Mileage Varies Based on Maintenance ...

I heard this driving into work this morning. It was a Honda commercial. So yes – no D, Honda Guy: your car's performance depends in large part on how well you take care of it and how often you bring her into the shop for tune-ups and oil changes.

The same can be said for the performance of your website, your proposals and your book of samples, no?

You wouldn't drive your ride off the lot and expect it to last indefinitely without a little love and attention. Plan on doing the same for your collateral across all media:

Das Website

- Was your site crafted before the dawn of Twitter, Facebook and the like? Does the design scream "from the 90s?" Updating doesn't necessarily mean overhaul. No freakout necessary. Besides, adding some new features to your site gives you something tangible to share with your clients and prospects and is good for a few worthwhile tweets. Um-um good.

Proposals

– It seems these too are going the way of the scannable, gimme the facts, ma'am style. Pay attention to how your prospects are reacting. Confused? Overwhelmed? Or joyous and relieved because you're serving it up in a way that makes them look like rock stars to their higher ups? Take Away: valuable copy in a proposal is copy that your contact can use to explain and sell your work within their organization in a way that's comfortable for them.

Yo Samples

– There are the beloved projects from 1991 that were killer for the book ... in 1991. Time marches on and so must your samples. Kick the ego and nostalgia to the curb. Update that baby - whether it's on the web or (gasp!) in an actual portfolio – to show range, versatility and current expertise. In short, where your company is NOW.

Make a plan to take a critical look at all your collateral at least 3 or 4 times a year. You'll get more mileage outta them beasts if you do.