Seek strategic support early
If you want your new business or initiative to be successful, you need to have a solid marketing and communications plan. This type of planning takes time and should be thought out alongside your business plan or project plan – before you start developing branding, messaging or collateral.
You need to have a clear idea of:
- What you’re offering
- Why it’s special
- Who's going to want it
- Where you can connect with them best
- When the best time to put your message ‘out there’ is
- How you’re going to execute all of this consistently in a smart and sustainable way for your business.
A good strategy that covers these topics will always pay off in the long run and it’s important to get in touch with a professional early on to start setting direction.
Take a team approach
If you’re approaching a communications or marketing professional to help with collateral or content – a flyer, a blog, or refreshed website copy for example – don’t wait until the last minute to ask them to fill in the gaps.
Content and design need to work together. A website cannot be designed to look great and function well without these experts having an idea of what content needs to be displayed on it. By the same token, a writer cannot write highly effective copy if they don’t understand the channels and spaces it will be used in.
If you’re using different experts to implement a project, make sure you bring them together early so that they can work as a team and do the best job possible. For example, you might have several consultants each working on web design, web development, photography and copywriting; or you might be contracting a copywriter to fill the gaps on your in-house designed site. In every case, these projects will run more smoothly and have better results if you bring the experts together from the start and not leave them to work in isolation. This will also save a lot of last minute changes when you are approaching deadlines.
Remember that good things take time
The more lead-in time you can give to a communications and marketing professional, the better. A well-thought out strategic approach involves research, consultation and time. Well-written copy involves these same factors. Ultimately the earlier you start to work with a professional, the more you will gain.