Stop Apologizing For Your Small Business Marketing Materials - Fix Them!
Advice to help you be more confident and effective with your basic small business marketing materials
By Cary Weston
As a small business owner, you work hard to do good work for your customers. You do your best to get new leads and follow through on promises.
You can't be everywhere at once. Enter the need for marketing materials.
Quite simply - your marketing materials have one main purpose: to represent you and your business when you're not there to do it yourself.
So why do so many businesses apologize for what they share?
Stop me if you've heard this.
"We have a website but I don't like to send people there."
Or how about this one:
"Our brochure is old and doesn't really show all that we do."
And I hear this one more often than you think:
"Here's my business card, but let me put our new address on there. We haven't printed the new cards yet."
I understand that you have a box and a half of the old business cards left and you just can't come to throw them out. And that the brochure is 5 years old and there's a closet full of them because you order 5,000 at once to get a great price break. And your cousins kid went off to college and no one else knows how to update the website.
I know all the reasons. I just don't understand why so many small business owners justify them.
They don't have to be fancy and they don't have to be expensive. But your materials need to be accurate and they need to reflect who you are as a business.
Better yet - they need to reflect why a potential customer would want to do business with you!
With the cost of digital printing, the barriers of looking good no longer exist.
You wouldn't cover the broken window of your delivery truck with cardboard would you? So why patch up materials that are your source of public perception.
Our firm's brochure is not fancy (you can find it online here). In fact, it's right to the point and tells the story of what we do and why you should care.
I get compliments on it all the time because it helps people understand our business quickly and accurately.
So do you and your business a favor - take a look at what you use for materials. No, better yet, have a complete stranger take a look at what you use for materials.
Do they reflect who you are and what your customers want? Is the information accurate? If there was the biggest sales opportunity of the year, would you feel good passing them out or referring the lead to your website?
If the answer to any of those questions is 'no', then make a change.
They don't have to be fancy and they don't have to be expensive.
But in order to work as hard as you do, they do need to be right.
- Cary Weston is a partner of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications in Bangor, Maine
Company's Web: www.sutherlandweston.com
Company's Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWMC_inc
Cary's Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/caryweston
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