You might need a brochure if…

  • A business card doesn’t give enough information to explain what you do.
  • You’d like to clarify what you do beyond an initial introduction.
  • You wish you had something to give or mail to those who ask about your business.
  • Photographs or graphics explain what you do better that words alone.
  • You deal with prospective customers in person. Handing them a brochure right then, right there, is much more efficient than sending them to your website.
  • You have prospective customers who don’t spend a lot of time online or may even be Luddites.
  • You’re invited to present a speech about your business. Offering a brochure to your audience reinforces what you have said.
  • You sell several products or services. You can develop brochures specific to each product.
  • You want to build credibility. It can cost next to nothing to create a website, while investing in a slick four-color brochure establishes your stability.
  • You have a story to tell. A brochure isn’t the same thing as a case study, but it could include a short story or testimonials from satisfied customers.

7 Ways to Use a Brochure

  1. After a networking event where you’ve exchanged business cards with prospective clients, mail a brochure to jog a prospect’s memory. A prospect who may not think to go to your website will now have an attractive brochure to refer to when in need of your product or service.
  2. When someone asks more than a casual question about your business, and you’d like to give them something more than your 30-second elevator speech, you can say, “Here! I have a brochure with me that explains what I can do for you.”
  3. At trade shows, to give casual interests a means to reach you, either by phone or online.
  4. To send with your sales force to reinforce their sales pitch. They could hand it to the prospect, go through it with them, and leave it behind.
  5. At an appropriate point-of-sale location, such as a retail shop, visitor’s center, or department store. If you offer landscaping services, for instance, a nursery might display your brochures as a display as an extra customer service.
  6. As a sales piece that gives a prospect specifications in print, helping them to compare your product to the competition’s.
  7. If you’d like to offer special discounts to those to whom you have talked personally.

What’s the Process?

  1. Decide how you will use the brochure: as an introduction, for clarification, to give product information, as a mailer, as a handout.
  2. Determine the target audience for your brochure.
  3. Decide whether it will be a generic piece about your company or a more detailed piece about a specific product or service.
  4. Work with a writer to clarify the purpose and scope of the brochure. Will it be one generic brochure, or do you need to develop several for different purposes? With her contacts in the publishing world, the writer can provide you with the full package – text, design, and printing.
  5. Determine the format of the brochure. A creative designer can help you determine the most suitable size. For mailing purposes, most brochures are tri-folds, printed both sides on 8-1/2 x 11 heavy or glossy paper stock. They can also be four-folds on an 8-1/2 by 14 or even on an 11 x 17 folded in half. You might choose to use a pocket brochure, where explains different products or aspects of your business on sheets of different heights inside a pocket.
  6. Choose a professional printer who will help you determine the paper stock you need. Printing prices per brochure can range from 10 to 80 cents, depending on the quantity you order.

In this day when the internet is so pervasive, printed materials still have a place. With a well planned, well written, and well designed brochure, you can leave a prospect with a piece that educates, promotes, and lasts much longer than a quick glance at your website.

Why might you need a brochure? Because brochures “remain to be seen.”

Cheryl Bryan

About Cheryl Bryan

Cheryl has years of experience in the business world, in a variety of fields: staffing, insurance, construction, and advertising, to name a few. She has freelanced since 1990. Friends and colleagues describe her as genuine, thoughtful, gracious, organized, easy-going, compassionate, a "thinker as well as a doer," and one who not only gets the job done but does it well. Born in rural Nebraska, she is back now after living in California, Texas, South Africa, Illinois, Tennessee, and Mississippi and traveling in Europe, South Africa, and Thailand.
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