Personal Branding – Letterhead

April 16, 2008

Let’s talk about letterhead.  The first question to ask yourself when deciding what to do about personal letterhead is, “Do I need it?”  I’m going to be completely honest here: probably not…but it can’t hurt.  If you are in professional organizations that may require you to send out written communications in your name not in the name of the organization then you may want to consider it (there are a handful of other reasons too).  Now if you own your own business and it is set up as a sole proprietorship under your name and not a “Doing Business As” then you definitely need it.

The last thing that you want is for a professional communication to come from you on copier paper.  It looks and feels cheap and will not have the same impact that letterhead will have.  So, let’s talk about paper.  You want to use something that looks good and feels good in the hand.  My recommendation is to go with twenty-five percent cotton paper at a weight of at least twenty-four pounds.  This is comparable to resume paper.  Remember to only use text weight paper, cover stock and card stock would be overkill.

The design of your letter head should be very similar to the design of your business card.  If you are sending someone a personal communication, chances are you have met them before and they have seen your business card.  Sticking with the same theme will re-enforce that part of your brand in their minds.  If you have not met the person, include a copy or your business card in the folds of the letter. 

Your best option is to have the letter head printed at a company, preferably the same one that did your business cards, since they get the paper (which is relatively expensive) at a much lower cost than you will.  Plus it will save you the time of having to create and print all of this yourself.

Happy communicating!