By Melinda Emerson, author, speaker and small business coach
Ever since color television was invented in 1953, color has been critical to
telling a visual story. Whether you are a start-up or established business, spending
the extra money on color images or color ink may seem out of the question when
you are launching a marketing campaign. But using color could mean the difference
between whether you’re marketing materials get read, or tossed into file zero—the
trash. Putting it simply, color gets noticed. Printing in color can improve retention,
productivity and generate significant financial returns. A recent Xerox Color
Survey reported that 76% of respondents said they could find information faster
when printed in color. So as you think about developing collateral materials for
your small business -- think color.
Here are 5 ways color can improve your small business:
Create a color logo: There are five common principles of logo design. A logo must be simple and memorable
which means it is easy to recognize. A logo must also be versatile & appropriate.
This means it can be scaled to any size and it must be right for your type of
business. You wouldn’t use an elegant font for a pizza joint. Good logos feature
something unexpected or unique without being over the top. An effective logo should
be timeless and stand the test of time. Always use at least two colors in a logo
and hire a professional to assist you. Your company name in a stylized font is
NOT a logo.
Colorful business cards: You want your business card to be memorable. Use at least two colors in your
business cards. Even consider using a strong background color to stand out. My
business cards for my company Quintessence Multimedia are red, and people always
comment on their uniqueness. Invest in a quality paper stock as well. You want
your attention to detail to be noticed. Do not order business cards that are free
off of the internet. It’s printed on the back that they were free and that could
hurt your credibility with the person you give them to.
Smiling Color Headshot: Anyone in business should have a professional headshot. This is a must have
for all your social media profiles and could be used on your website and in your
marketing materials. You need a friendly, smiling headshot because - remember
you are selling yourself as much as your product or service. Investment should
be around $300 - $500 to get one taken.
Color flyers: You should have a color one-sheet or two–sided flyer to promote your products
and services. Consider glossy flyers, they always look more expensive and polished.
Great flyers include a headline, which describes what you specialize in, your
company logo, great color photos of you, your employees in action or your products.
Also be sure to include at least a partial list of your offerings.
Color Direct Mailer: Have you ever received a black and white mailer from someone looking for business
from you? What did you think about the business who sent it? Not much, right?
Don’t make that mistake. Design a direct mail piece that represents you well.
It should feature color pictures of your products or services being used or performed
in action. Make sure it includes your color logo, complete contact information
and a special offer as your call to action. For example, include a promotion of
“10% off if you mention this flyer when placing an order.”
Want to take your materials to the next level? Engage a professional when designing
your materials; it can make all the difference. Eight-seven percent of respondents
in a recent Xerox survey said professional graphics used in marketing materials
such a brochures was a key ingredient in the success of a product or service.
Your investment in quality marketing materials will speak for you when you are
not around to sell yourself. Keep in mind; you don’t have to do this yourself
there are resources available like, Openforum.com or your printer’s free templates
for download. Xerox.com also offers great free resources.
Color is not that expensive anymore, so go for it. You want every advantage when
you are trying to close a customer.
Melinda Emerson filed this content as a paid contributor to Xerox. The content
is the author’s opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of Xerox.
Melinda F. Emerson, SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 small business expert. She is an author, speaker and small
business coach whose areas of expertise include small business start-up, business
development and social media marketing. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda
develops audio, video and written content to help her Fortune 500 clients engage
small business customers. She publishes a resource blog, www.succeedasyourownboss.com
and hosts a weekly talk show on Twitter called #SmallBizChat for today’s entrepreneurs.
She reaches 1.5 million small business owners each week on the internet. Forbes
Magazine named Melinda Emerson #1 Woman for Entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter.
Melinda has been featured on MSNBC, Fox News, NBC Nightly News and in The Washington
Post, New York Times, Fortune, Essence and Black Enterprise. She is also the author
of the bestselling book “Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide
to a Business That Works.”. Melinda is a graduate of Virginia Tech.