Know Your Audience
The first step to writing a good brochure -- or any marketing copy -- is to know your audience. What are their biggest problems? What is their demographic? What do they look for when purchasing your product or service?
If you don't know who your audience is, make it your top priority to learn more about them. Send out a survey, create a focus group and tap into the knowledge of your sales staff. Consider offering a discount or gift card as an incentive to your customers for completing the survey.
Emphasize the Benefits
Make sure the content of your brochure emphasizes the benefits of your product -- not the features. For example, a lawn service business wouldn't talk about how they have a state-of-the-art mower. They'd explain how their new mower allows them to cut more grass in less time, saving the customer money and ensuring their lawn gets cut even if it rains five out of seven days in one week.
Less is More
When it comes to word count, remember that less is more. Don't try to pack every page full of writing. Leave some white space and room for pictures and graphics. Include bulleted lists to emphasize important selling points. Most customers won't read your brochure front-to-back, but they will look at visual elements and easy-to-read lists.
Get an Outside Perspective
Hiring a freelancer brochure writer is an easy and affordable way to get an outsider's perspective. Good freelancer writers have seen a lot of brochures and have a great deal of marketing experience, so they can help you figure out what works and what doesn't. In addition, experienced copywriters will ask you in-depth questions about your customer base and help you come up with selling points you probably hadn't thought of before.
Most business need more than one brochure -- but many don't realize it! For example, the lawn service may need one brochure for their fall clean-up offering, another for fallen tree disposal, a third brochure for their lawn mowing services and a yet another brochure for landscaping consulting services.
By getting specific, you can spend more time highlighting the benefit of each service without overwhelming your customers with information. And, you can target your sales efforts to specific customers or seasonal events. For example, the lawn service would mail its fall clean-up brochure to its current mowing customers in September and send their fallen tree disposal brochure out immediately after a big spring storm. This could create a lot of additional business for the company from their existing customer base.
Think About Format
When most people think of a brochure, they think of a standard tri-fold -- an 8.5" by 11" piece of paper folded into thirds. This can be a good option, but it's not your only choice. If you have just a few tidbits of information consider a rack card format -- a standard-size sheet of paper cut into three pieces, or a legal-sized sheet cut into four pieces. A full-color rack card can be an incredible value over a tri-fold brochure, because you are getting three or four pieces for the price of one tri-fold.
Rethink Your Sales Pitch
While most brochures are aimed at selling consumers a service, informational brochures can be just as effective in building your business. A lawn service could offer a brochure "Five Tips for Better Mowing". A painter might want to develop a brochure titled "Seven Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Painter". Brochures like these position you as a knowledgeable, helpful expert and develop trust between you and your customer. While an informational brochure may not replace a traditional sales brochure, a combination of the two is a reliable sales strategy.
Megan Tsai is a seasoned communicator and award-winning writer. As a full-time freelancer, she provides business writing, copywriting and marketing communications for advertising agencies and businesses.