You’ve seen them. Those old fashioned, do-it-yourself tri-fold marketing brochures that were printed at home on colored paper in order to save a buck. While the information on the brochure might be presented well, the presentation itself leaves you feeling let down. That’s a real shame since more than likely, if someone has taken the time to make a brochure, they believe in what they are trying to communicate to other people.
The same is true for a website. There is nothing more bubble-bursting than hearing of a company, typing the name into Google, and having a page come up that is not user-friendly or has broken links. The result is the same: the information that was intended to reach others crashes and burns.
In today’s competitive world presentation is everything. The goal in our marketing is to ultimately close the deal. Our website, marketing materials and social media can help us make that first impression that will lead to a new client or business relationship.
Everyone has a message, and if we want ours to be heard we have to communicate it effectively.
That means keeping our material up-to-date and pleasing to the eye. Taking the time to update our advertising material may seem tedious, but it is the glue that holds our message together.
If you are a multi-taker in your job, or in other words, if you are doing five jobs under one title, there are a few tricks to help with keeping these things up to date without using a lot of time. Vista Print is my best friend. There are hundreds of templates to choose from for business cards, brochures or even car magnets. You name it, they have it. To top it off, when you are ready to place your order, they present you with samples of what other advertising material might look like if you were to use the same design you just finished with. It is tempting not to throw some extras in the shopping cart just before hitting that purchase button.
The cost for brochures or business cards will be more than what it cost to print them yourself from home or the office. But the cost of losing customers or clients is far higher. In the end, it is a worthwhile investment.
Another important note is to make sure your social media pages are well maintained and easy to find. Determine which social media pages are best for your target audience and post there daily. Don’t just have a load of social media pages that you can’t manage. Focus on those that are best for your business type. For example, if you are a photographer then having a well planned and professional looking Instagram page is essential. Engaging with your audience, being kind and personable are other ways to build your brand and reputation.
Building a website can seem like a daunting task to some, especially if considering doing it yourself using Adobe In Design. This is for the really brave. Paying a professional to do it for you could cost you thousands of dollars.
That is why I love Wix. It is the guru for website building and maintenance. It uses the same principles that Vista Print does by offering hundreds of templates for websites. It breaks them down into categories like photography, business, food industry, boutique and more.
Once you have chosen the template you want, you can begin to add your own text and pictures. As you work your way through this process, Wix offers little bubbles of information to guide you along the process. You can be as basic or creative as you want, changing the background color, font, adding slide shows and videos as well as links. After your website is published, it is easy to edit it occasionally in order to address the ever-changing culture or any changes your business might go through as it grows. Did I mention it was free?
Keeping the information on your website up-to-date is vital. Having inaccurate information sends a message that you are out of touch, don’t pay attention to details, or haven’t got a clue about the audiences needs. This is not the message any business professional wants to send. Taking just a little time each month to run through your website to make sure all the links work and the information is up to date is worth your while.
And don’t forget the mobile version. This is important because most people find information using their phones. Nothing turns off an audience more than a mobile website layout being completely out of line. Overlapping text, staggered photos. These all say that the business they have been inquiring about is not a professional one.
The look you are going for is at your fingertips, and easier to manage than you might think. Update your advertising material and watch your business grow.