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In the A-Z of Marketing Experts, X is for X313 Design and Y is for You!

Let’s start with X …

We’re nearing the end of the alphabet, so for X, I asked one of my favorite graphic designers, John Tromans from X313 Design, to share with me his take on design, in relation to marketing your business. Here are his wise words

Is Graphic Design Relevant To You?

Companies like Vodafone and Volvo create huge branding documents and have teams of brand police controlling all the elements of their corporate communications. However, just because you are a coach, consultant or trainer running a small company or even a ‘one-man-band’, this does not mean that the subject of design and branding is not relevant to you.

Start With the Basics
Every business, regardless of its size, has a basic requirement for a clear and easily legible logo, which should work well in various sizes and contexts. You also need a preferred font and a couple of brand colours for your website, stationery and any printed marketing materials, including your business cards.

Why Brand Matters
When you give your business card to a contact or prospect, it says a lot about you – as much as what you are wearing, how polite you are or how attentive you seem to be. You risk spoiling a first impression if you don’t pay attention to the detail of your design and branding – however basic that might be.

Avoid DIY
A big question which faces many business owners is “Do I pay a designer or do I try DIY?” After all, who doesn’t have access to a computer and some design software? My conviction is that if you want a job done professionally, you ask a professional to do it. We don’t all have years of training, experience and talent in every skill or subject. Consequently, even though I have a plastering trowel in my shed, I would still employ a skilled plasterer if I needed my ceiling skimmed.

Finding a Designer
Here are a few tips for finding the best designer:

  1. Agencies carry heavy overheads and their hourly rates will often reflect this. I suggest you get a referral from a trusted friend or colleague to a freelancer, or designer running a small business.
  2. Have an initial phone call to get a feeling for the designer’s personal and communication skills. There are designers out there who might be highly creative but do not necessarily listen or communicate well.
  3. Take a look at the designers’ website. You don’t need to look for cutting-edge or ‘out there’ design solutions. A broad portfolio which shows the ability to provide practical and functional visual communication across a variety of sectors is much more important.
  4. Agree a price for a specific piece of work and ask to be informed before budgets are broken. Make your budget constraints clear to avoid misunderstandings.
  5. Check the designer’s terms and conditions so that you are clear on who owns the rights to any designs or artwork. I withhold nothing from my clients in terms of designs or intellectual property but some, particularly agencies, can be less flexible.

And Finally  … the Sales Pitch!
I hope you find John’s tips helpful. If you have any questions about getting the right design for your coaching, consulting or training business, then please do get in touch with him. He’s one of those great designers who will listen to what you need and help to develop the perfect image for your business – all at a very reasonable price! For example, his entry level logo package is just £250. He will even turn your new logo into designs for business cards, letterheads and a draft/visual of a website homepage for another £250.

I’ve been working with John for many years now. He regularly provides really top quality, creative designs for my clients. Do get in touch and you can talk to him about your design needs and his love of paintings landscapes – you can even see some examples here.

And What About Y?

If you’ve been concentrating this year, reading all my blogs and learning from the experts that I’ve been writing about, you should be close to becoming a marketing expert yourself! I bet that you know more about promoting your business than you really give yourself credit for.

However, if you’re still not convinced, or you would like a top up, then why not book a free Marketing Review with me? I have a few spaces each month to spend an hour talking to coaches, consultants or trainers about their marketing, and how they can improve what they’re doing. We will talk through the different marketing activities that you’re using and I will give you recommendations on how to make them more effective. If you’re doing something that I can see won’t work for you, or that will cost you a lot of money, I’ll tell you to stop doing it – and I’ll give you some alternatives to try.

To book your free Marketing Review, click here to email me or call me on 01635 578 500.

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