Creating a Screen-Friendly PDF Brochure

It is rare to get a request for a hard-copy firm overview any more. Almost everyone who asks for one wants it sent via email.

The reasons for this shift aren’t hard to understand. The ability to view PDFs is now pretty much ubiquitous, and receiving information in this format enables people to get it faster, and easily pass it along to others in their organization.

There are also some clear benefits to this situation for brochure senders. It saves on printing and postage costs. It eliminates the need to store pre-printed brochures, and the waste that accompanies that practice. It makes it easy for you to customize materials on the fly. And it’s also better for the environment, assuming that the recipient doesn’t just turn around and print out their own copies.

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Sample RFP Responses – Volume 2

Here’s another good example of a well-executed creative-services RFP response. This one was a winning proposal for a law school web project, prepared by Chicago-based Rogue Element and offered for free download by HOW Design Magazine.

Very thorough, yet concise, and has a flow that makes it clear that it wasn’t just pasted together at the last minute. Well worth checking out.

Sample RFP Responses – Volume 1

I know from watching the stats for this site (especially those associated with my recent post on How to Find RFPs), that there are a lot of people out there looking for samples of other firm’s responses to requests for proposals.

This isn’t surprising, of course, because there are a lot of things you can learn by looking at how other firms handle their proposals, even if they were prepared for a type of project very different from what you are pursuing. You can get some insight into how other people show project schedules, how much detail they include in descriptions of previous experience, what information they include in resumes, whether their scope descriptions are narratives or lists, how they organize their fees, and how closely they adhere to the technical requirements of the RFP.

Unfortunately, examples of previously produced RFP responses aren’t always easy to find. Even though most RFP responses for government/public projects become public information once they are opened, very few organizations have systems in place to make these responses available over the Internet. And even when they are available, it takes some creative searching (and a little luck) to find them.

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The Fine Line Between Persistence and Stalking

Some of you may be familiar with The List. They maintain a database of marketing decision makers at companies throughout the U.S. and Canada and sell access to this database on a subscription basis. It’s actually a pretty good service (although not cheap) if that’s your market, and I used to be a subscriber myself back in the days when we were doing more advertising and marketing communications work.

Yesterday, however, I was looking at the blog of The List CEO Todd Knutson and saw something that threw me a little bit. He had a post on 7 Voicemail Messages for Successful Ad Agency New Business Development. In it, he lays out a strategy for the information you should include in each of seven (that’s right, seven) voicemails that you might leave for a prospect without getting a response.

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Do You Have a Prospect Wish List?

I’ve talked in the past about the value of emphasizing content marketing over high-volume cold calling, but in that same post, I also recommended that you consider creating a “prospect wish list” that includes potential clients that you will proactively pursue. These are the companies that you would really like to work with, that are particularly rich sources of new work, or that have some unique quality that make them inclined to hire you. They are companies that you will research and monitor, and try to contact on a regular basis.

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Harnessing the Referral Power of Bigger Fish

If you’ve ever promoted yourself as freelance designer, copywriter, strategist, etc., you’re probably familiar with one way to get work from big agencies or design studios. You meet with the creative director and get on the list of people they use as subcontractors when one of their clients has a need they can’t address in house. The client will still be their client, and you’ll do the work at their direction.

But there’s also a second, less common, way to get work from a connection to a bigger agency. And this method may pay actually pay bigger dividends in the long run. You want to get them to send prospects directly to you, hopefully to become your clients.

Why would they do that? Who has prospective clients they can just give away?

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