Photo of a woman's hands holding a mix of flyers.
Photo of a woman's hands holding a mix of flyers.

8 Print Marketing Mistakes New Business Owners Make

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Eight examples of print-marketing mistakes made by new business owners in the digital world.

Starting a business is expensive, but you should not let that be the reason you do not try.

You can reduce some everyday expenses, but one area you cannot skimp on is marketing.

You need marketing to build a strong customer base and get your name out there.

You can take several different avenues when it comes to marketing.

Your options include business cards, flyers, commercials, and social media.

You probably do not have enough funding to try all of these methods, and, you might not need them, anyway.

However, the last thing you will want to do after you create a marketing strategy is to waste money.

One of the most significant ways to waste money is when you make mistakes on your print marketing materials.

Sure, the mistake will be evident on digital materials, but correcting it typically is a quick, easy fix that you likely can handle on your own.

However, a printing mistake requires going back to press and tossing out all of your incorrect items, which is essentially throwing your money in the trash.

Check out this list of print marketing mistakes new business owners make, so that you do not fall victim to them, too.

1) Doing everything yourself

Man wearing red tshirt doing printing work by himself

Budgets are tight when you are a new business owner. However, sometimes, doing things yourself to save money can end up costing you more in the end, because you may lack the skills to perform a task correctly and efficiently.

For example, your business needs a logo. It is going to be on all of your marketing materials, print and digital, so it is crucial.

You could try to save money and design it yourself, or you could hire a professional.

If you do not have any design experience, this could be the route to take because think of all the time you will use creating the design and revising it that you can use on other tasks.

Besides, a professional can ensure your logo is in the correct format and resolution for reproduction on various items.

Professionals also could use their knowledge to create a logo you did not know is possible.

2) Not including ways to digitally connect

Ways to digitally connect

Print marketing items can have digital elements.

The best marketing campaigns use both print and digital marketing techniques.

The more people see your brand, whether it is on a flyer, billboard, or website, the more brand recognition and consumer trust grows.

Do not forget to include your website’s URL as well as where people can find your business on social media.

QR codes are a great way to bridge the gap between print and digital marketing. You can include them on all of your print marketing materials.

With the snap of a photo, people can get online to connect with your business.

In addition to promoting your business, you should also use your print materials to promote your website and social media.

Those are the places people will get the most interaction and engagement with your brand.

3) You don’t do any research

Two men conducting research on their laptops with a pencil and paper handy

Market research is critical because it helps you learn more about your audience and competition before creating any print marketing materials.

There are several cost-effective ways to conduct your research, which will, in the end, save you more than it costs.

The information you learn will help guide your marketing campaigns by telling you the neighborhoods to target, or the information that is important for them.

You can send out a direct mail campaign to your audience.

This market research will factor into everything from your logo design to what types of goods or services you will provide.

You could end up redesigning your logo after research shows people that do not identify with your business or do not understand the branding.

Doing research will show you what motivates your audience and what types of calls to action you should include on your print marketing materials.

You do not want to print hundreds of flyers or brochures only to have to change them after you complete your research because the promotion is not working.

All of this would be a colossal waste of money that you can avoid by doing research first.

4) Not taking advantage of free extras from the printer

Photo of a man's hand holding a business card with a quote, "creativity doesn't need limits".

It can be easy to breeze through an order form or website only selecting what you know you need without giving anything else a second look.

However, if you slow down and take the time to go over all the options, you could see the benefits of a freebie you did not think you needed in the first place.

Some examples could include business card slits, a special coating, or a stock upgrade.

If you are going to use presentation folders or brochures, they should have business card slits.

Business cards are a must-have when it comes to print marketing materials.

In many cases, they are the first impression a person gets of your business.

Slits reduce the risk of losing business cards and secure them in a visible place.

Without slits, your business cards are probably languishing at the bottom of a pocket.

Coatings protect your piece, alter the piece’s texture, and can highlight specific elements of the design.

