Are you attracting the wrong sort of attention? Getting your design right.

By: Fiona Humberstone

Date: 2 August 2011

It’s a long time since my mum ever uttered those time honoured words “You’re going to attract the wrong sort of attention in that“. Well times move on and it’s going to be less than a decade (much less than a decade, scarily) when I’ll be saying those things to my own daughter. But have you ever thought that you might well be attracting the wrong sort of attention for your business through your design?

Poor design won’t stop you getting enquiries to your advert or leaflet drop. It won’t even mean that your website fails. But it will mean that you miss opportunities. It will attract the wrong sorts of potential clients (you know, the ones who don’t value what you do and don’t want to spend what you want to charge) and unless your brand position is based around you being “the cheapest”, then you’re going to be selling yourself short.

When you’re shopping for a new website please, think carefully about the message you’re sending out. Sure, budget is important. But what really matters is the return you get on your investment. And the quality of design is essential in this. Creativity, attention to detail, vision – all these things take time and years of expertise, and that means that they won’t come cheap. But like everything in life, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.

We’re currently working with a very talented, utterly lovely and very inspirational photographer on her website and marketing strategy. Her photographs are just beautiful, but her marketing literature is sending out mixed messages at best.

The challenge is that she has a well-designed website, but she’s mixing that with self-designed leaflets and advertising. And sadly the company that designed her initial branding didn’t give her any brand guidelines, which means that she’s now mixing Lucida Handwriting with Times New Roman for her advertising. Not a good look…

The advert will attract attention, but as my mum would say, it’s going to be the wrong sort of attention. It’s going to attract brides looking for a cheap wedding photographer, which means that my client will waste her time on a lot of enquiries that simply don’t have the budget for a high-end photographer. She’s making life very difficult for herself. Happily, we’re going to redesign the advert, and I promise I shall share the before and after story with you very soon on my blog (

Fiona Humberstone, Flourish design & marketing

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