The way I see it, you have three choices when it comes to creating marketing materials for your business.
1. Hire Someone
An experienced designer or ad agency will give you polished, professional marketing materials. But graphic designers can be expensive, and ad agencies fees are often way too high for small businesses.
Designers with lots of experience charge between $75-150/hour in most parts of the US. Design projects for small businesses can cost thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.
Ad agencies are another option. Most have overhead they must cover: office space, a receptionist, and multiple salaried employees with benefits. Agencies increase profits by marking up the services they provide. If they procure any outside services for your company, they mark up the cost as much as 25%. The experienced designer you work with through an agency might end up costing you anywhere from $93 to $187 an hour. Ouch!
Professional graphic designers and ad agencies will create beautiful, effective marketing materials for your business, but you may not be able to afford them.
2. Learn to Do It Yourself
You may already be doing your marketing materials yourself. You put things together the best way you know. You look at typefaces and colors, and wonder which ones work best. You try something, then try something else. This year’s marketing materials might look completely different than last year’s.
You put things together yourself because you want to save money. You might ask a designer or agency to do some of your most important marketing items, but you handle the rest.
You handle your marketing materials, but you’re not satisfied. The marketing pieces you create aren’t polished, and they’re not a good representation of the quality of your business.
3. Or Watch it Fail
That sounds pretty harsh, doesn’t it? In the end, you really only have two choices when it comes to creating marketing materials for your business. Either you hire someone to do it, or you do it yourself.
If you want to stay in business, you must create your marketing materials one way or the other.
Marketing is what brings customers to you, and generates sales of your products or services. If you want your business to thrive, you must market your offerings and professional, polished materials will help.
You Already Have What You Need
We live in an amazing time. If you’re reading this blog, you are sitting in front of a piece of equipment that’s more powerful than what I used when I first started working as a graphic designer back in 1987.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t even have a computer. Everything we did was by hand. Typesetting was done by specialized companies who sent us galleys on photographic paper. We sliced them with X-acto knives and used rubber cement to stick them to art boards.
I dreamed of being able to see the final product I designed on a screen, and within a short time my dream became a reality. The studio where I worked purchased a Mac IIcx with 1 MB of RAM and a 40 MB hard drive, and I sat down to design on a computer for the first time.
It was amazing: I could think of an idea and make it happen right before my eyes on the screen in front of me. I know it sounds quaint today, but at the time it was a revelation. It helped me to work faster, and with an increased level of accuracy and sophistication. I was hooked.
You Own Powerful Design Equipment
Fast forward to today. You are sitting in front of a machine that is hundreds of times more powerful than those early computers. You can take what you’ve typed and easily make the letters larger or smaller, or change the typeface used. You can see exactly what it will look like on screen before you print it out or email it. The machine you’re sitting in front of is a powerful design tool, whether you currently use it that way or not.
But it doesn’t become a powerful design tool until you learn the basics of good design. Once you have those skills, you’ll find that everything you produce (in any software) will look more professional and be easier to read.
There’s a personal trait that’s key to creating great marketing materials, and you already “own” it, too. It’s the desire to learn, and the drive to acquire a skill that will help you grow your business. If you read this blog, you “own” this already.
Create Marketing Materials You Can be Proud Of
Using a modern-day computer, you can create marketing materials that will sell your products and services. Your business will look professional and your messages will compel your target market to buy. Your marketing will work, and you’ll be in control of it.
You’ll save time:
No more waiting for a designer to get back to you, or requesting revisions from an agency that takes several days to turn them around. Your marketing materials will be on your own computer, and you can make changes and additions as needed.
You’ll save money:
Creating your own marketing materials will save you thousands of dollars you’d otherwise spend on designers or agencies. You won’t need to invest in expensive and complex design software, either.
Your marketing will reflect your passion:
You won’t find an outside vendor as committed to the success of your business as you are. Why not have the person most interested in seeing your business succeed be the person who handles your marketing materials?
[This course is now closed: thank you for your interest!]