Inwardly you cringe when those words hit your ears.
You smile at your prospect trying to cover up your embarrassment without giving away your embarrassment at not having anything beyond your business card to give her. Your mind races to come up with an adequate excuse while you look at the office ceiling tiles clenching your teeth to stall for some thinking time.
(“They’re still at the printers.” Weak! Or, “Everything you need to know is on our website.” Wimp out! Or, “Oooo! I left them at the office.” Bald face lie! Or, “My dog ate it.” Yeah, right!)
No excuse will do. So you walk out of her office with a handshake and a feeling you already lost the account just because you didn’t have collateral to support your presentation.
The Brochure Conundrum
If you’re unprepared at the end of a meeting with a prospective client to leave something behind, these few words of request are received with a fair amount of mortification. (Ack! I haven’t gotten a brochure done yet!)
Sure, a website is the online equivalent to a paper brochure! But if you’ve garnered a face-to-face appointment and not closed the deal at the end of it, the lack of a hard copy handout is highly deflating on all sides.
Sending a prospect back to your website is likely a step in reverse – not forward. You’re asking her to do more work to get the answers she needs. Yet many of my clients have been in business for months and months or years and not created any collateral. Often lack of collateral is due to not knowing where to begin with the project. It can feel intimidating.
Now that you know you need to have a brochure for your business to flourish, how big should it be? What should you put on the front or on the inside? And in what order should information appear?
A printed brochure:
- Demonstrates your company is more than just an idea. It’s proof you exist!
- Conveys the essence of your business through the quality of its visual elements and the well-targeted copy writing.
- Shows prospective customers what audience you are addressing: A high quality paper and print job demonstrates you are reaching out to the luxury market; cheap copy paper and a poor Xerox job says your offering targets price-centric customers.
Creating a Brochure 101
Instead of continuing on for another 1000 words about ‘Brochure Development Best Practices,’ I’d rather show you my brochure creation process in this case study video below. I’m not one for frequent horn tooting, but I’ll make an exception because I’m so thrilled with how wonderfully Chris Templeton of Influence Internet put together this spotlight case study. (So I’m mainly tooting the horn for his work.)
This case study spotlight highlights the brochure creation process for a recent client of mine, Ironwood Landcrafters. If you don’t see the YouTube video below, you can either see it here (along with several other Spotlight videos created by Chris), or this full screen version in Dropbox. (If you view it in Dropbox, note the tabbed menu for the video’s different sections, shown by rolling your mouse over the bulleted list icon in the lower right of your screen