To Hire or Not to Hire?

15

Feb
2013
Posted By : Amanda Cox 0 Comment

Risk Word In Red Showing Peril And UncertaintyHiring a graphic designer nowadays is not easy. It can be a very stressful process. From high hourly rates to no call backs and ridiculous turn around times, it’s no wonder there are more articles posted titled “Top Reasons NOT To Hire A Graphic Designer” than I can sift through. I came across a few that were quite humorous to me at first, and then I started thinking; What if people really do think like this? If people are thinking like this then why not give them a reason to think again about these negative lists. Here are some reasons that were created BY graphic designers to get people to think about things they were doing.

1. “Joe, the IT guy, knows how to stretch and squish photos and place them into PowerPoint to make cool tri-folds we can just print out on our desktop printer.”

Your company image is everything. And that doesn’t just refer to your uniformed men or the people who answer your phones. It flows all the way down to items you present to potential customers and current customers. Things as simple as brochures and business cards are being judged, especially if you are in a high competition industry. You may not think so, but winning a bid can come right down to who had the better sales materials. Consider hiring a graphic designer or professional print company to make sure you have quality products you are using to present with.

2. “Because you KNOW that people will look at your ad longer if you fill every inch of it with all the information they ever needed to know about your product.”

If this is your thinking you may want to consider changing it. You have approximately 3 seconds to grab your readers attention before they navigate to the next page. Make it count! Less is more. Make sure you get a headline that captures their attention and then get the basics, phone number, website, and call to action. If they read EVERYTHING about your product in the ad what makes them want to call you?

3. “Kinko’s doesn’t suck. They do a rip-roaring job on all my important collateral.”

Yes, Kinko’s offers you all the means for quality printed materials. But if the design is terrible who cares where it is printed? A glossy paper isn’t going to make it present any better. Remember, think about the image you want your potential and current customers left with.

4. “Default 12pt Times New Roman type with auto leading is easier for my great-grandmother to read than any of those fancy fonts designers use.”

That may be true, but is your great-grandmother reading your ad? Or looking through your brochure to buy? Probably think. Think about the people who are. We as consumers are attracted to bright colors, whimsical fonts, and things that draw our eye from the “norm”. Default 12pt Times New Roman font just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Bottom line, think of your ads, sales materials and promotional materials as YOU. Your brand, your image, your company. You don’t have to be to flashy or too off the wall. And you don’t have to pay gobs of money for it. What you spend is well worth what you will get back from it. A well designed set of materials can become a very beneficial sales tool.

Creating A Successful Print Ad

15

Feb
2013
Posted By : Amanda Cox 0 Comment

mcdonalds-angusThe first step in creating a good print advertisement is to establish the appeal; why should your reader buy, or request more information? Think about your headline. Do you want to sell your fast service, discounted rates, or free estimates? The key is to capture the attention of your reader before they see a similar ad on the next page. When designing your campaign look through the magazine or paper you are listing your service in. Try to find something different than the other ads. Your ad will more than likely be one amongst hundreds so offering something your competition doesn’t makes for a appeal!

The body of the copy or bullet points you list should state the benefits of using your product or service. It should emphasize how they are different, or better, than your competitors’ benefits. Emphasize words like “free” or “no obligation” to make your customer feel comfortable about calling. Think about adding a short testimonial. And the obvious, don’t forget to include full contact information; telephone number, address if you have a physical location, and a website. Consider also adding information about your social media pages as this is becoming a business standard.

Next think about the design of your ad. The size of the headline font should be big and powerful enough to grab the attention of the reader. Pictures can be helpful, but, if possible, don’t use pictures that have nothing to do with the product or service. You want the pictures to attract buyers, not curiosity seekers. Pictures of the product, of the product in use, and of people using the product, work best.

Include organization logos and seals of approval. Making your customer feel that you are not only established but you have companies keeping you in check. Consumers nowadays rely heavily on organization memberships such as Check A Pro, Angie’s List, Service Magic, and the Better Business Bureau.

Where and when to place your ads are vital to its success, so it’s important to put together a strategy and media plan. The media plan is a schedule of ad placements for the year, and includes, the publication name, which ad will run, dates the ads will appear, size of the ads, placement within the publication, and fees. It can be time consuming but setting a strategy helps you get the most out of your ad. The plan can also include other types of ads that will run throughout the year in different mediums that may highlight your print ad. Think about email marketing or social media campaigns to run in conjunction with your print ad.