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Top 5 Ways to Visually Connect with Your Clients (In Print)

December 7th, 2008

As a small business owner, you are an expert in your field. You have passion, knowledge, and valuable talents to share. But how do you keep potential customers from skimming past your well-thought-out advertising, or how do you compel a past client to come and try out a fabulous, new offering?

There’s a plethora of advice on sales & marketing strategies for business owners, but I will discuss five simple ways you can visually improve your marketing materials. Educate yourself before a graphic designer proposes a new flyer. And take ho-hum, snooze-inducing brochures and posters from “Zzzzzz” to “Wow!”

1.    Choose your weapon.

First, you must choose the medium that best fits your audience. What will attract the most attention and remain in their memories? Does your industry regularly print hundreds of tri-fold brochures for customers? Print them at an irregular size with a cool fold, add more color, change the paper. If people usually gloss over your hand-written sign, try an eye catching POP display. Try placing your message on an object that is related to your business. Or, use an item that showcases your competition’s weakness and send it through the mail. Think outside the box and have fun!

2.    Make it readable.

What’s the point of a catchy tagline, well-written copy, or tempting incentive if no one can read it? I was horrified when I received a postcard from a local beauty salon – it featured a very faded photo of the salon premises covered over with light colored text. So, not only was it hard to make out the photo, but the card was completely illegible. Extremely small type, all uppercase letters, and very scripty type can also put a strain on the eyes. You want to convey personality and style, but not at the expense of good taste or readability.

3.    Choose a focal point.

A great way to induce stress and confusion in customers is to have too many things going on at once. Whether you’re ordering a business card or a three-story mural, you need a single focal point. Otherwise you risk losing a person’s interest or worse yet their business, because of pure exasperation. A skilled graphic designer will be able to draw the eye to the most important information using an amazing photo, dynamic shapes, etc.

4.    Limit font usage.

Choose a versatile typeface that reflects your business style and stick with it. You may also choose a separate typeface that offers a nice contrast. If there are 6 different typefaces, 11 different sizes, and 19 different colors going on, you will come off as very unprofessional and disorganized. Don’t do it. A graphic designer will be able to suggest appropriate typefaces and the best ways to emphasize all the important parts in your text. This will strengthen your message and unify your look.

5.    Drop the clichés and show your personality.

Gather together all the brochures, ads and flyers you can find from your competition. Do you see an underlying, cookie-cutter image or color? You may find an extent of homogeneousness because people need to instantly recognize who you are and what you do. However, don’t be afraid to drop the clichés and let your unique approach or style come through (appropriate to the context).

These are just a sampling of guidelines you can use to assess your current marketing collateral, or when creating new marketing collateral for your business. Mindspring Design has a comprehensive 62-point system for creating your customized print materials. Contact Mindspring Design today for a consultation and let your brand start working for you. And remember, you are reinvesting in your business when you take time to consult with a knowledgeable graphic designer.