I have stacks of CD cases, bags of pens, boxes of business cards, and give aways with expired specials. When you’ve been in business for ten years or more its inevitable that you will begin to collect old marketing materials. Phone numbers change, images need to be updated and perhaps you’ve gone through a re-brand or two. Keeping your collateral current is a never ending task so you have to be smart when deciding where to spend your money. I’m going to share with you some tips on how to get the most bang for your buck as well as the importance of letting go of those old pieces that no longer serve your business.
If it doesn’t have the correct information, get rid of it. Don’t try to re-purpose it. Don’t try to cross it out with a marker. Don’t use anything that is not current. Show the best you have to offer, not outdated pieces with incorrect information you have to explain. You might have award winning talent but if your printed materials are not modern and up to date clients will doubt your professionalism.
Does your collateral match your brand? Your website, your business cards, your office and your brochures should all have the same feel, logo and colors. Consistancy of design gives clients a sense of trust when doing business with you. Hiring a graphic designer or working with a branding coach will help to ensure you are delivering the correct message and doing so across all platforms. If you have recently re-designed any part of your marketing, you'll need to follow up and replace all other materials including updating your online presence.
Edit, spell check and review each piece…then do it again. There is nothing more heartbreaking than ordering expensive cards only to discover a misspelled word upon delivery. I’m speaking from experience, here. I actually cried once. Review every proof, scrutinize each word and then have a trusted colleague or friend read it as well. Even the most detailed, grammatically correct editor will miss every now and then but it’s an expensive mistake to make.
Consider ordering smaller quantities. Unless you’re doing an extensive mailing or attending shows and networking events every month, you probably don’t need thousands of printed materials. A few years ago I started ordering smaller batches of postcards to give away at bridal shows so I could continually update the images and information. This helped me tailor my message for each show and I didn’t create waste. This also left me with a visual variety of cards all with the same design and message.
Stick to the basics. Sometimes less is more. You may have a shop on Etsy, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, a blog, a website and a storefront, but you don’t need to squeeze that information onto every card, brochure and handout. You can easily change information online should you move or discontinue your twitter account. Stick to the basics you think a potential client might need immediately. Your name, website, email and phone number should suffice. If you have a physical address where you meet clients or sell products include that as well but nothing more. They can find all your social media accounts online with a simple google search or by visiting your website.
Over time you will get comfortable with letting go of old marketing collaterals that no longer serve your business and make smarter decisions when ordering new materials. A modern look will bring in new clients and more revenue, so out with the old and in with the new.