Tips & Ideas

Writing/Editing Tips

  • As you write, put yourself in the reader’s shoes; what would he or she want to know about your business? Try to anticipate and answer these questions in your writing.

  • Use a spelling and grammar checker! Poor spelling or grammar can make people doubt your professional capabilities. If spelling or grammar is an issue for you, have a co-worker check your most important documents.

  • Keep text as brief as possible on a web site, especially the home page. Divide the text into multiple web pages with more links rather than using lengthy pages with a lot of scrolling.

  • Use bullets and subheadings to break text into small, manageable sections that are easy to skim.

  • Explain the benefits a client/customer will gain from using your business (rather than just listing what you do).

  • Include useful information in your web site in addition to the marketing copy. People are more likely to remember and return to your site if you give information that’s useful to them: links, tips, calculators, resources, etc.

Layout/Marketing Tips

  • Use “styles” to make formatting much simpler (and faster) in your word processing documents. When you need to change the font, size, etc., it takes just a few clicks to update the text format in your whole document.

  • Create a “template” (.dot or .dotx) for each of your frequently-used forms in Microsoft Word to make sure your documents look consistent each time you use them.

  • Do an inexpensive postcard mailing to stir up some business. A recipient is a lot more likely to read a colorful postcard than a letter stuffed inside a business envelope.

  • Use your logo consistently in all your printed materials, forms and web site. If other companies use your logo (in a presentation, ad, directory listing, etc.), make sure they use it consistently and correctly (correct size, shape, color. etc.).

  • Put a phone number and email address in a prominent place throughout your web site. In marketing materials, place your complete contact info in a conspicuous place that’s easy to update—maybe not on expensive pieces like folders).

  • When redoing your marketing materials or web site, ask current clients or customers to review your proposed pieces and give you feedback. Make sure to follow up and thank them for the feedback.

  • If you plan to use your marketing folders for a long time, don’t put your address or phone number on them. That way you can keep using the folders if you move (or get assigned a new area code), instead of throwing them out. Put your contact info on other materials that are cheaper to replace.

  • Design your marketing and business materials to have a consistent look, from your web site all the way down to your business forms.

  • Leave some white space on your documents rather than cramming every available inch with text or graphics. This makes your message stand out more clearly by giving it some breathing room.

  • Limit yourself to two or three fonts—one for headings and one for body text—and use them consistently throughout all your documents. The fonts should match or complement your logo.

  • Use photos and clip art to add visual appeal to your documents and reinforce your message. Choose images that share a similar look and color scheme.

  • Use high-quality images in your printed documents. Don’t paste in low-resolution images copied from the web, and don’t stretch an image to try and make it bigger. An image that looks fine on a monitor might look terrible on a printed piece. Most images on the web are only 72 dpi, but a color image in a printed piece should be at least 300 dpi at its final printed size.