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Put Your Best Foot Forward

You are a professional writer ó therefore you need a professional identity or image. And if you also offer marketing consultation, that image becomes even more important (after all, youíre in the business of helping other businesses with their identity, you better have a decent one yourself).

People want to work with successful people. The image you present to the world goes a long way toward establishing that.

Although the following three tips are designed more for copywriters, all writers can benefit from taking a closer look at their professional identity.

1. Decide on a name. Youíre probably leaning toward using your own name. I know many writers who have done that (i.e. Peggy Robert Communications) and there are advantages. Since many times your business ends up being yourself, youíre able to brand you and your business at the same time.

But there are also advantages to having a separate business name. Itís easier to outsource or turn your business into an agency. A business name can imply additional knowledge or expert status. Plus a clever business name gets people talking. Iíve had clients call me because theyíve been intrigued by my name. So before you decide to use your name, it might be worth it to play around with some alternatives first.

2. Create a slogan. Mine is communications that cut through the chaos. Part of why I like it is all the Cís ó it sounds good with my name ó Creative Concepts and Copywriting, Communications that Cut Through the Chaos. But thatís just me.

A good slogan is something thatís both easily remembered and sums up the essence of a business. It may take a few days or even weeks to come up with the right one. Thatís okay ó itís better than rushing through this and ending up with something youíre not that happy with.

3. Choose a color scheme and logo. A graphic designer can help you here. I would not recommend this as a do-it-yourself-project unless you also specialize in graphics. (Trust me, it will look amateurish and people will know.)

A graphic designer can pull your look together the way you craft words for the right effect. Yes, it might cost you some money (unless you can work out a trade) but in the long run, itís worth it.

This is also a good way to start building partnerships with graphic designers. Your clients may have need of a graphic designer, and theyíll appreciate you being able to offer recommendations. At the same time, graphic designers will have clients who need copywriting, and will bring those clients to you. Itís a win-win partnership.

Now that you have your look, you can move to the next stage and get your image out there. Have business cards, letterhead and envelopes printed. (Donít use your ink jet printer to print these out. Again, people will know. But you may want to check out the Web ó Iíve seen some high quality, inexpensive printing options out there.)

Be consistent with your look. Whatever marketing materials you create ó from brochures to flyers to Web sites to print ads ó make sure they match your image. Otherwise, youíll look inconsistent (pun intended).

And, finally, while crafting your image, keep in mind this represents you and your business. Take your time. Make sure you love everything ó name, slogan, logo and colors. Believe me, thereís nothing worse than racing through this process to just get something out there, only to decide a few months later you hate it. Not only have you spent money and time, but now you have business cards youíre ashamed to hand out to potential clients or a Web site you donít want anyone to look at. Sort of defeats the purpose of having marketing materialsFree Articles, doesnít it?

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Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at Copyright 2008 Michele Pariza Wacek.

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