A Brochure Is a Handshake …

A brochure is an easy way to spread the word about your business. In your absence, it serves as your business handshake. If you're there to hand one out, it solidifies the connection by giving your prospects an informative, take-home guide with all your necessary contact info. (NOTE: It's amazing how many people forget to put their contact info on their brochure. Place yours in a conspicuous area.) Have your designer convert your brochure into a PDF format, so you can not only print it out to hand out in person or to use as a direct-mail piece, but can also attach the file to e-mails or embed it on your Web site to make it available electronically.

Here are 5 tips to consider when creating a brochure:

1) Know Your Audience. The colors, the fonts, the amount of text, the diction, the layout and the use of testimonials or photos will all depend on the age, education level, taste, habits and needs of your target market — all good points to consider in preparation for your meeting with your copywriter and designer.

2) Know How to Hold 'Em, Know How to Fold 'Em ... Customers and clients may hold and open your brochure a myriad of ways. Fold yours so that it opens correctly when unfolded (with the text right-side up), and place teaser copy on the outside to make your readers want to open it and learn more.

3) Know Your Ps from Your Qs. Enlist an experienced set of eyes to proofread your brochure for spelling and grammar missteps, but keep in mind that your audience dictates the style. For example, if yours is a more casual target audience, you can be more relaxed on the grammar. Typos, however, are an entirely different story — be on the lookout for those!

4) Know When to Say When. Sure, that unusual font you found for your headers makes your brochure look really unique, but try to balance it out by keeping your body copy relatively neutral. The main thing to keep in mind is readability: You want to make your message easily digestible, so aim for balance between the amount of text and number of photos, between the use of bolding and italics, and so on. Simplicity is often your most effective tool, so you may find you can do without a whole lot of extras.

5) Know It Like the Back of Your Hand. Your customers may reference your brochure months down the line. It's important that you know every photo used, for example, so that when someone says, "I want my driveway to look like the one on page 3 of your brochure," you know exactly what that potential customer is seeing. You can easily accomplish this by keeping a copy of your brochure in your work station for reference when you're taking phone calls, and tuck one in your bag when you're out and about in case you have to take a client call on your cell.

Did you know that Saidandsung writes brochure copy with a marketer's eye? I can also connect you with designers if you require one for your brochure project. It saves you the step of having to hunt for your own, and those I work with enjoy a seamless collaboration.

What are you looking to promote?

Thanks for reading,

Carla

Visit saidandsung.com to view my writing samples.

Exclamation Nation

Let's face it. We love exclamation points. It's how we express emotion. When we're excited about a sale or a funny video clip or a great photo, we say, "You've got to see this!"

But when it comes to professional copy — especially corporate copy — we must choose our formatting carefully. Reducing the amount of exclamations to one per page is an effective way to ensure that your reader's eye will be drawn to THE IMPORTANT STATEMENT YOU WANT TO EMPHASIZE. Take this paragraph, for example: The use of all caps, much like exclamatory copy, makes that phrase stand out among the 70 other words here.

Effective copy needs balance in the way the words are formatted. These days, littering your online copy with too many exclamation points (or too much bolding or underlining or italics, for that matter), can come across as spam — especially when used in subject lines, headlines and subheads.

So be discriminate about your exclamations; don't reduce their power by overuse. Use them sparingly, so that they really pack a punch.

Note: Only one exclamation was used in the making of this blog post.

Visit saidandsung.com.

Carla