Creating a Better Brochure

Quick Tips

Decide on a goal for your brochure.

Explain what your business does.

Write from your clients' point of view. Tell how they will benefit.

Keep it concise. Present information in a logical order.

Focus on specific, relevant examples.

Have an "outsider" review your draft.

“Do you have a brochure you could send me?” asks your prospective client. Good question! Do you? Is it up to date? Is it effective? Whether your “brochure” (using the term loosely) is a trifold, booklet or some other type of printed piece, it can play an important role in your marketing program.

Getting Started

When you create or update a brochure, planning is important. If you just sat down and started writing, chances are you’d be disappointed with the results.

Establish a Goal

To get results, first decide what you’re trying to accomplish:

  • Bring in a new type of client?
  • Help readers understand a complicated business?
  • Convince prospects you’re right for a specific type of job?

Once you’ve established a goal, you can tailor your written content to achieve the intended result.

Define Your Target Audience

Is it business owners? Technical people? Contractors? Community residents? Have they already heard of you, or are they unfamiliar with your business? Answering these questions will help you focus your writing.

Telling Your Story

What specifically makes your business unique? This is the main point of your brochure.

Explain What You Offer & Why You’re Different

Use specific examples to explain what you do or sell. Emphasize the things that distinguish your business from others. Explain the advantages you offer:

  • expertise in a certain area;
  • faster project schedules;
  • best customer service.

Focus on results such as homes sold or projects completed on time. Reinforce your success stories with testimonials or lists of satisfied clients.

Pretend You’re the Client

When telling your story, it helps to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective client. What would he want to know about your business? Why should she choose you over your competitors? An effective brochure should anticipate and answer the reader’s questions (directly or indirectly) without overwhelming him.

Consider Your Message

While your brochure tells what your company does, it also says something about who your company is. What underlying messages do you want your brochure to convey…reliability, value, expertise, results, honesty? Your type of business and your philosophy will help shape your message, as in these very general examples:

  • Renovation: credibility, reliability, quality, satisfaction
  • Accounting or Legal: trust, stability, competence
  • Real Estate: personality, results, perseverance
  • Architect: capability, design, track record, expertise
  • Mechanic: honesty, value, competence
  • Engineer: experience, capability, reliability

Putting it Together…the “Nuts & Bolts”

After doing your initial brainstorming, you’re ready to begin the outline for your brochure. See the How To article for a simple plan of attack for writing and laying out a basic brochure. Remember, your brochure need not be elaborate or complicated. The important thing is to get your point across quickly and effectively in a professional-looking format.

“Test Driving” Your Brochure

Once you’ve completed the writing and layout, recruit someone outside your business to read your draft. Does it accomplish your goals? Does it convey your message? Is it succinct and clearly written? If not, revise the text and/or layout as needed, then have your reader do a final review. Once you’re satisfied that the brochure meets all your criteria, you’re ready to try it out on your prospects!