22 Jun How To Use Graphics To Support Your Bids
If you’re looking to create a persuasive bid, it needs to be engaging and inspiring for your reader – because if it isn’t, you run the risk of them swiftly putting it down and moving on to the next candidate.
To better engage your audience, you should consider including carefully chosen graphics in your bid.
Graphics are a great way to break up long passages of text and keep people’s attention, while they also help readers to visualise, process, and memorise statistics better than using the written word alone.
For instance, studies have shown that after 3 days, the reader only remembers 10-20% of written information, while they were able to memorise almost 65% of information presented in a graphic format. The brain is also able to process visual information as much as 60,000 times faster than written information, which makes graphics a highly eﬃcient way to communicate details.
Graphics also help to better engage readers with visual learning styles, which is important as around 40% of people engage better with visual information than text.
From a practical perspective, graphics also help to include more information in your bid, as it means that you can communicate details while keeping the word count low.
However, there are some points to carefully consider when choosing which graphics to use in your bid. Let’s take a closer look.
Using Graphics Effectively
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure that you are meeting the brief. Some clients may specifically state that graphics should not be used in their bid proposals, so if this is the case, ensure that you stick to the guidelines.
You should also be selective about how you use graphics and diagrams, because just as long bodies of text can become wearing, overuse of visuals may cause your reader to disconnect. So, if you include graphics in your bid proposal, select them carefully, and use them to highlight the key pieces of information that you want people to remember.
When doing this, consider the type of information you are trying to convey. If you are working in finance, for example, using graphs and charts may be more appropriate for conveying numerical information, while a customer-facing business may require more photographs of individuals and of staff members working with the public.
Choosing Quality Graphics
You should use only clear, smart, and high-quality graphics in your bid proposal; this will keep your bid looking professional and ensure that your business appears legitimate and trustworthy. If you lack the relevant skills to create quality graphics in-house, it can be well worth hiring a professional graphic designer to help your business make a better impression on its audience.
Your graphics should also be simple to understand and easily interpreted, because if they are overly complicated, crowded, contain small or illegible fonts, or are diﬃcult to read, your readers may not absorb the information, or may give up entirely on trying to understand it.
Consider Your Branding
Ensure all your graphics are consistent with your branding and your other marketing materials in terms of their colour scheme, common motifs, and styling. This will help your business to appear focused and coherent, and will make your proposal more memorable.
Similarly, if you use many diﬀerent types of graphics in your bid, they should all use a uniform colour scheme to tie everything together. This colour scheme should not be overly complex; keep to under four colours to maintain eﬀective and easily-recognisable branding.
Remember too that all graphics should convey your company’s message, so consider including logos and photographs of team members to personalise your visuals to your business.
A Checklist To Creating Great Graphics
Need some simple bullet-points of what to do when creating graphics for your bid? No problem! Here’s a list of some simple rules to follow:
- Carefully plan and prepare – Leaving the creation of graphics until the last minute may result in poor design, or in using visuals that are out of place in your bid. Make sure that you know the points you are going to make in advance, and choose graphics that emphasise your pitch.
- Introduce your graphics – All your graphics should be properly introduced by nearby text. This ensures that information will not be lost or misinterpreted, and that the visuals don’t seem out of place.
- Make a point – Graphics that aren’t related to a particular point raised in the text may cause confusion, and will not engage the reader. Ideally, use one graphic per point, and clearly state what it is that you are trying to evidence.
- Keep things simple – Overly complicated graphics can make it diﬃcult for your reader to interpret the statistics they contain, and may cause ‘information overload’. They can also appear messy and disorganised, creating a bad impression of your business. Therefore, to get the most out of your graphics, keep them minimal and stick to one or two key ideas per design. Be aware too of how to use ‘blank space’ in your graphics to prevent them from appearing crowded.
- Choose your graphics carefully – Don’t overuse graphics, and be selective about the points that you want to illustrate. Use only the most high-quality creations at your disposal!
- Use your brand assets – Branding helps to make your graphics – and your overall bid – memorable and easily identifiable, so consider using your logo and company motto in your graphics to help your business catch the eye.
- Be cautious with fonts – Using fonts that are illegible or too small will make your graphics hard to read, which can result in them being ignored or disregarded. Therefore, make sure all the points in your graphic are easy to decipher.
- Avoid cheap-looking design – Using clip art, stock images, or designs that include glaring flaws such as pixelation, will make your bid appear unprofessional. Instead, stick to using original designs that are well put together.
- Consider hiring a professional designer – If you have limited design experience and don’t have the time or energy to learn more about it, a professional designer will know what types of graphics may be eﬀective, and can help you put together designs that appear professional and engage the reader.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to creating excellent bid graphics that will win you more work!