Calling your brochures boring and ugly may be a little harsh, but it is the wake-up call that many of us need. Today, more than ever, it is important to have brochures that not only inform your potential customers of how you can help them but are also pretty to look at!
The problem is that revamping your brochure or even more daunting, an entire series of brochures, requires time, effort, and money. Three things that often run in short supply! Here are a few of our favorite tips to share with our clients on how to take your brochure from snooze-fest to a stimulating pamphlet your customers will actually read (and enjoy!).
Phase 1: Reality Check - Is Your Brochure Boring?
When was the last time you read your brochure? If it is so bland that even you don’t want to read it, something needs to change. You know you need to update your brochure is if it is overburdened with text, is disorganized, or has no clear point.
You don’t want to bore your customers with technical jargon and dull descriptions. Instead, involve them! Ask yourself, what topics are most relatable to my customers, and what will make them smile? People remember how things made them feel, so it’s important to give your customers that feel good impression when they read about your company. Give them fresh information about your business they haven’t heard before or highlight intriguing facts. Information that is relatable and up-to-date is more likely to be read and remembered.
Phase 2: Setting a Goal and Focus for Your New Brochure
One of the most important things to do is ask yourself what is the point of your brochure? What is your goal? Doing this will keep you focused on a specific topic and help you dig in, rather than ramble all over the place. So ask yourself, is the hope that your clients are going to learn about what services and products you offer? Or are you trying to show your company’s personality?
If you want to differentiate yourself as a business, be interesting, be funny, and share relevant information that your customers will easily understand. Don’t simply regurgitate content from your website. Be sure to provide additional information that will benefit your customers.
Each brochure should also have a specific call to action. What do you want your customers to do once they look at your brochure? Maybe it’s to call your business or to visit your website. Whatever your call to action may be, give your customers clear directions on what you want them to do next.
Phase 3: Create an Outline
After determining your goal, figure out how you are going to accomplish it. Outline your brochure with your main headlines, subheadlines, and various sections. Determine the most important messages you need to convey. Continually ask yourself “why does my reader care about this?” Keeping this in mind at all times will help you from straying from this outline and deviating from your goal or focus.
Phase 4: Write Content That Has a Purpose and is Engaging
Just like all content, the content in your brochure should provide your customers with solutions and captivate their attention. Writing engaging content doesn’t mean writing excessive amounts. Aim to write less with more focus. Force yourself to cut as much unnecessary content as possible and repeatedly refine your message. Your customers need to be able to read your content quickly and easily while gaining the most important facts.
While updating your new content, put aside some time to brainstorm compelling headlines. Nothing will turn people away more than a predictable and uninteresting headline. Avoid generic headings and make sure that yours are engaging, powerful, and clear. Making it obvious to your customers that you have valuable information to provide will capture their attention more than you’d think.
Though many think it is, writing doesn’t always have to be boring! The formatting of brochures allows for fun and creativity! Create call out boxes that highlight important facts, interesting statistics, inspiring quotes, and positive testimonials. These elements bring out your creativity and give your business that individual flair that will set it apart from the rest!
Most importantly, be sure to proofread! We know checking your work is often the last thing you want to do, but it is a vital part of upholding your company’s credibility, integrity, and professionalism.
Phase 5: Don’t Hide Your Message Behind Ugly Design
People often fear that graphic design is too expensive for their brochure design. While there is a cost to design, it doesn’t have to be excessive, and a quality design is well worth the price. A professional designer can pull together your message in a way that highlights your brand, is pleasing to the eye, and makes it easy for you to convey your message. The countless times we have worked with a designer we have been able to refine our message (it is super easy to tell when you are too wordy once something is designed) and more effectively connect with the reader.
Design pretties things up and makes the reading experience so much more enjoyable. If you try to get by with Word or even Publisher, you won’t do your company justice. We physically cringe when we see messy text boxes, clip art, or Word templates being used by reputable companies. When you skimp on design, you distract your reader from your message and hurt your reputation. There are so many inventive things designers can do these days. From infographic creation, to the use of icons, and unique color palettes, the possibilities are endless.
After you have put in all this effort to make your brochures engaging and pretty to look at, don’t print them on poor quality paper! Get them printed at a professional print shop. You will be happily surprised at the positive impression thick cardstock can give.
We hope you feel more equipped to update your brochures and make them stand out from the crowd! Have any additional questions about the steps to take to freshen-up your brochures? We can help!