10 May What Collateral Does Your Business Need?
Often times people are so focused on getting their logo and website ready for a brand launch (or relaunch) that they forget what other materials they might need to support their business. Things like business cards are easy enough to remember, but what about your worksheets or slide presentation templates or Facebook group header?
Not every business will need the same collateral items, which is why I give my clients the option to pick the items that make the most sense for their business. With that said, not everyone knows what their options even are, so I’m listing some common collateral items to give you an idea.
What is collateral?
First, let’s start with what a collateral item actually is. Generally, known as marketing collateral or sales collateral, these are items that aid your sales and marketing efforts. Traditionally, it would be things like brochures, sell sheets, infographics or other printed materials that provide additional details on the product or service you offer.
Broadly, it now also covers digital assets and any point of contact between you and your client. Anything you can use to support and promote your brand. Branding is very important not only for recognition but for consistency. Your clients or followers should easily identify your materials among others by elements like messaging, color scheme, font use and yes, your logo.
What are my options?
Brand Identity Items
1| Business Cards
When attending a networking event or meeting someone casually who might be a good fit for your services or products, it’s great to have a well-designed business card with easy access to your contact details.
Example: Her Words Busines Cards
If you regularly write up contracts, timelines or proposals, or if you send letters often, it’s good to have a letterhead that aligns with your brand and makes your communications easily recognizable.
3| Postcards, Notecards, Note Pads
Postcards or notecards are a nice touch to say thank you at the end of a project or to reconnect with a client or send birthday well wishes.
4| Email signature
For most, a simple text email signature is enough, but others prefer it to be more custom and branded with your logo or other graphics.
Social Media Graphics
1| Social Media Graphics Template
I always love seeing branded social media graphics, particularly in Instagram and Pinterest, which are highly visual. A branded graphic can make your posts highly recognizable amongst a sea of visual content and should include your url or hashtag in case it gets shared without being credited (it happens!).
Example: @yarilovesastrology Social Media Graphics
2| Facebook Group or Profile Header
When you have a Facebook group, especially a private one, you want your header image to be impactful to entice people to join and follow. You also want it to be tied back to your website or profile so they know it comes from the same trusted source.
3| Blog Post Graphics
Writing regular blog posts? While you could find stock images to add some visual flair to your articles, would your blog posts be recognizable when shared on social media if none of the images were cohesive? Having branded images will give your articles a sense of unity and also include your logo or url so that people know where to find more content if they like what they read.
4| Podcast or Webinar Graphics
If you have a podcast or regular webinars, you want to ensure each episode has a branded graphic that gives a little more visual to a strictly audio format. This will make your show easily recognizable when you share on social media or even as people browse their podcast feeds.
5| Promotional Graphics for Discounts, Launches or Ads
If you have a course launch coming up or if you offer discounts from time to time for evergreen products, it’s nice to have a graphic that is impactful but also ties back to your branding.
6| Shop Banner for Etsy Shop
Similar to a Facebook group image, an Etsy shop banner will help your store look professional and trustworthy.
7| Newsletter Header
A custom newsletter header is a nice personalized touch that also reminds your readers of who you are (especially if you’re new to their inbox).
Example: The Truth at Work, True Talk Newsletter Header
1| Media Kit / EPK / FAQ Sheet
Fact sheets are great to give prospects a quick glimpse of who you are with some statistics or details that might not be on your website. Perhaps you’re an influencer and want to have stats of followers, demographic and media outlets to your prospective affiliates. Maybe you’re an artist and want to have an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) with bio details, press links and usable photography. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is also great when introducing yourself to a new prospect.
2| Pricing Guide
Some service providers don’t list their pricing on their website, but like having a document that they can send directly to prospects on request. A pricing guide is a great way to provide pricing and offer details in a professional and visually impactful way.
Example: Creating Media Works Pricing Sheet
3| Worksheet / Checklists
It’s quite usual to offer a content upgrade as an incentive for people to join your mailing list. From worksheets, checklists or short multi-page documents, these materials always look more polished when they’re laid out with your branding in mind.
4| Whitepapers or Fancy PDFs
Longer ebooks, reports and whitepapers are also often provided as a content upgrade. These are typically longer, 4+ pages, and have more in-depth information. While these tend to be content heavy, it’s great to break up the long pages of data with strong visuals and custom branding.
5| Presentation Slides for Webinars
If you regularly give presentations, having a presentation template will make it easier for you to lay out the content and keep everything on-brand. Not only that, you’ll surely look professional and polished.
Example: Imaginista Integrated Marketing Presentation Template
Visuals are an important part of branding, and if you have content that could be presented in a more graphic, visual way, it certainly draws your eye and interest more easily than having lengthy paragraphs of copy. These are especially useful as Pinterest graphics.
1| Brochures, Sell Sheets, Leave-Behinds
Printed brochures are a great take-away when you’re working a booth or vending station at an event. They’re also great to mail to prospects if physical items are more your thing.
2| Stickers, Stamps and Labels
Stickers with your logo are a fun way to promote your brand, but you can also create stickers for a cause your company stands behind or for mailing labels for your physical correspondence. Just a little added something that your client will appreciate.
Example: Baked by Atabey Stickers
When leading an event or attending as a vendor, it’s important to have branding at your table to make your station and business memorable. Whether signs, table banners or standing signage, good branding will surely make you stand out. These can also include sign-in sheets for your mailing list or calendar bookings.
4| Package Labels
Perfect as a special touch to physical products. Whether items sold in large quantities or hand-made Etsy goods, a packaging label gives your items that added custom branded touch.
5| Merchandise or Apparel
Incorporate a little extra branding on items like mugs, t-shirts, hats and bags. These can be swag gifts that help promote your brand or items you put up for sale on your website.
Example: She Dares T-Shirt
How do I know which marketing materials are best for me?
In order to best decide what items you’ll need, you want to take a look at your overall process. Take note of every touch point you have with your clients between meeting and completing a successful project (or purchasing your products). Do you blog regularly and need custom designed blog graphics?
Do you have an ebook, workbook or checklist that you provide as an email opt-in? Do you have questionnaires or worksheet that your clients fill out at the beginning of your time together? Do you sell physical products that might require a tag, label or fact sheet? Do they get a thank you card when you complete your time together?
Take a few minutes to sit down and carefully think about each step of your business process. From emails, to services, to client gifts or take-aways. Once you have that list, you can get a better idea of what items you might want to brand and customize to better enhance your customer experience.