Getting better at seeing
A giant pitfall in the way small companies and individuals market themselves, particularly online or in presentations, is that they're often cheesy, ugly or unreadable.
I don't think people deliberately set out to be ugly, but they end up that way. And a quick look at your own buying behavior should tell you that you don't often buy from the sketchy-looking sites, ads and media that are often pitched at you.
No, I think the problem is that people don't realize that their work is ugly. They don't see it. Just like the close-talker down the hall from your cube doesn't realize that he's a close-talker. I'm not talking about skill or talent or even guts. I'm talking about learning to see what others see.
John McWade taught me how to see. I'm not great at it, I'm certainly guilty of designing my own not-so-ideal materials. But the gap between the one-eyed man and the blind is pretty big.
It might take a few weeks of hard work to start to notice what looks right in the world (and why). I think it's worth it.