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Four components of beautiful leave-behinds

Riley Cullen's Layout avatar

When you take a meeting with a potential new client, you have anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour to impress them. In that time, it’s your job to make the case for your agency, and convey to your customer exactly how your team can bolster their business.

Leaving a lasting impression can be difficult, but it’s made easier with a leave-behind. It’s a great way to keep your agency—and your service pitch—top-of-mind in the days and weeks after your meeting. However, a poorly executed leave-behind can actually do you a disservice. In fact, it’s better to leave nothing than to show potential clients a piece you haven’t thought through properly.

Use these tips to carefully craft each of the components of your leave-behind, so you can leave a truly impressive impression! 

Make it impactful

If there’s a time to overthink a design, it’s when you’re crafting a leave-behind. It should make a bold, noticeable statement that immediately speaks to your brand. This is a good opportunity to play with a bunch of different designs, product ideas, and even virtual elements.

Show off your skills by creating an interactive element or by leading people to a landing page. Don’t be afraid to use this piece to shout about your brand. Be mindful about your color choice, logo placement, and the copy you include, if any. Whether it’s something more traditional like a pen or a playful item like a bottle opener, make sure it feels like a gift from your brand persona directly to the decision maker. 

Be careful not to “over brand,” however. This is something you want potential clients to hang onto, so an info packet is probably not the way to go. Many experts recommend answering these gift-giving questions when deciding what your leave-behind will be.

  1. Is it useful?
  2. Is it playful/fun?
  3. Is it aesthetically pleasing and functional?
  4. Is it challenging?
  5. Does it leave a positive impression?
man smiles at desk
Agency-branded coffee mugs are a great leave-behind for busy professionals

Make it personal

Your logo should be prominently displayed, but this piece also shouldn’t be all about you. Yes, your potential client should remember it’s from you when they look at or use it, but this is a gift for them, after all.

Your leave-behind should be something that:

  1. the client will want to keep for a while instead of throwing away
  2. they see as a great example of your work
  3. proves you’re capable of completing the project they’re requesting

If possible, it should also appeal to your customer in a personal way. That could be as simple as leaving a thank-you card along with the leave-behind. If you can find a more interesting way to include the name of or a personal detail about the person you met with, they’ll feel even more special. Little personal touches make potential clients feel seen—like you already understand their needs.

Make it brief 

Longer explanations of your services are great—for blog posts and brochures. When you’re creating a leave-behind, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with long lists, explanations, or promises.

Aside from your logo or company name, there isn’t a need to add too much onto your leave-behind. Just pair your gift with a business card so they can easily contact you, and you’ve provided all the necessary information. 

From there, any additional content or design elements should be used to entice your audience. Make them laugh, make them think, but most importantly, make them feel connected to your agency.

Make it with high-quality materials

This should come as no surprise, but you should make sure every element of your leave behind feels thoughtful. From the paper or cardstock used to making sure the pen you’ve included actually works, the materials used are not the place to pinch pennies.

That’s not to say it needs to feel luxurious or high-end. You don’t have to lose your brand’s personality by creating something that’s too fancy. There are all kinds of different options for creative leave-behinds. Whether you make a comic strip, a deck of cards, a nail file, or something else entirely, you can make it high-quality without stripping its personality.

Leave behind a lasting impression 

Use these tips to create a leave-behind that helps you nail your initial client meetings. Have a creative leave-behind that you love? Tell us about it in the comments!

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