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Branding Your Client-Facing Documents

If you're in the mainstream business world, you're most likely sending customers several documents and spreadsheets (quotes, project agreements, budgets, etc.). Why does it matter if your documents look just like everyone else's 12pt Times New Roman doc?

Screenshots of a project agreement and questionnaire. Both documents have the company's font & colors.

Let's back it up a bit — what is a brand?

Your brand is more than your logo. RedRocket Creative Strategies said it best: "your brand is the emotional and psychological connection your customers have with your company, product or service. It is their collective perception and impression."

What do you want your customers' perception & impression of you to be?

When you take the time to make your documents look clean, professional, and clearly from your company, it shows that you are thoughtful, detail-oriented, and will go the extra mile on whatever product or service you are delivering to them. You'll stand out from competitors, and build trust with your customers. As you likely already know, a happy customer is more likely to bring you more happy customers.

This doesn't have to be a huge project.

Look, as a small business owner who wants a life outside of work, I get it. This project doesn't count towards billable hours. However, a little goes a long way. Here are a few small changes you can start now to make a big impact on these documents.

Caveat: obviously, the primary purpose of these documents is function. So, with all of these suggestions, use your best judgement. Make sure everything is still legible.

  1. Start with one document. Whichever one you use the most (big impact, remember?)

  2. Add your logo. Stick it in the header or footer. Big enough to be readable, small enough to not be distracting.

  3. Use your brand's fonts. I have a headline font and a body copy font - I use both, respectively.

  4. Incorporate a bit of your brand's color. Try putting the headlines in one color.

  5. Update your footer. Pick 1-3 things to add in your footer — use your fonts here, too. Some ideas: the copyright symbol, year, and business name; the "last updated" date; page numbers; your website's URL; your slogan, etc.


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