7 Signs You (Really) Need Help With Your Marketing

1. You don't have a website or it's been forever since you've done anything with the one you have.

Websites are essential in today's competitive, global, 24 hours a day marketplace and should be viewed as a work in progress. While an online version of your print brochure might be ok for some. Most of us need an online presence that works a little harder, makes us easy to find in search engines, allows us to update copy on our own and looks current. A website that can grow with you is a major asset.

2. Your corporate brochure consists of a stapled color printout of your services.

Sometimes a best effort is a liability. If you're going to do something – do it right. Color print outs don't set you apart (in a good way) from your competition.

3. Your business card has perforated edges, or scratched out information.

Handing your homemade business card to someone is about the same as saying to someone "Hi, I take my business seriously enough to have a business card, but not enough to invest my own money in looking professional... but you should hire me anyway." Do yourself a favor and seek professional design help before publicly presenting yourself and your company. The payoff is worth the investment.

4. You're paying big money to go to trade shows and zero money to promote yourself there or follow-up.

Tradeshows are great if they lead to new sales and prospects. But what are you doing to help insure you'll make those connections? Looking professional, having a presence that intrigues people to ask you a question, or entertains them enough to make them pause – this is what you should be thinking about as much as what other shows should we hit this year. How are you going to connect with those attendees, what are you going to give them to remember you by, and how will you follow-up with them – these are things to be addressed before stepping foot in another convention hall.

5. You have multiple pages of copy that explain why your product or service is so great.

Boil it down. As much about visual, designers think about the verbal too. You need to help your readers and there is no better way than by cutting up your corporate mumbo-jumbo into bite size pieces. Headlines, bullet points, succinct summaries...A design team with talent can help you pull these things out and make your materials much more engaging.

6. You change your corporate identity every single year.

Let's face it. We get sick of looking at ourselves a lot sooner than our customers do. Now imagine, you're a prospective customer and the company they are looking for keeps changing. Not only are you wasting your time by updating your identity every year, you are doing yourself a disservice. People like consistency. Designers understand how to "evolve" your brand, so it's fresh...but still familiar. Use restraint when dealing with your corporate identity, its a precious asset.

7. You think you don't have competition and therefore, you have zero marketing materials.

OK, so if you are in this group, you probably have a steady flow of business and you're comfortable with where things stand. So, my question to you is this... "imagine where things could be if you marketed yourself?" Stability is great, but growth is essential in today's marketplace. Everyone competes. And if you aren't promoting, you might get passed by.