Photo books are all the rage these days, and they can be very useful tools in helping to promote your business. Here are some examples of how. Portfolios: If you are in a creative and/or design-based business, you know that having a portfolio is your key to getting clients. Showing off your past work is sometimes the only way to get new jobs, and having a top notch portfolio can often be the difference between that job going to you or one of your competitors. There is no more elegant way to display your work than in the form of a hardcover photo book, and putting your together will take a little bit of work, but it will be very well worth it. The key to any successful portfolio is making sure that you have artistic, high-quality photos of your work. This can not be stressed enough. Before, during, and after every job, you need to make sure that you are getting photographs that show your progress, your process, and your finished product. If you need to hire a professional photographer, so be it. If you are a larger business, you may have someone on staff that can do this for you. If not, it may be worth your while to pick up a great SLR-type digital camera and take a few photography classes, as well as learning some basic Photoshop skills. If this sounds like too much effort, it’s not. The only thing worse than having no photos of your work is having badly-lit, poorly composed snapshots. If you intend to make a lot of portfolios, you should consider having your own binding machine on hand. The machines that make hardcover books are fast, inexpensive and easy to use. The main advantage, however is that you can custom-make your portfolios to zero in on the needs of every potential client, and you can do it in a matter of minutes if necessary. Promo Kits, Etc.: If your business is just starting out, you can give your potential clients, the press, and the public at large an elegant representation of your services and what you have to offer. Real estate companies, for instance can create separate books of houses in every price range, and can even custom-create photo books for every potential buyer according to their specifications. No matter what business you are in, there are may many ways that the ability to create your own photo books on demand can help you with the promotions end of your business. Company History Book: If your business is not so much about goods as it is services, and it has an interesting story attached to its beginnings (or even if it doesn’t) you can put a book together about your history and give it out at events and conventions. Go and get some quality photos of the garage that you started in, and some photos of your people at work. Write a few blocks of text about who you are, what you do, and how you got where you are, and you will have a promotional item that stays in people’s minds. Producing the Books: As stated above, it is highly recommended that you have the ability to create your books on-site and on demand. This gives you the flexibility and speed that you need to get ahead and stay ahead.
Having your own photo book business can be both fun and lucrative. Here are some tips to get you started,
The first thing you will have to do to stat your very own photo book business is to do some research and acquire the appropriate software. Some of the more popular programs that you should probably give serious consideration to are: Photoshop, QwarkXPress, and InDesign. When it comes to professional-quality design, there are really no substitutes for these types of software, so be prepared to make that initial investment required to purchase them, and to spend some time learning at least a little bit about how to use them (if you haven’t already). In your design and layout programs, you should be able to create and set up some templates relatively quickly that will make your work easier as you get more and more work. Whatever you do, don’t let this step intimidate you. Yes, there may be a little bit of a learning curve at first, but if you can learn how to, say drive a car, you can learn how to use design software to some effect.
Printing and Binding
You should put some thought into whether you are going to do your own printing and binding or if you are going to outsource it. If it is the former, take a look around and start pricing binding machines. IF you intend to create hardcover books, the type of binding you will be looking at is called thermal binding. There are a few companies that manufacture thermal binding machines in a few different configurations. For the purposes of a small home business such as the one you are looking to set up, machines can be had for less than $200, or even less than $100. The process of creating hardcover books is incredibly easy and inexpensive, so having your own thermal binding machine on hand is probably the way to go.
As far as printing the pages, and customizing the covers, you have a few options there as well. If you intend to do your printing at home, you should really do your research before purchasing a printer. There are a fair number of them on the market at a variety of prices to read the reviews carefully and go from there. Another option might be to outsource the printing or now, and do the binding yourself.
Custom covers can be ordered from a few sources either on an as-needed basis, or in bulk. Make sure that the covers you order work with the binding system that you have.
Marketing Your Services
As soon as you can, put up a website, and get some business cards and perhaps a brochure. You can either create the card and brochure yourself in InDesign, or have someone with more experience do it for you. As far as creating a website, there are too many options to list here. Just make sure that the URL (web address) is easy to remember and type. Finding the right one may take some time, but it it worth it. Remember when you are doing your business planning that, thanks to the internet, you will be able to offer your services to any place you which you can mail the finished books.
Whether it’s for business or school, putting together an informative and entertaining presentation can be stressful indeed. There are few better feelings, however, than a presentation well-delivered, so here are a few tips to help you get going.
1.Know Your Subject Matter. Chances are you wouldn’t be doing a presentation unless you knew a little bit about what you are going to be talking about, but you never know. In the absence of years of experience, you will have to do as much research from as many reputable sources as possible. Don’t just Google and Wiki your way through. Get out there and conduct some interviews, talk to a librarian (they will be only too happy to help), and just really get to the point where you feel you know your subject inside and out. Not only will it edify your own knowledge, as well as that of your audience, you will find that it it a lot more fun and you feel much more at ease if you know your subject thoroughly.
2.Prepare some A/V Aids.If you will have a digital projector at your disposal, you should definitely look into creating a Powerpoint presentation (or something similar) to enhance your presentation. Make sure that your graphics help your story along, rather than distract from the narrative. If no projector is available, look into putting together booklets to go along with your speech. There are many different styles of booklets, so you should consult with your local print shop, or take a look around the internet flr the various options. Different binding styles can actually convey different things. Some, such a plastic coil binding, don’t take much thought or effort, and if you are presenting, say, an important business proposal, or pitching your services to a new potential client, you will probably want to kick it up a notch. Wire-o binding, for instance, is a great way to add a little touch of elegance to your presentation materials.
3.Smile and Be Confident. Easier said than done, we know, but practice in this regard will eventually make perfect. If you are a presentation rookie, however, there are a few tricks to help you get over the nervousness. The first thing is to remember that you are not talking to evil beings that are out to harm you. They are just people, just like you, and they simply want to be entertained and informed. Referring back to item number one on this list, the bettter you know your material, the better you will come across. Also do all the normal stress-reducing tricks such as breathing deeply and visualizing a positive result. And it never hurts to open with a funny and tasteful joke. Let your personality come through, and you’ll be fine.
4.Look for the Unusual. When you are preparing your material, it never hurts to try and find the facts that will get the most attention. Not to say you should veer toward the sensationalistic, but definitely make an effort to find some details that will draw your audience in, and make your presentation more personal for them. This will help make your presentation more memorable.
5.If You Flop, Don’t Sweat It. We’ve all been through it. Perhaps you might want to take a class on public speaking, or join a local organization such as Toastmasters. Public speaking is a skill that can be learned, it just takes practice and patience.
If you are interested in more information about the different Binding Systems and Styles, that can help you put together a great presentation, you might want to visit MyBinding.com. They offer a great price on binding equipment and they even offer Free Shipping on orders over $75.00. Plus, they carry a full line of Binding Accessories, of all styles, types and capabilities. Check it out today!