5 secrets to writing an excellent brochure for your business

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A brochure is, fundamentally, a piece of advertising. It could be intended as a lead-generator or a leave-behind, aimed at a consumer or the trade. Regardless of function and audience, brochure copy should push your prospect towards a sale. Its primary focus should not be the provision of information. It should be persuading your prospect to buy into your brand.

It’s important to decide how your brochure will be used, because this will help you determine the content, style and structure of your brochure. The copy you write for a lead-generating brochure will be quite different to the copy you write for a sale-closing brochure.

Here are 5 secrets to writing better brochures for your business…

1. The cover is more important that you think

Many brochure writers miss a trick with the cover. They think it’s there to showcase the company or product name and a nice image. It’s much more than that. It’s the first thing the prospect sees. You want them to want to look inside. Use your cover to position or differentiate your company or product, courtesy of an intriguing title or tagline. Don’t wait till page two; start persuading right away.

2. It’s about your customer, not your product

This is a common piece of advice across many kinds of copywriting: it’s not about you, it’s about your customer. The introductory copy in your brochure should address the questions your reader will be asking, or the pain points they’ll be looking to relieve. You want your reader to know that you understand their key problems before you move on to discuss the solution you can provide. Just like you would with a sales call, you need to build a rapport before you sell. Once you establish a relationship of empathy and understanding with your reader, you’ll find persuading them a lot easier.

You should keep your customer in mind throughout the rest of the brochure, too. Don’t just reel off a list of product features. Sell the benefits of those features. Explain how those features will aid your reader, citing real-world examples and applications. Throughout your brochure, keep answering your customer’s questions and overcoming any objections they may have.

3. Your credibility is important

You should use the tone and content of your brochure to position yourself as an expert in your field. Use language that is confident as well as being intriguing and engaging. Let your reader know that you have the answers to their questions and you are confident in those answers (without sounding pompous).

You should also provide visual proof, such as photographs and charts, to establish your credibility, as well as written proof through customer testimonials and/or case studies. You don’t want your brochure to sound like advertising puffery. Your readers want truthful, useful information, so that’s what you should provide.

4. Too many brochures are bogged down in technical points

You risk losing your reader if you overwhelm them with technical points. Remember that you’re selling benefits, not features, so describe in your body copy how a technical feature will aid your reader. Bring out only the most important points, and unless you expect your reader to understand it, avoid jargon.

Sometimes you need to bring a whole load of technical points to your reader’s attention. In that case, don’t try and cram them all into the body copy. You’ll simply have too much text, and succinct, easy-to-read copy is always better in a brochure. Instead, use a table, chart or diagram; that way, all the technical points are there in their own section, to be appreciated in detail by your more technically minded readers, and referred to as required by the rest.

5. Go out with a bang, not a whimper!

A lot of brochures end with an overview of the company or a list of specifications, overlooking the most important feature: the call to action. You should always end your brochure by directing the customer’s next step, which goes back to the overall purpose of your brochure and where it fits in your sales process.

Your desired outcome must always be asked for. In other words, if the next step for the customer is to place an order, then you should ask your customer to place an order.

The reason so many brochures overlook these five points is that businesses forget or fail to recognise how important brochures are as a sales tool. Often the job of writing them falls on an administrative assistant or a junior marketer who is not a writer. That’s the equivalent of using your best salesperson to generate a lead, and a work experience student to close the deal.

An excellent brochure is both a powerful and strategic sales tool and a robust corporate asset. As a freelance copywriter, I can help you craft a brochure that will persuade your prospects to buy into your brand. Just call me on 07411 331721, or drop me a line at cr_berry@outlook.com.

Image: flickr/andreabalzano

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