Stop Printing Trifold Brochures (and do this instead)
Nobody has time to read a trifold brochure anymore. Even if you operate a brick and mortar business, nobody has the time to unfold and refold six sections of paper just to get the critical details about your business, products, and services.
These particular marketing materials are a leftover of the marketing age where people have gobs of extra free time to sit around in a business lobby and read things. They are archaic and have failed to adapt to the fast-paced customer-centered operations of modern businesses.
Chances are, if you’re still using trifold brochures, you’re trying to cram a whole lot about your business into a marketing document because you are not sure exactly how to present your business (or products or services) to potential clients in a way that is guaranteed to hook them and get them to ask for more information.
What should you use instead?
Let me step back for a moment and start with this: before you start creating marketing materials, you should be able to describe what you (or your business) do(es) in 2 sentences or less.
Take some time, set down your smartphone or step back from your computer and try to distill what you do into two concise, to-the-point sentences. I’ll wait.
What did you come up with? If you reached a nice and succinct description of your business and what you do, congrats! This is what your marketing materials should center around.
Create postcard sized or smaller items that can easily be picked up and within 10 seconds the reader will get the gist of what you can offer them and why they should buy it from you
you should be able to describe what you do in 2 sentences or less.
Still struggling to figure out those two sentences? Let’s break it down.
Answer these questions in order to get closer to having a very direct business description from which to build your marketing:
What kind of business are you? (Do you sell products or services? Or both?)
Does your location matter? (Do you serve the greater [insert city] area? Or are you nationwide/international?)
What is the ultimate outcome you want your clients to experience when doing business with you? (Health? Weight loss? Fashionable clothing? The best coffee they’ve ever tasted? Memorable photos they will cherish for a lifetime? Mastering the piano?)
Are you competing in your market based on price, premium quality, unique customer experience, or something else? (In other words, how are you different from everyone else that’s selling the same thing as you?)
Start narrowing down which of these things matter to your message. I like to give my branding clients a scenario upon first meeting: imagine you are in a speed dating group, only instead of pitching yourself to potential dates, you’re meeting potential client after potential client.
You have <1 minute to hook someone and convince them that you and your business are the one they should see again.
From this scenario, decide what are the absolute critical pieces of information from the above questions that a potential client needs to know about you, and put them together to give an extremely concise statement about who you are and what you do, and why its different from everyone else.
I’m going to give you a real life case study of a recent client (all names and business information has been changed).
Jane is a doctor who owns a pretty busy medical practice. She specializes in hormones and medical weight loss. When we first spoke, she had several very lengthy and wordy paragraphs on her website that described what she offered, but they left the reader a little unclear about exactly what her approach was.
After we worked together, Jane was able to nail down her own personal business message and brand to the following:
Jane Doe MD practices a unique approach to balancing hormones and getting bodies back to health through holistic and alternative therapies. Our practice helps patients recover health, youth, and energy with customized treatments that focus on the individual.
This nice and concise statement helped Jane see her practice’s mission in a clear statement, and she was able to nail down a better dialogue for marketing, namely that:
She should be talking to her audience (clients and potential clients) about the bioidentical hormone therapies, anti-aging IV therapies, and weight loss services she offers instead of trying to cover topics that other practices were covering, but that she did not directly offer, and, therefore, were a distraction from her focus.
Now, Jane can create more focused marketing materials and Internet/social media messaging based around her core business description. This leaves no doubt in the client’s mind what she does.
If you are not 100% sure that your messaging is saying exactly what you want your customer to know about your business, consider working on your brand messaging.