Here’s the BIG MISTAKE many solo/small business owners make…
They don’t put enough thought or resources into designing their graphics and print collateral.
On the surface this doesn’t sound like a big deal. But poorly designed banner graphics, or a faded, flimsy brochure can make potential clients see your business as amateurish or unprofessional.
A Word of Warning for You Do-It-Yourselfers
You’ve got an old copy of Photoshop, “YouTUBE University”, and an inkjet printer? So, you might figure to save a little money by putting on your “graphic designer and printers hat.”
That’s fine. But please read on before you do.
In general, unless you’re a skilled graphic designer, you should hire a professional. Don’t be in denial about this! Trust me. I used to think the stuff I created was worthy of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. How wrong I was.
That said, there are cases (e.g. simple blog or social media headers) where you can get away with going the DIY route. With sites like Canva.com, BeFunky.com, and TailorBrands.com you can create decent graphics at an affordable price. Some are even completely free.
They have lots of templates and easy-to-use features that allow you to create decent looking, custom (somewhat) designs. However, if you want a high-quality design, truly unique to your business, you’ll need to hire a pro.
Affordable Professional Design
Fortunately, these days, it’s easier than ever to find a skilled graphic designer that fits your budget. Sites like Fiverr, DesignCrowd, 99Designs, and Upwork allow you to choose between thousands of designers from all over the world.
Just make sure you know exactly what you want, how much you’re willing to spend, and what the designer will be delivering to you. Because some designers might advertise a low base price, but then up charge you for things like higher resolution files or specific file formats (e.g. Adobe Illustrator).
I’m going to assume that it’s not cost-effective for you to mass produce your own print collateral. So, depending on your needs, “do-it-yourself” probably means you go to the local Kinko’s or UPS store to print stuff.
Or, maybe you use one of the many online printers like VistaPrint. For many types of printing, they’ll work out just fine. Just be careful not to go with whoever advertises the lowest price. You must consider things like material (paper) quality, actual appearance (colors are correct), set up requirements, et. al. Not all printing is the same.
I recommend researching some of the smaller printing shops that can, if needed, walk you through a job from design concept to final print.
Image is Everything
A simple business card or flyer can be the first introduction of your business to a potential client. What would you like their first impression to be? Well-designed print collateral can be the start of a customer relationship that eventually leads them to get to know, like, and trust you. Don’t make the mistake of discounting the importance of quality graphics and printed materials.
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