When exploring the art of display, there is a certain art to creating and marketing that has to be understood. Many messages are ill-conceived, many documents misunderstood. Visually, you may have a barrier between you and a possible customer that will invalidate any sort of marketing accomplished. The best television commercial marketing campaign in the world will be ineffective if the commercial itself is poor. Desktop publishing takes the art of creation to a business sense. As you imagine creations in a business environment, imagine how you can creatively improve a certain idea. As you read a business document, scan over a visually-centered resume, or witness the design of a publication, recall ways you can improve the content. If you find yourself clamoring for ideas, this may not be for you. But if your judgmental nature finds improvements in all facets of business creation, desktop publishing may be a perfect path for you to explore your small business desires.
Desktop publishing is essentially creating content for a business. It revolves primarily around print and design, and the act of publishing. Now, you can take desktop publishing in other avenues, and attempt to merge mediums together for a competitive edge. This creativity is powerful. But at its core, desktop publishing encompasses print and visual displays. Examples include:
Desktop publishing has a long history, as businesses have always found a need to display content to customers and to their own employee’s fluently and effectively. Graphic design is an offshoot of desktop publishing, as well as journalism. As you go into this business venture, be aware of all the possible services you can provide. Do you want to focus on writing and text as a way to obtain clients, or a more visually and graphic-based direction? Successful desktop publishers likely encounter, and provide, both.
Assessing your strengths is a quick way to learn if this is right for you. The medium usually entails a healthy knowledge of software involved. Know the software! As technology advances, new software becomes popularized and often ignored shortly after. As you develop your skills in the industry, always be aware of new software that can make your job easier, and your skill sets up to par. For example, Adobe offers a powerful collection of software called The Master Suite. It invokes image editing software such as Photoshop, as well as a video editing program, Adobe Premiere Pro. These are staples for desktop publishers. If you do not keep up with new versions and new software entirely, you may find yourself obsolete. It is worth noting that Adobe improves their versions of this software almost every other year, offering dramatic new updates that can change the climate of your wok entirely.
Just as importantly as understanding the software to your standard, you have to learn it to the standard of the possible clients. For example, you may find your video editing knowledge up to par. But if your client finds your skills inferior, he or she will have no problem not giving you business. Always have greater knowledge than a possible client. If the client is more knowledgeable than you, you lose almost all your value as a desktop publisher.
Design takes impeccable communicating skills. With your knowledge of the appropriate software, you will know what can be easily done and what is, well, not quite possible. Your clients do not know this. Be patient, as it will take just that to receive the details of the job. Website designers know this all too well. Understand that communication is vital, as it is often hard to convey visual details through words. Always be willing to set up diagrams, and always be willing to ask questions. It will save you valuable time as you deliver a product that is what they expected. Often times, a desktop publisher gets confident in their abilities and fails to ask enough questions. As they return the content, the client is unsatisfied. This is not what I expected,” they may say. This is a common trap for beginners. Always be willing to ask questions, and ask more. It will help you to determine the task at hand in detail and make the customer satisfied for potentially future business (and referrals).
As you build your clientele, you will hopefully earn a quality track record. Create a website, where you update examples of work. It is significant that you keep this content updated often. You do not want a past customer to return to your site seeing that you have the same samples as before. As well, it is important to keep your website updated often. It will help to keep you focused, as well as the nice side affected of being listed properly on Google (websites that go unedited for long stretches of time are not listed as well or as high). Your best friend will undoubtedly be your track record. Keep your past accomplishments in desktop publishing as exposed and transparent as possible. Be wary of thieves who steal content, but also make you accessible. Your track record will stand as the majority of your marketing, as customers will see your previous work and hire you based on it.
Desktop publishing is a formidable business. Entering it means you have access to software. The higher quality software can range in the thousands of dollars, but there is free software available for those just entering and needing the basic functionalities of the business. A quick online search should run you quality programs. Windows movie Maker excels for video editing, and naturally, Microsoft Word comes with a plethora of quality options. Many programs allow patches of content. For Word, it may be advisable to download additional patches for customizing, such as fonts or colors.
As well, a lot of software is available for free on a trial basis, often thirty days. Explore your options and learn the programs before you ever make a purchase. Download the trial versions right before an important client, to maximize the use of your trial run.
Desktop publishing is an accessible industry. As the Internet grows and technology advances, the barrier-of-entry is further lowered. Yet keep in mind, the same is for your competition. Anyone can download a program and watch a YouTube tutorial. Make sure your skills are good enough to beat the competition strictly out of knowledge. Desktop publishing is a fascinating field. Be keen of competitors and of the software available to you. It is easier than ever to be successful if you have the proper knowledge and the proper ability to network and promote yourself. Many will hire you based on your enthusiasm and track record. Keep both of these transparent as you find customers and build that base for future growth.