Annies Marketing Mashup Part 1

Annie Banannie Marketing Mashup for Kids Entertainers

Business Cards For Kids Entertainers? Yes or No

Join balloon twister and creative storyteller Annie Banannie and discover her pet creative marketing tips. It starts off with a not often heard call …

I don’t have business cards. I don’t believe in them.

Annie Banannie Kids Entertainer No business cardsYes, I want you to have my info, so you can hire me right away because you have an immediate need for my services.

But realistically, this only happens about 5-10% of the time. And that’s just not a good enough return on my marketing efforts.

If I hand you a small piece of cardboard with my picture, my info, a description of what I do, and maybe even a list of all the types of events I can help you with, what are you going to do with it? You might look at it. If you’re really techie, you’ll scan it into your online address book. But most likely, that card gets put on your desk or ends up at the bottom of your purse, stuck to an elderly piece of candy.

But it’s still just a piece of cardboard. If you’re not inspired to keep it, love it, share it, treasure it, or otherwise take action on it, I might as well have not given it to you.

Annie Banannie Kids Entertainer

So why do people use business cards?


A business card is often the beginning of trust for a business relationship. It’s the first step to establishing that person as who they say they are: “VP of Sales, Some Fancy Software Company.” If I meet a lawyer or a doctor, or other type of regular corporate type, I like to see their business card because of that need for them to establish trust. And it shows they know how to do the business/corporate thing.

But an entertainer handing me a business card? Really?

Business cards are for muggles.

Annie Banannie Kids Entertainer No Business Cards

Does this guy look entertaining?

You’re an entertainer. Entertain. Spread joy. Give Gifts.

Remember when you were a kid and you got clothes for Christmas? Yes, you needed them. But TOYS were what you valued and remembered.

Getting a business card is like getting socks for Christmas. Yes, socks are useful, but unless they’re amazing socks, they probably won’t bring you joy. And all you will remember about them is that your mom made you write a thank you note to Aunt Bertha anyway.

But what about the legitimacy question?

Your work is your legitimacy. Your amazing performance, your incredible art, your website, your online videos and promo pages, your customer service, every interaction you have with a potential client.

The power of surprise and delight.

Muggles ask for your business card because you’ve made a positive impression. They’re expecting a small piece of cardboard. Delight them (and bring a little of your magical world to them) by giving them a little magic trick they can do for their friends, or a frame for a picture of their kid with your balloon creation, or a toy, etc.

Presentation of the Gift
You can take this moment of delight even further by making the presentation something special as well. Remember, it’s a gift. Show them how special it is by telling them a little something about it – “This hand-made magic trick was woven from llama wool by an old lady in Tibet.”

So what’s my real goal for my promo materials? My Gifts? I want you to remember me. I want to build a relationship with you.

Next month, I’ll talk about more ways you can use your wonderful promo Gifts.

  • steve wick

    A very interesting perspective on a traditional business method Annie. I don’t know if I agree with yor theory, as I generate a reasonable return from my cards, but I love the fact that you got me thinking in different ways about that bit of cardboard. Looking forward to your next post.

    • Handout cards work well for me, So I guess it’s like business cards to the adults via the kids. No right or wrong just a healthy exchange of ideas. Thanks for getting me thinking Annie

      • A wise man once told me to hand out business cards to kids at parties and refer to them as tickets to my show. I tell them, “Put it in your pocket, put in your sock or put it in your shoe, put it anywhere because you’ll need it to see my show. Later tonight, make sure you give it to your mom! Works for me!

        • Christine, that’s a great idea. How about taking it one step further? Actually make tickets for your shows! You can do the same thing with them as you’re doing with the business cards, and then tell them they can save the ticket in their scrapbook next to a picture of them at the party so it helps make a special memory. Even better? Ask them to send you a picture of their scrapbook page and you can share it on your website or Facebook page.

