your products and visualize what your products will look like on their store shelves.

At the end of the day, you need to make it as easy as possible for your retailers to buy. Having a well-designed and detailed catalog is a necessary sales tool that will set you aparat from the competition. You’ll look polished, professional and accessible to your buyers.

For more information, you can watch my short video or take my CreativeLive course about catalogs.

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By |February 7th, 2017|0 Comments|

Case Study: E. Frances Paper Launch Story

E. Frances Paper Launch StoryPro Tip: Launching your wholesale line at a trade show is not your only option.

In the paper industry, many brands look to the National Stationery Show to serve as their wholesale debut. It’s a great place to meet buyers, get feedback on your products and build relationships with press, reps and other designers.

Many thriving businesses are introducing their product line to buyers outside of shows and doing it successfully. Take E. Frances Paper, for example, one of Paper Camp’s 2013 alums.

After attending Paper Camp that February, owners Ali Flippin, Jenni Laundon and Pippi Roberts knew they weren’t ready for a big launch at the NSS that May. They wanted to spend time further developing their product line, building a marketing strategy and refining their sales tools before they reached out to retailers.

The E. Frances team traveled from their home base of Newport, Rhode Island to New York to scope out the National Stationery Show. They walked the show, took some pictures and made the decision to ease their way into the business.

“We were still figuring it out back then,” says creative director Ali Flippin. “We are grateful now that we didn’t rush it and launch because the NSS is a whole bundle of figuring it out.”

Instead of a big-bang launch at the show, the group focused on perfecting their product and developing business systems as they worked on their mailing list and soft-launching the company.

After Googling and researching stores they thought might be a good fit for their product, the team sent out packages to introduce themselves. They used a tier system, with the biggest packages going to those stores that were the best fit. The gifts included a balloon, samples and more information about E. Frances.

“We wanted to bring on new customers and encourage social shares to introduce our name to retailers. It worked well and we built on that,” says Flippin.

As those new customers came on board, the team was able to develop and refine systems for fulfilling orders. They figured out what size boxes they needed, how to package the product, how much time it takes and what kind of inventory they’d need on hand. They started small, gradually adding handful after handful of new customers.

E. Frances participated in its first NSS in May 2014, and by then, they were ready. The company doubled its wholesale accounts while there, proof that their hard work and preparation had paid off

Today, E. Frances is found in the national chain Paper Source as well as specialty and boutique stores across North America and in Europe, Asia and online.

The Low-Down, from Ali Flippin

“We should have hired a bookkeeper way earlier than we did. I thought we were too small, we couldn’t afford something we could do ourselves, etc. But it changed our business drastically—organizing our books, preparing us for taxes, giving us general advice about organizing our banking. It’s the absolute best money you can spend. You can start off pretty small with a freelance bookkeeper, for only a few hours per month. Running a company, no matter how small, is still running a company, and requires a lot of accounting and organizational skills. If you don’t have these skills, outsource!”

Ali’s Thoughts on Paper Camp

“We could not have done it without Paper Camp. When we started, there wasn’t any information online about starting a paper business. The things I learned from Paper Camp were invaluable, from preparing for the show to standard processes to business standards.”

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By |January 31st, 2017|0 Comments|

Client Relationships: Management Tools for Creative Entrepreneurs

CRMs for Creative EntrepreneursEmailing prospects.

Following up with retailers after a show.

Tracking who you’ve sent catalogs and samples to in an organized fashion.

These are all good business practices that shouldn’t find you scrounging through old business cards or digging into your inbox. With the right customer relationship management tool, you can do all of these things (and so much more). And many of our favorites have added benefits too.

Here, we have a short review of some of the CRMs used by Paper Camp alumni, and resources we’ve found to really help you have positive client communications and relationships.

Podio

Podio is one of the more popular CRMs favored by our alums. It’s a project management system and contact management system rolled into one.

From a CRM standpoint, Podio allows you to track clients, their purchases, add notes and upload files to company profiles or specific contacts. When you send a retailer a catalog and a few samples, you can mark it for follow-up in a few weeks.

For project management, Podio enables you to create systems and project workflows for things like order fulfillment and other internal processes. Everyone on your team can see what tasks have been completed and what items still need to be tackled.

Depending on the level you choose, you can create visual reports, sync contacts with other tools, automate your workflow and more. Packages start at $9 a month for the basic plan.

Insightly

If you like to keep your contacts in your inbox, Insightly is a free tool that integrates with a number of accounting and business tools. Track leads, enter notes, create projects and milestones, know where a potential customer is in your sales funnel.

Additional benefits are available in paid versions of this tool, which starts at $12 a month per user.

FreshBooks & QuickBooks

FreshBooks and QuickBooks are both accounting programs, but they’re also handy for maintaining your customer lists and notes. You can also track revenue by client so you know which clients order more frequently and who places the highest volume orders.

If you’re doing custom work or collaborations, these tools also offer time tracking and reporting systems for revenue and expenses by project. Added bonus: Many accountants prefer QuickBooks for bookkeeping and organizing your finances for taxes. QuickBooks and Freshbooks are easy to use if you’re doing your own bookkeeping and taxes too.

Postable

While Postable isn’t a CRM service, they sure make it easy to build strong relationships with clients through snail mail. Their address book feature makes it easy to manage your mailing list and ensure your contact list is up-to-date. Simply send your contacts a link requesting their physical address and Postable will collect and/or update them in your address book for you.

You can also request birthdays of your contacts and Postable will send you a reminder so you can choose a card, type a message and they’ll print and send it for you. It’s a great resource for staying connected to your personal and business contacts. You can also export the list and move it to a full CRM at any time.

Whichever direction you decide to go, we recommend choosing something that helps keep you organized and efficient. We don’t know what we’d do without our own systems!

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By |January 24th, 2017|0 Comments|