For the past four years I have drawn/painted and then had cards printed for the Chinese Lunar New Year. For the first two years I had my personal business information printed in the back along with with a cleaver little message.
Last year at the urging of a colleague, the back was blank/generic so that other practitioners could buy them and add their own message. I managed to sell enough to pay for the press run. Curiously, the individual who so urged me to print blank backs didn't buy any.
The amount of time I put into promoting the cards
seemed enormous compared to my sales, particularly since the two acupuncturists who bought them were colleagues whom I see regularly.
This year I didn't get Ratty completed until well after the New Year, this tardiness is another blog entry, not yet written. Also this year I seem to have lost my urge to self promote or even sell my cards.
I have been assured that advertising and self-promotion is a good thing and will build business, firming up my patient base and creating community outreach. An informal poll has revealed that although a good number of recipients keep their card all year long in a prominent location, it doesn't seem to get them to make an appointment with me. This year I am trying something different. My current patients will receive Ratty in the mail with a stamped collage on the back and good wishes from me. The rest I will simply give away leaving small stacks in the vestibule of my office suite, at the Martial Arts Academy, the corner health food store, etc... Ratty is a fully functional postcard that can be sent at a moments notice with the proper postage baring a message or can stay home and be displayed on a refrigerator. There is only an 8 pt. illustration credit with my Email on the back. All in all Ratty is non-promotional item. There is nothing I hope to gain, no goal in mind; this is an experiment in willful anti-advertising.