  • Michelle Uulf

    Interested to see where this goes, I too do get work from people taking cards and they only cost me about 5 cents each so not so bad. But yes, very interested to see what kind of gifts you give instead!

  • Matt Martin

    Literally reading this hours after I placed an order for 5,000 business cards 🙂 I’m not ready to give them up yet, but while reading this the wheels started turning. Thanks, Annie.

  • ColetteKel

    This looks really exciting! Can’t wait to read and learn more. (By the way, I’m proudly handing out business cards at every party, but I am all for new and exciting ideas.)

  • Yay! I knew I this would be a controversial subject! I can’t wait for you to read my next article and then bring you over to the dark side .… Ok, the Gift side …. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

  • John Abrams

    Love this idea. Here’s another strong position. Instead of giving a business card when someone asks, collect their information. Then you can follow up with solutions to their entertainment needs via email, snail mail, social media etc… You can establish a relationship.

    • I still remember the conversation you and I had about when you were at the beach and had no biz cards. You got that person’s info and put it in your phone instead. Really made me think, especially when I’m at a convention or something and it’s expected that you get their info. I’m working on being better at follow up now.

  • Pete

    Hey, who are you calling a muggle. 🙂 I still prefer to hand out a business card over a flyer at some of the events we have both marketed at. But I must admit, your balloon card holder thingy rocks. I’ve definitely got to work on my swag.

  • There’s a new app that is just about to be launched that if you have it on your phone you scan a business card at it reads and converts it for storage. I’m guessing there are many of these anyway. What would be good is if you had an app where you could just touch your screens and your basic contact data is transferred. Does this exist ? anyone know?

    • Matt Martin

      I think your talking about Bump… I haven’t used it since it first came out and it was kind of wonky for iPhone (but worker better on Android, as I understood it). I believe it uses NFC, which iPhone 6 now supports, so maybe it works better now. There are probably other competitor apps, as well. Of course the problem is that both parties have to have the app. So if I don’t have it, I’d have to first download it in order to get your info. Unless its built in functionality in the phones it will probably never be close to universal enough to replace business cards or other printed marketing material :-/

  • Still believe and hand out cards.. I added some saying I love on the back now.
    Years ago a fellow entertainer made up goodie bags and cards to hand to the kids at parties. I did that with tattoos in them found most of them left behind with the tattoos missing. I make up All about me worksheets now with it saying “I went to John’s party today.” if we are doing an event we add “I was at Petco today” It has our info on the bottom. I give them to the parent to hand to the kids along with their goodie bags. some parents do forget to hand them out. So I am still looking for better ways to make sure ever kid gets one at a party. We are always looking for new ideas to give people our info and still think cards are one thing I will never give up. If anyone is interested in seeing and using our worksheets just head to our web site and click on the pages just for.

  • N Jay Jaybo Holtz

    OK Annie I am a business card person so I guess that makes me a bad person, not only do I hand out Business Cards I ask for theirs, so I am a double bad person Mwa hah haha-but I have always done it and always will. Not to say there isn’t a better way, if there is and it can get more gigs coming my way, then I am all for that as well, but I will still give out my card. Would you like one?

  • Jeff Wawrzaszek

    Why not do both! Turn your business card into a “magical gift.” I have over a dozen “magical” business and post cards that I have created over the past decade. Every one of them has a magic trick, or instructions for a magic trick on the opposite side of the business card. They make you memorable, have worked amazingly well, and they do get kept by the recipients! As an example; I give one of these magical cards to each child I entertain at a local family restaurant – a new trick with each visit. Some have returned week after week for two or three years, so they do have drawing power. Here’s the best part; in over 8 1/2 years, I would estimate that I have given out over 15,000 of these cards, and to date, I have yet to see one left behind when a family leaves the restaurant. I get calls years later, from parents telling me that they saw me at the restaurant and were wondering if I do other events as well. I have discovered 13 ways in which I can use these cards to generate additional work and income. They have become my #1 marketing tool.

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