Photography Business Tools | Is Your Business Stationery Costing You Business?
Photography Business Tools | There’s a myriad of tools modern photographers can use to promote their businesses – both online and off. And if you’re a small business owner, you know you could use any tool at your disposal, especially in industries as saturated as the photography industry. Yet, you’d be amazed just how many photographers out there completely neglect their stationery. Sure, you’ve got email and social media, but that doesn’t mean they’ve replaced the good ol’ stationery. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Just a few years ago, we were buried under an avalanche of physical mail, and emails were so scarce that each email not only got our full attention, but also made us hop around in excitement. Today, we get so many emails that we learned to filter most of them out, whereas we receive actual mail so rarely, that we rush to open it and check out what it is the moment we open our mailboxes. Not only that, but printed business stationery will help you appear more reliable and professional. But not all business stationery is created equal. When not done right, it can do more harm than good. So, to help you get the most out of your stationery, we put together a list of our favorite tricks we use each time we design something for a client.
Know Your Needs | Photography Business Tools
Business stationery is essentially office supplies (specially paper and envelopes) used for writing, typing, or printing. There are many items that can be defined as business stationery, and your needs will depend on the industry you’re in and your business plan. For example, some photographers will need Thank you notes, while other will never use them. But there are certain items almost every business owner will need, such as business cards, letterheads, and envelopes. Of course, there are items such as USB drives, pens, and even flyers.
Be Unique | Photography Business Tools
We usually advise our clients to avoid cheap templates you can find online. These tend to come in predesigned packages, so you don’t get too much freedom when it comes to choosing the items you get. All you can do, basically, is get the package with the most items and hope it covers most of your needs. But that’s not the only reason to avoid using them. They tend to be designed by amateurs or beginners, and as a result, they have all the telltale signs of cheap design. You don’t really want that to be your first impression, do you?
Even if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a decent package, chances are it’s already being used by many other business owners, some even in your area. Think about it – will your business card be able to stand out from a pile? You want your items to stand out when a potential client is going through the pile looking for a photographer, no matter how big the pile is, and you can only do that if it’s unique. These cheap templates are designed to be as generic as possible, as to fit as many brands as possible. The result is a dull design that doesn’t convey your brand’s identity.
Reinforce Your Brand’s Identity | Photography Business Tools
So, what can you do to convey your brand’s identity? First, feature your logo on each (And we do mean each!) item, no matter how small it is. Think of your stationery as foot soldiers spreading awareness. Then, come up with a unique color scheme and use it consistently. This will tie together all your items into a cohesive unit. If a potential client lays down all your stationery item, they’ll all look and feel like they came from the same source. Use the same color scheme online as well, and you’ll turn your brand into a memorable visual experience.
Keep Things Simple | Photography Business Tools
While you do want your business stationery to stand out from the pile, you don’t want it to stand out for all the wrong reasons. When designing it, keep its primary purpose in mind. For example, a letterhead is used to deliver a message. A business card is used to provide your potential clients with your contact details. It’s your job to keep the design simple enough so the content is front and center. An overly complex design will be more likely to overshadow the content and detract from the impact of your message. A simple design, on the other hand, will allow the reader to find the information they’re looking for at a single glance. In other words, don’t make your potential clients sit there trying to decipher your phone number when they decide to hire you.
Ensure Readability | Photography Business Tools
Another thing you can do to make sure your potential clients easily find the information they’re looking for is to use a readable font. Sure, we’ve all got our favorite fonts. However, if your favorite font is difficult to read, you’ll want to leave it out and use a simple font instead. Yes, complex calligraphic fonts are beautiful, but they tend to be more difficult to read than some tried and tested fonts, so leave it for the less important details, or skip it altogether.
Once you choose the right font, check if the color affects readability as well. Remember, there needs to be plenty of contrast between the background and the font itself. So, if the paper you’re using for printing is white, you’ll want to go with black for your text. A light gray font on a white background, for example, is the perfect recipe for a disaster, even if it’s in line with your brand’s colors.