Congratulations! Now you have a new logo design! The designer just sent it to you, you have a bunch of files and (hopefully) a nice PDF file with your logo guide. Now what? What do you do with it? You know you should use it, but you wonder, how?
Here are some answers to some common questions I get from time to time. People are now, more convinced than ever, that they should get a logo. They go online, search for designers that specialize in logo design, and after a few weeks they get their logos. Most of the people though, have no idea what to do next. They have a vague sense that there has to be more. The lucky ones get some instructions and next steps from their logo designers, but most of the get noting except some files and a few lines of well meant instructions.
First, let me tell you that you should feel good about yourself. You made the first, most important step to differentiate yourself from your competition. It's a beginning of an exciting journey and I hope this little guide of mine will help.
Let's start with the files. In your design or logo kit you should have two main types of files - raster files (.jpg, .gif, .png) and vector files (.ai, .eps, .svg). The main difference between the two is that the raster files are best used on the web and email and the vector files can be used for business cards, billboards and so on. Vector files can be scaled up without any loss in quality, while the raster ones are best used at the sizes they are delivered.
Now, that you know what to do with your files, let's see what's next.
No respectable company does business without a website. Unless you want people NOT to find you, there's no reason not to get one. Depending on your budget and goals, you may end up using the same designer or a different design company to take care of it. Please note though, that you should aim to have the website match your logo to start creating a unified corporate image.
A thing to avoid is to use a "theme" to create your website. Please avoid website builders and cheap "Wordpress themes". You don't want to ware the same clothes as your neighbor... why would you want your business to wear "clothes" that are used by a lot of other businesses? It makes no sense to buy a logo and then stick it on a theme.
Not to mention that your website should be tweaked to help you achieve your goals. I bet you know how your business is different from your competitors - your website should reflect that at least.
Once you have a website you can move on creating some social profiles. Start with Facebook and Twitter. In the old days Google+ would've been a good choice too but you can ignore that for now. If your company relies a lot on images you should explore Pinterest too. Again, getting ready for these social networks requires some additional graphics like cover images that MUST be branded with your logo, and also constant posting. There's no reason to create a social profile if you don't plan on being social. If it's too much for you, hire somebody to do it for you.
Now you are ready to create your business cards. The reason I've left this as the last step, is because you have to have the above ready - you need to put your URL, Facebook, Twitter along with your email address on your business card. Don't even think of skipping the steps before if you plan on including the info on your business card. The worst thing that it can happen is to have a very nice logo that describes your business, but no website or social profiles. When you give your business card to someone and they try to access your site and that doesn't work, chances are they will never contact you again about anything.
I wish you all the best with your new logo, and remember, if you feel overwhelmed by all you have to do, don't panic. Take it step by step and it will work out nicely for you.