Your marketing message shows up in every detail of your brand, and you have to shape that message on purpose. So, once you understand your target audience, it’s time to pay attention to design, because sometimes image can speak louder than words.
Words Drive Your Marketing Message
From a gritty writing perspective design always begins with the right set of words. This is about taking the time to get your core content right which includes taglines, bios, press releases, headlines, and so on. In fact, these items are packages for your marketing message.
Instead of taking 10 minutes to explain who you are, you craft a tagline that gets your point across in 5 seconds. That’s what message design is about, saying more in less time.
You can’t take three hours or even 30 minutes to tell people about your book, software, cleaning service or play.
You only have a few seconds to make your point, so start with your strongest, clearest and shortest message.
That’s what tag lines are — easy-to-carry versions of your marketing message.
And they don’t just fall out of the sky. You have to design them.
It doesn’t matter how good you look, if what you say makes no sense. But once you have a clear marketing message, then it is time for strong design.
Image Matters Too
Once you know what you want and need to say, then it’s time to get your look and feel together.
Your message can have a simple layout with lots of white space, big font, one breath-taking image and a handful of words.
Or it can be more intricate with layered and textured backgrounds, colors bleeding into each other and a look that feels more like a Manhattan city block at lunch time — crowded, but on the move. The choice is yours.
But no matter your personal taste, design your image pieces —
- personal headshots,
- business cards,
- header for your website,
- press kit
- overall look and feel
— with your primary message in mind. If your style is light and airy, then a gothic design will tell a conflicting story. If you’re going for professional and approachable, then a sexy glamour shot may NOT be the wisest choice.
You have to pay attention to image because it’s a part of your branding message too.
My Gritty Suggestion:
Get your content right first, then put your look and feel together. If you pay a graphic or web designer, they will need instruction. It’s your job to figure out what you want. It’s your team’s job to deliver it.
Respect that reality — both verbal and visual communication fuel your marketing message. Take the time to get them right.