Persuasion: the key component in keeping your business alive. Without it, potential customers or clients won’t have a reason to choose your product or service over another business’. So how can you effectively convince people that you are the best choice?
Brochures and websites are two great choices for small businesses, because they pack a big persuasive punch in one small package. But before you sit down to create that eye-catching brochure or sleek, modern website, you should first consider the main purpose of these advertising tools and the words that will most effectively convey that purpose.
In the case of both, you should take a moment to answer these two questions: what am I trying to sell, and what do I want people to do after they read this? Decide if you want the brochure or website to sell your business in general or a particular product or service, and then figure out what you need to say to get readers to do what you want them to do.
Once you have done that, you can get started on writing the copy. For brochures, begin with the cover. Although it should contain the company’s name and logo, these things should not overshadow the title of the brochure. Believe it or not, the title is what will entice people to pick up the pamphlet and read, not the name of your business. The best brochure title will either ask the reader a question or explain a product or service with vague language that leaves the reader wanting to know more. For example, a retirement planning company could use a brochure title of, “How much you are paying your financial advisor?” Or a wholesale coffee company may use a title of, “Your Very Own Office Barista.”
The retirement planning company would then persuade readers that their firm is better, because they charge a rate that is significantly lower than their competitor. It would then instruct them on how to switch companies and still see the same rate of return on their investments. The wholesale coffee company would use their brochure to explain the benefits of having a single cup coffee brewer in the office (less employee trips to the nearby coffee shop, less cleanup than a traditional electric drip pot coffee maker, more drink choices, etc), and then provide them with information on how to learn more about prices and set up. As you can see, the cover title is really what drives the content of the brochure.
When the cover has been completed, you can then move on to creating content for the inside of the brochure. There are four things you must do when writing the copy of your brochure (and the copy of your website, too).
- Make sure you place the reader into the content by using words like “you”, “we”, “your” and “our.” This creates a connection between them and your business.
- Don’t use technical terms that require a lot of explanation. Instead, stick to explaining the benefits of your service or product using everyday language.
- Use a thesaurus to discover unique and catchy synonyms for overused language. For example, use “superior” in place of “better.”
- If relevant, provide a testimonial or recommendation from a former or current client or customer. These things can also be applied to website content.
to do something and backing it up with reasons why. Keep in mind that your copy must get its point across in as few words as possible. Short and sweet is the goal. Dividing the content into three or four smaller sections may help you meet this goal. You could also present the information using bullet points.
Place your business’ contact information on the back cover of the brochure and nothing more. And if the purpose of your business isn’t obvious, provide a very brief explanation inside the front cover of the brochure.
Websites should also contain short copy that is written with a purpose of showing potential customers the benefits of a particular product or service. However, unlike a brochure cover, the homepage of your website should showcase the name of your company first, so visitors will know they are on the right webpage. You will then use site tabs to direct customers to additional information. Some common tabs are “About Us”, “Services/Products Offered”, “Contact Us”, and “Testimonials”.
This is a Guest Post by Mariana Ashley. Mariana writes about educational topics for OnlineColleges.net. Reach out to her with any questions or comments at mariana.ashley031[at]gmail.com.
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