I’ve been fiddling with my Little Red brochures for months: adjusting, simplifying, correcting, adding and subtracting. Now that I think I got it pretty much right, I want to share with you how I got there. Sometimes it takes a few drafts, sometimes not. Simple fact is, it’s gotta be damn good, a lot of people don’t read brochures. They collect them at expos or in the mail and then bin them. These are my tips on getting yours to work for you.
- CLEAN- focus on colour (3 maximum), font (2 maximum) and a simple, effective layout. If people wanted clutter, they could come and look in my Tupperware cupboard. Make your graphic designer work hard for their payment so working on your business brochure pays off for you.
- QUALITY PRINTING- Having a husband who works in printing, I know good and bad printing when I squint at it. Watch for irregular bleed, general fuzziness. Find a top-notch printing agency (stick with small business yeah?) who can produce high-resolution images on sleek pages. Now brochures can’t be sexy, but you get my drift. Make them look damn impressive.
- BRANDING- Is your brand easily identifiable? Make sure your brochure logos/images make all the other business material you are producing. Having your brand recognised by others is a difficult task to achieve but you can make it work when you work hard on your brand image.
- APPROPRIATE IMAGES- Do the images match your content? This isn’t a trick question. I completed a brochure for a client who asked for pictures of puppies on their brochure when they wanted to show off their jewellery range. Puppies don’t usually wear jewellery (in Melbourne they don’t anyway) so use images to support your content. Don’t just throw them in there because “every brochure needs pictures”.
- SAY NO TO CHUNKS- Make sure your brochure isn’t wordy. No huge paragraphs or people won’t read them, or take your brand seriously. Using more words can often be misconstrued as not knowing what you are talking about. The layout won’t be as impressive if words take up all the useable space.
- KNOW ITS VALUE- Do you know how important brochures are? Do you know their purpose? Approximately 20% of people in the US have never searched for a business listing online (which means they’d need one of your brochures to get in contact with you again). The principle behind a brochure may seem old-school in this grand (new) digital age we reside in, but they never go out of style in business if they are created and used correctly.
- THINK STRATEGICALLY- Where are you going to send/hand out/ leave these brochures? This needs to be worked into your layout. You might not be with your brochure when people are seeing it for the first time. So it needs to be targeted to the appropriate audience and easy to read.
- CONTACT INFO- Make sure your contact details are clearly defined and UP TO DATE. You are creating a brochure to turn readers into buyers so the readers are at some point going to want to know how to get a hold of you.
- CTA INCLUDED- Related to #8, include a call-to-action. Provide value and information which entices your readers to want to know more and to act on what they discover in your brilliant layout.
- MOST IMPORTANT!!!! Your HEADLINE will be the decider. Five times more people read the headline than the body of any article of text. If the headline doesn’t attract them to read on, the time you spent on your brochure will be useless. Don’t get cheesy, be concise and clever.
Do you have any more tips to add to my list? I’d love to see what kind of brochures your businesses are producing. Remember that less is more in this case.