You need a Business Card

I know you are on the web and findable on Facebook as well as other social media sites but do you have a business card? If not then consider getting one tailored to your brand so that it’s handy to give out when face to face with a client prospect or anyone you want to stay connected with.

I mention it because I have been handing mine out over the last few months and realized that I’m almost out. Before creating the final file though I made sure to get a company email address to look more professional. All the emails will still go to my mac.com address but I now feel more committed to the business I started back in 2010!

Here are examples of three I’ve designed recently for clients:
1716_JLHTherapy_BusinessCard_FINAL

4217_WSS_BusinessCard_FINAL-1

1804_BusinessCard_FINAL-1

 

Get this right and your business will be on its way!

Did you know how important it is to brand your company consistently with web, print, and social media? Get this right and you will have a company look and feel that will reassure customers and potential customers that you take your company seriously.

I understand how difficult this can be. I started my company back in 2010 without a plan for how to brand it. I of all people should have known better since my business plan was to brand small companies! But it’s easy to get caught up in the moving parts and forget to look at the overall picture. I created a look I liked for my business card and some print materials.

Then an ad opportunity came along so I created another look for that.

PatcreedonDesign_NewCanaan_LR

An Ad for My Company from 2010 or 11

I had a website to match for a while that I based on a template I liked.

patcreedondesign

My old Website

But then I wanted to add WordPress to my skills and the theme I liked was a different look again.  It may be  time (Ok it is time) to use my skills to create a consistent brand for myself. I will keep you posted on that.

How should you do it?

That’s where I encourage you to learn from me and not do it the way I did. Instead let Pat Creedon Design give your brand the look that suits it, or work with the one you have to get that professional consistency across all your materials whether printed or online. With a website (preferably with a blog), a Facebook page, a Twitter page and your LinkedIn company page branded with the logo, colors to match your brand look and feel, consistent fonts and a good photo you’ll be on your way!

Thoughts on DIY Design

I’ve never written a song. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Well maybe I’d try to learn an instrument first or learn to read music! But without even some rudimentary knowledge like that I doubt a song will be penned by me anytime soon. If you’ve never designed a brochure, logo, website or similar where would you start? You have a computer and know how to use it, but is that enough to start designing your business materials? Maybe not. If I needed a song written I would not rely on myself to do it. I’d definitely find an experienced songwriter. If you need a design to promote your business or brand then find an experienced Graphic Designer. It’s worth it!

Custom Websites, Worth the Investment?

In a previous blog post I made the point that websites are today’s business cards. If that’s the case, do you want a business card for your business? Of course. Then you  should also want a website that reflects your business. Being infinitely malleable your website is a much more flexible tool for describing your business than a business card. What would you pay for that?

Custom websites come in all price ranges but the web designer you end up with should be someone you feel comfortable with and can contact easily for changes, troubleshooting and updates. I often run into people who hired someone to do their website and now that they need them they don’t know how to find them. Or their web designer won’t return calls. That’s pretty frustrating. Pat Creedon Design is very accessible. I also offer graphic design so I can do the promotional materials, ads and direct mail for your business as well. The consistency in having one graphic and web designer on it all, plus the reliability of one contact, makes for a pleasant and smooth process for getting your new custom website.

Websites are the Business Cards of the Internet

Once there was a time when all you needed was a business card to hand out and you were in business. Most people who have a business have a card to go with it and give it out freely, especially if it’s any kind of service business. The card has the basic information that the prospect needed: business name, address, phone number, maybe an email address and sometimes the services or products available, and some branding like a logo and tagline. Interested parties would simply call, email or stop by and the business grew. Now there is an expectation that, before anyone commits to that call, email or walk-in, they will have access to your business on the world-wide web. It’s become a given that businesses can be researched first from anyone’s computer, or even more likely, their smart phone or tablet. And if your business is not represented by it’s own website then people simply Google it.

That’s when it gets interesting. Everyone is likely to be searchable thanks to the diligence of companies like Google but not everyone will be that happy with what shows up about them. A business owner I know felt he was busy enough that he didn’t need a website for his company. But he was having a problem with people calling to ask him for a service that his company doesn’t do. I said I’d look into it for him and I found out that his business listing on the web didn’t mention what he does. Hence people were assuming that he offered what they wanted. If he had a website that told people exactly what services his company offered it would have cut down on nuisance phone calls that were not resulting in new business. Getting a website is the best way since business cards to control what you want people to know about your business. And these days it virtually is a business card!

Before and After Business Card

I designed the after

I designed the after

Why Websites are the Business Cards of the Internet

Once there was a time when all you needed was a business card to hand out and you were in business! Most people who have a business have a card to go with it and give it out freely, especially if it’s any kind of service business. The card would give out the basic information that the prospect needed: business name, address, phone number, maybe an email address and sometimes the services or products available, and some branding like a logo and tagline. Interested parties would simply call, email or stop by and the business grew. Now there is an expectation that, before anyone commits to that call, email or walk-in, they will have access to your business on the world-wide web. It’s become a given that businesses can be researched first from anyone’s computer, or these days, their smart phone or tablet. Now if your business is not represented by it’s own website then people simply Google it.

That’s when it gets hairy. Everyone is likely to be searchable thanks to the diligence of companies like Google but not everyone will be that happy with what shows up about them. I recently talked with a business owner who felt he was busy enough that he didn’t need a website designed and uploaded for him at a personalized URL for his company. But he was having a problem recently of people calling to ask him for a service that his company doesn’t do. I said I’d look into it for him and I found out that his business listing on the web didn’t mention what he does do hence people were assuming that he offered what they wanted. If he had a website that told people exactly what services his company offered it would have cut down on nuisance phone calls that were not resulting in new business.

A website can be as simple as a “landing page” which is literally like a business card on the web. It gives the basic information on your company and it’s products or services. It has your logo, tagline and colors that brand your business and that’s it. As long as it’s not created in Flash then it will be searchable by the search engines and will show up when the company name is Googled. To get ahead of  your competition though something more will be needed but that will be covered in another blog. Thanks for your time! Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.