Do your customers request information about your services or products? Do you need to cross-market new or recently-added products? Do you have displays where people can pick up more information about your company? Do you find yourself gathering all sorts of handouts to give people when they want more information about what you offer?
Clients who have begun their marketing efforts by producing an effective brochure are in a much better position to market their business via other strategies, especially developing a website. Creating a compelling brochure requires creativity, organization, time, and vision.
Maybe you need several brochures, each to tell the story of an individual product or service. Often, we have created a family of brochures for clients — with a consistent look and feel so they all work together.
If you’re ready to get started, here are simple guidelines to help you create a better brochure:
1. Be as clear and concise as possible.
Most people don’t have time to actually read a brochure—even if they’ve asked for it—so make the information “skimmable” using bullets and lists with compelling headlines. Don’t write long, dense paragraphs of information; they’re difficult to read and impossible to skim.
2. Focus on benefits, not facts.
Don’t go into the details of your business. Customers care only about what affects them directly, so highlight the benefits (what they’ll get) of working with you or what you sell.
3. Don’t use dates in your text.
Dates will quickly make your brochure obsolete. Instead of saying “For 25 years…” cite a specific year: “Since 1985, we’ve….”
4. Let your company’s personality shine through.
You are what distinguishes you from your competition…this is a very important concept. Don’t try to be like everyone else selling the same service/product. If you’re a small company or work from home, focus on benefits like offering quick turn-around, a lack of bureaucracy, easy accessibility, etc. If your company is made up of young, hip 20-somethings, focus on the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the workplace. On the other hand, if you own a family business that’s been producing the same product for generations, focus on the stability and craftsmanship inherent in a successful business that’s been around a long time.
5. Use familiar words.
Describe what you do in clear and concise language — and make it brief. Don’t use jargon, formal words or stilted language.
6. Take your time.
Crafting a brochure takes time and requires attention to detail. Show your draft to others and get their feedback. Is your brochure telling the story you want to tell?
Of course, there are other things to consider when you put together your brochure — and for more ideas, see my post on The five Ws of compelling brochures.
An effective brochure is a thing of beauty. And a real challenge to put together. But if you take the time to get it right, you’ll have useful messaging, images, and marketing that will make it much easier to tackle other marketing strategies like a website or email marketing.
The brochure pictured with this article was done for Yoga North studio. They offer teacher training sessions that begin every 6 months and have different dates and costs from session to session, but they needed a brochure that would live “forever,” since it is simply too expensive and too much work to update and print a brochure every time they need to promote a new training date. My solution was to create a benefits-oriented brochure without specific class dates or pricing, and pair the brochure with an inexpensive bookmark that includes all details about their current season pricing, class dates, and admission information.
These bookmarks are inserted into the brochures and are used in all kinds of creative ways, cost just pennies, and make it easy to change out information when new course sessions are offered. Plus they’re really fun to hand out!