If you implement just one thing in your business this month, make it this. Take the piece of communication you use most in your business- maybe your media kit or the information you send to a prospective client, and explore how you can make it work better for you.
How can you adapt the structure, content and look and feel to convert more clients, save you time and elevate your brand?
How can you use design to win more work?
One of the things I’m utterly passionate about is using design to create communications that get you the right result for your business.
Design is about more than making something look smart, or on brand. It’s about creating the right impact, galvanising a response and moving your business forwards.
Take this Media Kit from my friend Rona Wheeldon, of Flowerona fame.
It’s smart. It’s neatly laid out. It’s on brand – it follows the type and colour house guidelines. And it fits on one page. But… does it look exciting? Does it compel you to work with Rona? Does it demonstrate the value Rona offers?
The original media kit
This design is pretty typical of much of the work I see created in-house by entrepreneurs. It’s simple, it’s on brand and most importantly (one might imagine at least), it all fits on to a single page.
We tell ourselves: ‘My clients are busy, they don’t want to receive something with too much information. If I fit my content on to a single page it won’t overwhelm them.’
It feels a little counter-intuitive, but can you see how actually, the reverse is happening? Rona’s message is totally lost in amongst a sea of information. And instead of being swept along in a wave of loveliness, my eye is drawn the one thing with a little white space around it: the price. It’s almost a case of: Do you want it or not?
There’s a much more elegant way of tackling a media kit or a proposal, and I go in to a lot more detail on how to structure these in Brand Brilliance and how to get the design right in Design for Go Getters. Here, let’s explore some of the simple things you can do to ramp up the impact of your communications.
The Flowerona Media Kit Reimagined
As part of my Design for Go Getters course I gave this media kit for Rona a quick makeover, to demonstrate to the students what’s possible when you implement a few, very simple, design rules.
‘Fiona has completely transformed a one page document into a beautiful brochure that is visually beyond anything I could have imagined.’ Rona Wheeldon
And that’s very lovely of Rona to say. But each and every one of you totally can achieve this with a little know-how and a small investment of your time.
To give you some perspective, this makeover took around an hour. No longer. And the principles here are totally within your reach.
First of all, do you notice how this is no longer on one page? Splitting out the content over several pages encourages the reader to slow down, savour what you’re saying and really consider your proposal.
The landscape layout also allows for a more impactful and interesting design in many cases.
If I were rewriting this, as well as redesigning, I’d be keen to have an introduction here. A quick note that sets the scene, builds a relationship and tells the story behind the brand. Something that’ll create a connection.
And all of a sudden, the testimonials can do the hardest sales work for you, because you can read them. Did you even notice them before?
This layout may not be the most creative in the world, but great design isn’t always about winning awards. You don’t need to do anything crazily outlandish. This is a case of doing yourself and your business justice.
Breaking up your content with beautiful, full page images can give your reader a little breathing space as well as you the opportunity to showcase your photography skills. In Rona’s case, this is an important part of her offering.
Do you notice how there’s plenty of white space and a strong alignment between each piece of text on each page? That’s really important for creating a sense of order and calm. And it’ll make your work look super-professional.
I also edited down the testimonial a little, just to really highlight the most important elements.
And a lovely image to round things off.
Now, there are a gazillion different ways you could tackle this. And were I to invest more time in this, I’d be keen to rewrite some of the elements to make the copy even more persuasive, but look what can be achieved by implementing just a few, simple design principles.
‘I now have a media pack that I feel really proud to send out.’ Rona Wheeldon
It’s hard to underestimate just what feeling good about what you send out can do for your business. Moving away from that niggling feeling that you might not have done your work justice into the sheer confidence that you’ve presented your brand in the best way possible is a powerful tool. And it’s something you absolutely have within your power to do.
Design for Go Getters is now open for enrolment and I’d love to see you in class. It’s an online course that you can take at a pace that suits you. More details right here – and do let me know how you get on. I’ll share some of my favourite student projects on my Instagram or on the blog!