Monday, December 17, 2007

Branding and New Year’s Resolutions

* Do you have clip art as your business logo?
* Did you use a business card template from one of those inexpensive print websites?
* Do you feel that using the services of a professional designer is an expense you can skip?

Well, I’m here to tell you that it matters a great deal that you have a professional brand identity and there’s no better time than the New Year to get one! I’m writing this because very few people will tell you the truth about your business card or brand identity, but I will. People will take your card, glance at it, and decide what kind of business owner you are right there on the spot.


I run into a lot of bad business cards. I don’t want to be rude so I look at the cards with a pleasant face before putting them away all the while thinking “Don't people realize that they're making a bad first impression?”

I started my first business in 1985. It was an international fine jewelry company selling to upscale department stores. I hired a graphic designer to design a first rate brand. It worked. I was in 400 department stores within a few years and it had a great deal to do with how I presented myself, including my business cards.

If you’re using clip art, please stop right now - Step away from the clip art! If you’re using a template, it was good in the beginning and saved you money, but now it’s time to invest in your business. If you think you can skip the expense of a professional designer, think again.

What sort of message do you think you are sending to your target clients by not having a professional brand? I’ll clue you in: it sends a message that your business is under-funded, hasn’t been around long, is lacking in credentials and credibility, or is a fly-by-night.

What benefits come with a professional brand?

1. Being able to command higher fees (who doesn’t want this?)
2. Pre-sell yourself, less work on your part to acquire new clients
3. Attract better quality clients
4. Credible or professional image
5. Ability to brand products that you create and promote
6. Effortless Marketing is at work in the world for you!

So, what I want for you is to be a professional business owner, not a business worker, and one of the ways you can do this is by getting smart and presenting yourself as a successful, professional entrepreneur. I don’t care who you hire. Just make sure it’s someone with experience and creativity. Look at their portfolio and decide if they have the style you’re after. There are all types of budgets. Expect to pay between $600 and $1200 for a professional.

(another Monday night football post)
Grow Your Business and Prosper!
Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors
Branding Packages

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