How much do you think communication mediums affect the way we think of things? Does a well-made official letterhead, sign, or business card really make that much of a difference?
Let’s have a thought experiment. Let’s pretend you’re an HR manager. How would you respond to a job application written on a paper napkin? If said you’d laugh and chuck it in the trash- congratulations: Nothing’s wrong with you. You’re completely normal.
If you decide to take it seriously, then great- you’re the rare type who sees past these things and sees what’s really important. I guess. Way to make the rest of us feel bad. Jerk.
Seriously though, many would argue that the message is more important – it you received a death threat instead of a resume, for instance, it’s doubtful you’d treat it so callously.
But that’s not the point – the fact remains that unless the message is of a life-changing (or life-ending) consequence, something written on a paper napkin would not be as well received as something printed on say, 14pt. card stock with a matte finish.
And if you got a death threat printed on that, then someone must really want you dead.
Fewer new entrepreneurs these days ever bother with things like professionally-made business cards, letterheads, or sales sheets. And it’s understandable. These things cost money. The returns are difficult to measure. And it’s easy to convince yourself there might not be any!
But of course, it does make a difference. Even if someone never bothers to look you up in the immediate future, at the very least you won’t have made a negative impression.
Look at any billion dollar brand, and I will guarantee close to 100% of the people in charge it will have professionally-made personalized letterheads and business cards. You will probably be better off with generic supplies than with custom made ones that reflect poorly on you.
If you plan to even play in the big leagues – or even plan to get the most of what you have – you really can’t afford to mess around with this sort of thing. Not even attempting to look presentable is just almost as bad as not brushing your teeth or showering before a first date, or perhaps as bad as writing out a resume on a paper napkin.
You just don’t win anyone over that way. Not customers, and certainly not anyone worth dating. You don’t find anyone who isn’t totally insane quibbling over the price of toothpaste after all.
Be honest with yourself – it’s unlikely you’ll always have the most insightful things to say. But it’s always possible to have an interesting way to says it.