Accepting a stock upgrade can add more durability to your product or give it a new texture.

If you are not sure what a freebie can do for your product, ask.

It will only cost you a few minutes, which will be worth it if it improves your piece.

5) Using boring stock images

Photo of a business woman sitting and yawning in front of her laptop on her office desk.

You probably know the cliché about pictures, i.e. they are worth 1,000 words, but it is only going to be negative words if you are using generic stock photos.

You put so much time and money into starting your business; do not let poor images devalue that.

When you use plain stock images, you increase the odds that your marketing materials could have the same pictures as someone else’s.

Instead, use images that illustrate how your goods or services will make people’s lives easier.

Before and after images are great because they show the impact your goods or services can make.

Photos that tell a story or stir up people’s emotions also are compelling because they can help people build a connection to your brand.

When shooting your photos, be sure there is plenty of natural light and zoom with your feet instead of the camera for the best results.

Cameras and editing software can make any novice photographer’s images look professional.

However, this is another instance where it might save you more time and money to hire a professional if you are not entirely confident in your photography skills.

6) Your design is too busy

Lots of flyers on wall in street

Do not forget white space can be just as powerful as a more involved element when it comes to the design of your piece.

It can be hard for people to get the message if they cannot decipher the hierarchy of the elements.

White space makes a design more pleasing to the eye and easier to read.

Without white space, the elements of your design cannot breathe.

When it comes to design, in most cases, less is more.

Do not flood your piece with too many images or graphics.

Make sure your message is clear, concise, and in a logical order.

All of the elements of your design, i.e. fonts, images, graphics, and colors, should tell the story together. They should match or follow the same theme.

If they do not match, your design looks unorganized and messy, which reflects on you and people may not want to work with you.

7) Not proofreading

Photo of a man on his laptop with stickers of facebook and wordpress whilst slouching on a couch in his living room

Imagine you receive a flyer in the mail from a new business.

The pictures are great, it is not too busy, and at first glance, it looks good.

But then you spot it. “Your invited to our grand opening!” Oh no, it was supposed to read ‘You’re’?

You could easily avoid one mistake if the business owner proofread the flyer before going to print.

No matter how busy you are, you must take the time to proofread all of your designs before they go to print. And not just you. Ask someone else to look at them, too.

Sometimes, when you spend hours looking at something, it’s easy to miss a simple mistake such as “your vs you’re” or “their vs they’re vs there.”

Several proofreading software programs also are available for any budget.

With so many ways to prevent mistakes, grammatical errors make you look lazy, unorganized, and unprofessional, which could make people think that is how you do business, too.

8) No call to action

Photo of two people one making a sale using a credit card machine whilst the other makes a payment using a visa card

Your print marketing materials are worthless without a call to action.

You cannot expect people to read your mind.

For example, do you want them to check out your website?

That would be hard for someone to figure out if you leave your website URL off your piece or just include it in a small font on the back of the piece.

Instead, tell people to visit your site and include the URL in a bold color or larger font to make it stand out.

You should know what your call to action would be as you are planning your design, as all other elements should lead people’s eyes to what you want them to do next.

It is also important to only include one call to action. Multiple calls to action could confuse people and yield unsuccessful results.

Lastly, put the action in call to action by being direct.

Tell your audience exactly what they will get when they complete the action.

Directing them to follow you on Twitter for surprise offers will not be as effective as telling people to follow you on Twitter for free shipping or another specific offer.

Many of these tips might seem like common sense, but it is easy to overlook something when you are in the thick of making all other decisions for your new business.

By keeping these tips in mind, hopefully, you will avoid making these mistakes and spending the money to fix them.

It is not like you will not have anything else to spend the money on, anyway.

Writer:

Brandi Marcene

Brandi Marcene is an expert leadership and tech writer from Georgia, USA. She has a passion for writing and has over a decade of experience under her belt as a copywriter. Some of the niches she likes to write about are business, real estate, finance, and health & wellness.