Fashion trends can be tedious, expensive, and often of no real long term value to anyone. But to the information marketer, giving a look to your information product can be challenging, fun, and in the end, help create success for your business. Learn some tips on how you can give your information product its own look.
I got home the other night only to receive a letter from a contracting friend of mine in my mailbox. Yes, that's correct: an old-school, handwritten letter. Composed on two sheets of motel stationary pad paper, it was written in his usual frantic penmanship, complete with his comical verbiage. He's in Northern Canada, right now doing an engineering contract for a large mining firm. This place is over 700 km north of Winnipeg and is snowbound from late October to sometime in May. I really enjoyed getting his letter. Getting e-mails and texts from friends is fine, but I really appreciate the personal feel of handwritten letters, greeting cards, and post cards. You can tell someone has actually put some real physical effort into writing them.
Obviously I could tell this was my friend's letter by his lively and doctor's-grade handwriting. Hard to read, sure, but it really had its own look and feel. And that's what your information products should all have. Their own look. You can create a mass amount of appeal and gain new clients by just investing some time to create a visual display for your products.
A good way to start is to create a logo and/or header for all your products. If you're more graphically inclined, you can do this by just using some pen and paper, and then doing the design on "Adobe Studio" or even "Paint.net." Logos are meant to be simple, so you may just want to create one, making the text of your business name more graphically appealing. My superior Michael Lombardi did this, using a graphic representation of his last name for the company logo. Other times you might want something with a picture or symbol. If this is required, come up with an idea and take it to a graphic designer. With all the digital design tools these days, they can be done very quickly and cheaply.
Designing both your print and online product pages is important, too. Make sure they have a similar look, page-to- page, and do not differ radically in their appearance. At IMI, we work closely with our in-house graphics people to make sure each page has the write logos, text fonts, layout specs...everything. I learned a bit of this firsthand from, again, watching Michael Lombardi, who has always tried to keep his direct mail, newsletters, and web pages looking consistent with one another.
Keep your writing consistent, too. There can be a tendency for some people to fall off their path of best judgment after writing a lot and shoot for more "poetic" written passages. This often fails, as people will not understand what you are trying to communicate. Your writing should be kept simple and easy so that someone can pick it out of the mailbox or inbox and start reading immediately.
Once you get going with your business, you might want to send out a survey or do a product test by getting feedback on a new design. You should monitor which product designs have the best response from clients and which ones generate more negative feedback. Beverage companies will often do this, and hold market research meetings to get the public's response.
Fashion and trends work in tandem with public taste. It can be difficult to keep up with this and, let's be honest, a somewhat shallow pastime. But it can also be fun. Think of yourself as someone working for an age-old company like Coca Cola, Chevrolet, or even Planter's Peanuts, and you see how they have managed to continually rework their looks to changing times. Thus, you can utilize creating a look to your advantage.