I get these calls from time to time. . .”Can you make me a brochure?” Many business owners have been sold on the notion that they need a tri-fold brochure or they are not in business. Forget it…everybody’s got one and no one uses it.
Your potential clients need an education. They need to know how you are different. (The typical tri-fold brochure simply confirms that you are the same.)
Every small business should create the following pieces of information and format them in a way that allows them be printed inexpensively and updated often. I like to call this approach, the Marketing Kit. Your marketing kit starts with several professionally printed pieces that are the framework for up to 10 or 12 different educational documents. The core components are:
1. A pocket folder – A multi-use workhorse, this piece alone, if designed well, can send the message that you are in business to stay. (This one will cost a little but it has many uses)
2. A marketing template – This should be a professionally printed piece that carries your logo and contact information but is different than your letterhead. This is the base piece then for the following pages that insert into your pocket folder. Your actual marketing files can be MSWord type documents that are laser printed. This gives you the ability to change and update your content and also allows you to tailor your marketing kit content to specific prospects.
Some combination of the following pages should be created for your marketing kit.
The Difference Page – Hit them with how you are different and shower them with benefits of doing business with you. Don’t tell them what you do. I like to keep this one to the top 3 or 4 things that you do that your target market will value. Think benefits that are unique
A list of products and services – Okay, now tell them what you do or what you offer, but make sure do it the context of how they can benefit from your products or services.
Case Studies – Pick representative clients or industries and outline how your product or service solved someone else’s challenge. People learn in different ways and case studies allow them to see themselves getting relief. I think this format works well. State the situation, the problem, your solution, the result. Over time you can collect more and more of these and draw upon the ones that fit an industry or problem that in relevant to your prospect.
Testimonials – Get quotes from real live clients and create a page titled – “See what others have to say about us.” These quotes can be some of the strongest selling tools you have. New technologies make it easy to create audio and video testimonials too.
Process Description – Show them how you do what you do. Create detailed checklist and flow charts that show them how you keep your promise. In many cases you have these anyway but by making them part of your marketing you can demonstrate how much more professional your organization is. These also help you justify why you charge a premium for your services. Many people underestimate how much really goes into delivering a quality product or service. So show them.
Your Story – Many companies have interesting or even gut wrenching histories. Tell them your story in an open, honest, and entertaining way and you will win their hearts as well as their heads.
FAQs – Compile a list of the questions your prospects and clients ask most often (don’t forget the ones they never ask, but should) and answer them for this page.
Ideal Client Description – In some cases, a page that describes the type of person or business that you can help the most can allow a prospect to select or deselect themselves.
There are other pages that may or may not make sense for your particular business situation and the kit can and should be constantly grown and updated as you gather more clients and refine your core messages.
After you complete your kit, you may wonder if anyone will actually read all of that information. The answer is probably not everyone, but many will skim and find what they were looking for as people learn in many different ways. You kit allows them to read the same message, essentially, packaged in a number of formats.
All of the above pieces can, in many cases, be word processed files that are laser printed onto the template I described above.
This format allow for very inexpensive printing and a great deal of flexibility when you need to update, change or even personalize your marketing materials.
Your marketing kit is not meant to be used as something your send out to a list of suspects, it is your lead conversion tool to be used ahead of or after a lead or referral asks for more information.