Social spaces are these new web 2.0 websites like blogs, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and Youtube where users are creating all the content and interacting with each other. This is where users are hanging out online. Use these places to answer questions from your customers, gather feedback, spread information, and announce new products or sales. Post often—daily if possible. Better entries or “posts” as they can be called, help customers do their research better. Concentrate on your expertise and avoid sales pitches; be transparent and interact.
Create a business identity.
Search the Internet for free, ready-made templates to present a professional-looking and cohesive business identity or find a professional design firm that you feel comfortable with that addresses everything from marketing collateral to online presentations. This could be a graphic designer, a sign shop, a full advertising agency, or web design firm. They should all have websites so do your research and possibly try it yourself first. If you feel like you need help, seek it out. It could help save your brand or your business’ image.
Print in color.
Print all marketing collateral in color. Why? Because people respond to color. Invest in a good color inkjet or laser printer so you can print your business cards, letterhead stationery, labels, and brochures on-demand or if you are just starting out, seek out a local print shop or the big two: Fedex and UPS stores. Be sure to use or request quality paper. It will make a difference in how it feels in your hand. Potential customers can be affected by all senses and you wouldn’t want to sink a sale due to flimsy or cheap-feeling paper.
Learn new software.
Learn how to use publishing software like Microsoft Publisher or Adobe Photoshop. Search the web for free online classes or tutorials on everything from Microsoft Word to Adobe Illustrator. Even if you go with a design firm, you may still want to know a little bit about how to use a program in which they may be sending you files. The design firm should always send it in a format in which your computer is able to read, but it helps to be able to edit it easily too if you need to.
Spice up your presentations.
Take your next client meeting to the next level by using custom backgrounds, stock photography, clip art, and readable typefaces to convey your message in an interesting and memorable way. Just as people respond better to black and white than they do to color, your customers will respond better to pictures and graphs than text alone. Whatever you do, just be creative. You want to stand apart from your competition, be confident, organized, and professional.