Today’s guest post is from Darcey Ohlin-Lacy, principal, Watermark Design.
You don’t have to be a naked cowboy to stand out in crowd.
We know its hard to pay attention to yourself when your focus is your clients… the shoemaker’s kids… we are often without shoes, but as the calls slow a bit with clients on holiday, now is a great time to sit back and take a good hard look at your brand.
Is your brand consistent across all your marketing channels? Do your Twitter, Facebook, Google plus and all your other online profiles reflect a consistent and recognizable brand?
How about your website? If you are a professional service or if you are selling a product, it is likely that most people will check you out online before contacting you directly. We recently needed an eye doctor. This is a person you are going to trust with one of your most important body parts. Instilling trust is critical but in the search for a well branded eye doctor, not many were instilling the kind of confidence that would allow you to put your fingers in our eyes. For someone to give up their credit card information or call you to make an appointment, you have to make a good first impression. Is your site doing that?
Another thought on websites… with the advent of WordPress templates, everything is starting to look the same. If you are truly trying to stand out, you might want to consider a totally custom designed site – if you rely on google, you better be sure those first 3 seconds land a punch. If this is your calling card, it might be worth the added expense. Whatever your calling card is – that’s where your money should go: A HOT business card if you are a hand shaker, a totally unique site if you are just online, a custom landing page on Facebook if you drive purchases through social media….
Print is not dead- it’s boutique now! with all the emails you answer all day long and the pace at which your FB wall changes, wouldn’t you spend longer with a beautiful and unusual piece that showed up in your mail? You know you will at least open it and that’s more than most people do with email marketing these days! AND… why not make it something they will keep on their desk and not throw away… keeping your brand front and center…an old, but we believe, a goody.
Are you giving your ads the love they deserve? We understand that small businesses aren’t made of money so why would you throw your money into the wind and hope a good ad comes out of it? If you are not trusting someone to put out a consistent brand message – and beyond that, one that catches eyes – you are wasting your money. If you are going to pay for an ad, your return would be better if someone actually sees it. Is your ad on white background in a white newspaper? Probably not standing out much, but if this is your brand – black and white – maybe you can make it insanely simple so that it looks out of place on the page. You don’t want to oversaturate in color just for colors sake either – choosing the correct image – one that you aren’t seeing in EVERY other ad [typical happy kid, woman on a beach etc.] will help you out as well.
Look at what everyone else is doing in that pub or on that site and DO THE OPPOSITE!
We are taking a look at ourselves and hope to share our updated look soon, we try not to preach without listening, too!