Advertising is how you get people to learn about your company with the aim of turning them into customers. I won’t get too caught up in schooling you on the ins and outs of the world of advertising today. Instead I want to hit home with one truth. So, in one simple sentence, here it is: Advertising still works, you may simply be doing it wrong.

There are so many ways to advertise your company and most of them will require the use of good quality written text (copy) and graphics (photography or illustrations). Let’s make a deal with one another: You do what you’re good at (being an awesome business owner) and we’ll do what we’re good at (advertising for successful brands).

No words can describe how important it is for you to get this part of advertising right. If you’re after an amateur-looking brand, go right ahead and play designer.

However, advertising is all about how your brand is perceived. So even if you splurge on a to-die-for opportunity, if your ad looks bad, it’s going to fail. I don’t know why this still surprises business owners. When a potential customer walks past your brand (literally or figuratively), subconsciously their minds will judge the design. They may not even realise why they are ignoring your advertising but the human brain is a powerful filter that cuts out things that don’t look appealing. Substandard advertising and design mean lost customers.

Actually, now that I think of it there has been a famous quote swimming around LinkedIn for a while now and it goes along the lines of: “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, just wait until you hire an amateur”. This is the exact message I am trying to get across.

Yet to this day, so many small-to-medium companies spend their entire advertising budget on making one big splash — that expo table, sponsoring a sports team, that subscription box giveaway — then shoot themselves in the foot by not following through with the kind of dazzling display of professionalism (whether that be the presentation slides, the accompanying brochure, the actual ad in the sponsorship magazine) that just ooze that class we are so passionate about at Belgrin.

So yes, if you do it wrong your advertising dollars will go down the drain. You may even say advertising doesn’t work.  We’ve seen this all before: These same companies then cut back on costs after a big spend, or sometimes even during it, when with a little more effort in getting things right, they would really get the benefit of their advertising. The ripples afterwards are as important as the initial splash.

If you do advertising right, you will reap the rewards. There are no if’s or but’s about it. You just need to know that when you say ‘Yes!’ to an advertising opportunity, you need to take into account the subsequent costs that come with it (including design, copywriting, printing, gifts etc.). If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun. If you are planning on spending big, spend just a few dollars more and do it well. It’s just stupid not to do everything you you possibly can to achieve your ideal outcome. Rant over.