make a brochureA brochure is a folded document or pamphlet that contains information about a business, products, services or events. Any serious business owner should have a brochure to introduce or market his or her business.  Brochures can be used to generate leads, introduce your business, provide details of products or services and announce sales or special events.  They can be a very effective marketing tool when written and constructed properly. Whether you are a business owner, or a desktop publisher or graphic artist tasked with creating a brochure for a customer,  these tips can to help you create an effective business brochure.  Let’s get started.

1.  Know the purpose of the brochure –  Brochures can be used for a  variety of reasons.   If the purpose of your brochure is to announce your business, make sure you include information about your company, an overview of your products and services, location and contact information.  If you are making a brochure to give more information about your products, goods or services,  give pertinent details and specifications.  Try not to use one brochure as a “catch all” for everything.  Instead of cramming too much information on one brochure, consider using more than one. Create an “informational brochure” as well as a “product specifications” brochure.

2.  Know your target audience — Take some time to figure out who is the intended audience.   Do a little research on your target customer.  Is your target customer motivated by price or convenience?  If you have a lawn care business and are looking for new clients, your brochure may be written to appeal to homeowners that are too busy to maintain their own yards.  If you own a hair salon, you may want the brochure to target customers that want a “new look”.  You can offer a coupon or discounts if your customers are motivated by price.  Once you determine who your brochure is targeting and you know what motivates them, you can use words and images that will appeal to them.

3.  Always have a “Call to Action” –  A “Call to Action” lets the reader know what you want them to do after reading the brochure, such as “Call for an Appointment”, “Visit our New Location” or ” Visit our Website Today”.

4. Have a Unique Selling Proposition — A unique selling proposition is a fancy way of saying “what is it that makes your company stand out from your competitors”.  Give your readers a reason to choose your company over your competitors.

5.  Decide on a Layout –Brochures can come in a wide assortment of sizes, layouts and folds.  Some folds include bifold, trifold, Z-fold and quad-fold.  Brochures can be standard paper sizes, custom sizes, mailers,  special cuts to create unique looks.  Make sure you select a size and fold that can accommodate all of the images and text you plan to include in your brochure.

6.  Determine what will be included in the brochure.  The contents of your brochure will be based on reason for the brochure.  Below is a sample of information you can include.  Remember, don’t put too much information on one brochure.

  • Cover with Bold Headline
  • Logo / Tagline / Business Slogan
  • “About Us” giving information about you and/or your company.  Include your unique selling proposition, number of years in business mission statement or any other pertinent information about your business.
  • Information and details about products and services
  • Customer and client testimonials
  • Coupons or Promotional information
  • Contact Information
  • Location/Directions/Map
  • Website address and social media addresses

7. Keep writing simple and concise.  Don’t cram too much information on the brochure. Use short sentences and keep your content scanable.  Use active and engaging language. Make sure you have enough white space (space with no copy or images) to increase readability.

8.  Use professional-looking photos and images.   Professional stock photos are easy to obtain for reasonable prices from many different Internet sites.    If using photos from your own collection, make sure the photos clear and in focus and not dark and hard to see.  Consider getting a professional (or some one good at photography) to take photos specifically for your printed and web advertisements.

9.  Have a professional-looking design.  Incorporate with gradients, shadow effect, subtle textures, backgrounds,  to enhance your brochure.  However, use these graphic elements carefully,  the design elements should not distract from the overall message.  If you are not comfortable with creating a design from scratch or don’t have enough time to, use a design template.  There are literally thousands of brochure templates available in many different, layouts styles, colors and software programs. You shouldn’t have a problem finding one that works for your business.

10. Get Inspired –  When making a brochure, sometimes it’s hard to come up with a design ideas.  When you can’t think of where to begin, check out brochures from your competitors.  Go to a hotel lobby or your local Chamber of Commerce and browse through existing brochures.  See which designs catch your eye.  Select brochures that are engaging and make you want to read them.  Make a note of the colors that your like.  Speaking of colors, if you can’t figure out which colors to choose, start with a your business logo.  You may be able to build a color scheme around your logo colors.  You can also browse through stock photos website and build a color scheme around the photos that you will include in your brochure.

So, that should be enough information to get you thinking about designing your brochure.  For a few more tips, and a list of other brochure resources, check our “Five Indispensable Tips for Creating Brochures” and Fundamentals of Brochure Design.


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