Marketing Basics Series

Appearance Matters

When you go to a job interview, you dress the part. When you meet a potential client or customer, you put some thought into your wardrobe so that your appearance is how they expect to see an expert in your particular field to be dressed. For some that means it’s business casual; on Wall Street it’s a suit; and it’s a hoodie in Silicon Valley. Making sure that how you present yourself is familiar and/or expected for your ideal clients is an obvious choice. It reassures them that they’re making the right decision in choosing to do business with you. It also doesn’t distract them from an appearance that is “out-of-whack” with what they expect. Because if your appearance is distracting, they will never get past it to hear what expertise you have to share!

When you were growing up, your mom might have said, “Make sure the outside matches the inside — your appearance matters.”

If making sure that your personal appearance is professional and appropriate for your ideal client is a no-brainer, so is making sure that your company is “dressed” appropriately as well. A great start is making sure that you have a consistent Brand Voice. Not sure how to establish one? Check out our article.

Now that your stationery matches your business cards, and they both match your brochures which match your website, what’s next?

A good next step is evaluating your marketing tools and determining which tool or two are the hardest working for you. Review the marketing tools that you’re using: flyers, email campaigns, online presence.  If you’re in real estate, it may be a postcard that gives you the best return on investment. If you’re an event planner, it might be a brochure, or it might be your website’s event galleries.

Now take a hard look at the tool (be it a brochure, website, postcard). Does it reflect the quality of your work? Is the layout/organization optimized for your ideal client? If it’s a print piece, is it on a paper stock that conveys quality? If it’s online, is it optimized for viewing on mobile devices and tablets in addition to computers? Is the Call-to-Action clear? Is there a Call-to-Action?

If the answers to some or all of these questions are “No”, then you have an opportunity to “dress” your company in a more appropriate way and improve those first and second impressions. This makes your brand — and your expertise — memorable.

Eventually you will want all of your communication channels to be optimized for your ideal client, but if your hardest working marketing tools have been designed with this in mind, you’re going to inspire more trust as an expert in your field. And you’ll also have a cohesive visual foundation to build upon for the rest of your marketing efforts.

Just like your mom always said — appearances matter.