When was the last time you shared an article, publicity piece, website copy, or marketing document with a co-worker, expert or associate? If your business is in a rut, it may be time to get an outside opinion.

It is easy to get too close to your business and marketing messages and miss some major mistakes that may be costing you sales.

Perhaps your website has broken links?
Maybe there is a grammatical issue on your press release or brochure?

By having the appropriate outsiders review your information, they can help you see your materials with “fresh eyes.” With this in mind, share your pertinent materials with people who will provide honest answers and valuable input. Then, ask them appropriate questions such as the following:

1. What is the overall message you receive from this piece?
2. How does it make you feel?
3. After reading it, do you know what you are supposed to do next?
4. Is it interesting? If not, where did you lose interest?
5. Did you see any blatant errors?
6. Did all of the links work?
7. Is there anything we can add or subtract from this piece to make it stronger?
8. What suggestions do you have for improving this website, brochure, etc?
9. Do you have any other comments you would like to provide about this piece?

In return for their time, perhaps you can offer a free e-report, special discount or other thank-you gift?

And once you have the responses, look at them carefully. Then, make the pertinent changes. You may be surprised to see that your piece has blatant errors that you have overlooked for months!

This may seem time consuming, but it is well worth it. By having others regularly review your work, you can present a stronger message and more professional image. This will help increase credibility for first-time visitors, media members and potential new customers that can lead to new sales.