In this edition of Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena Louis, discusses her strategy for marketing a solo practice using printed materials.
When I started my practice I felt as though I needed printed materials to boost my marketing efforts.
In many senses, “real” businesses have hard copy materials; however, I wasn’t sure what I needed and I could not afford anything that wasn’t necessary.
I have considered brochures, printed mailers, printed informational materials for new clients and business cards. I try to keep my office paperless, so I was never really comfortable about having unnecessary paper around, but even paperless offices still need some marketing collateral.
Here are a few things I have learned when it comes using printed materials.
1. Design a logo that represents you.
Before printing anything for my practice, I created my logo.
My brother in law does graphic design and helped draft a very unique logo for me. I use it everywhere I see fit and I feel it really represents me and my solo practice.
That very small investment made a big difference. With my logo and my Photoshop background, I easily created my own letterhead that can be used digitally or printed. I rarely print letters since I efax, email, or send documents through my client portal.Even paperless offices still need marketing collateral. @JoleenaLouisLaw Click To Tweet
2. Create a business card that stands out.
I ultimately decided to see what I could do digitally to narrow down what I needed to print, but the one thing I knew I had to have printed was my business card.
I’m extremely happy with how they turned out and I always receive compliments. It has my logo on one side and my contact info (including social media) on the back.
3. Consider a direct mailer, but keep it simple.
When I first started I also created informational postcards that I sent to everyone I know, notifying them that I started my own practice and my new contact information. I kept this very simple, it was almost like a larger version of my business card.
I got the idea online, and pretty much googled examples and tailored it to me. I liked how it turned out and I only wish I would have sent out more.
4. Brand your company materials.
The only other printed material that I have is my new client packet, which is a folder with my logo that includes a copy of my retainer, my office policies and a FAQ sheet about New York divorces.
My office policies is a major tool for managing client expectations. It basically lays out when phone calls and emails will be returned, how to make appointments with me, what to do if they will be late for court or a meeting, and other small things to help make our attorney- client relationship smoother.
I created these with my letterhead and either print them for the folder or send them as PDFs.
5. Choose a vendor that best suits your needs.
I design everything with Vistaprint. It’s very easy and user friendly, and the printing is fairly inexpensive.@Vistaprint (with @RetailMeNotBlog coupons) is an inexpensive source for print materials. Click To Tweet
When I initially ordered my cards, I thought they would be starter cards and that I would buy higher quality later, but the quality was great. With double sided color printing and the signature matte stock I don’t think I ever paid more than $20 for 250 cards.
Depending on how actively I’m networking, 250 cards can last me about 3 months.
In the beginning I always thought I would need a printed brochure, but I never got around to it. Now that I’ve been practicing for a while, I don’t think printed materials, with the exception of business cards, are critically important.
I find that my clients prefer digital content and most opt that I send them my new client information as a PDF. I design all my digital materials myself, but I keep it extremely simple. I think I could benefit from the assistance of a graphic designer in the future to upgrade the quality. This also makes my website so much more important and that’s an area I believe I need to improve.