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“Learn step-by-step how to create your image with your marketing materials that will help to give you a reputation as the smartest person in the room”.

By: John D. Gaskell, author of:

           How to become the “SMARTEST PERSON” in the Room.

You are what you are perceived to be. Let me show you how to become a MARKETING genius.

YOUR IMAGE (Part 8 of a multi-part article)

  • Project a “smart” and professional image.
  • Prepare your business announcement, letterhead, business cards, and brochure distinct from those of your competitors. Realize how public speaking opportunities are free publicity.
  • Finding and keeping clients is the key to success.

Dress for Success

Project a “smart” and professional image by your dress and confident appearance.

Dress for success. Men should wear a suit or sport coat and tie. A suite and bow tie worked best for me. Women should wear a sweater and black dress pants or a blazer and skirt.

Look people in the eye and always have a smile on your face.

Business Announcement

Your business announcement should look and feel like a wedding invitation, with fine paper (perhaps matching your letterhead) and have raised letters.


When I started my practice, I chose a nice cream colored “parchment.” This type of paper is often used by long-established law firms. I had it printed with black, raised letters and I think that it looked classy.

In the internet age, this may not be as important for your image as it once was, but I recommend the following:

Select an elegant paper.

Don’t skimp on the cost of paper.

Avoid bright or strange colors.

See the actual paper and “feel it” before printing.

Print with raised lettering.

Use a black script, but make sure that it is easy to read.

Avoid logos; everyone else has them.

Include company name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and web address.

Print “second sheet” stationary with only your company name at ½ size

Other than your website, your stationary will be the first image most people will have of your company.

Business Cards

I used the same parchment as my letterhead.

Your business card should include the same information as your letterhead, plus your name, title, and specialty.

John D. Gaskell, PE, President

Electrical Engineer

Company Brochure

During my second or third week in business, I went to a job site meeting with a mechanical engineer, who was also new in private practice. On the car seat, I found three pieces of paper stapled in the top left corner. It was his resume and a list of his projects. He proudly said, “That’s my brochure.” I didn’t know anything about company brochures, but I knew that mine would be more “professional.”

My “first” brochure was a resume and a three-page list of past projects. It was enclosed in a thick blue 11 x 17 paper cover (folded in half) and printed with my letterhead and the words COMPANY BROCHURE in large letters.

My “second” brochure had padded black leather covers made by a “bookbinder.” It had gold “embossed” lettering and included the name of the client (or potential client) also embossed on the cover. The pages were encased in plastic sleeves. Is anyone going to discard something with their name embossed prominently on the cover?

My “third” brochure was not as fancy, but it was more versatile. It was bound with flexible, glossy, and embossed black covers, and the pages were printed on my letterhead without sheet protectors. This was inserted in the front inside pocket of a 10 x 12 glossy folio. My company name was printed on the outside front of the folio, and my company description/resume was printed on the back. In the rear pocket of the folio, I inserted “fillers” that I had previously sent to my mailing list: published articles, award announcements, announcements of new services that our firm was offering, etc.

Your brochure may evolve over time. But, most importantly, make it something of which you are “proud” and helps your image.

From the Desk of

Print note paper (4 x 6) with “From the desk of: John D. Gaskell, PE, President” with your company name, and your contact information at the bottom. Also, have some printed for your senior staff. It should be on the same paper as your letterhead. Attach it to anything that you mail to a client. It is much more “classy” than a blank piece of paper or a notepaper with a vendor’s name on it. A personal, handwritten note on nice paper makes the right impression.

The more prevalent use of internet communications has made note paper less relevant and important. However, a handwritten note gets more attention and may be more appropriate for certain interactions.

If you truly want to be perceived as “The smartest person in the room”, get Jack’s new book: How to become the “SMARTEST PERSON” in the Room, and learn the details. You are what you are perceived to be. Let me show you how to become a marketing genius. Visit: to find out more.

Excerpted from How to become the “SMARTEST PERSON” in the Room. © 2018 John D. Gaskell. Used with permission of Professional Value Books, Inc. All rights reserved. Order at Use coupon code “room” and save.

Learn how to become admired. Find out how to become the smartest person in the room. Discover how to appear professional. Find out how to appear knowledgeable. Learn how to obtain training as a public speaker.