1. It’s Not All About You. It’s tempting to assume your company brochure is about you, your company, and your product and services. No! It’s about your customers, and what you can do for them.

2. Don’t Start at the Beginning.
A common mistake is to start with an introduction to the company: “Spa Nails was founded in 1989 by blah blah blah ...” Who cares? Start with point one: addressing what your customers want — and how you can help them. Keep the company credentials for later.

3. Know Who You Are Talking to and Why. Know who your audience is and then write from their point of view. What are their biggest problems? What motivates them to buy your type of services? What will they spend for this type of service? Try writing down questions you hear from your clients and try and answer them in your collateral materials.

4. Motivate Your Readers to Want to Look Inside. The first page your reader will see is the front cover. Get it wrong and you will likely lose the sale. Start with the benefits of your services, or use thought-provoking statements that motivate the reader to pick up the brochure and open it. Tell the reader there’s something inside just for them — an exclusive invitation, a special discount, or advance notice of a seasonal promotion. Don’t put just your company logo on the front. That won’t work.

5. List Your Services’ Benefits. Purchasers care about benefits, not features. To develop a list of benefits, draw up a list of service features and add the words “which means that ...” after each point. For example, “This treatment includes a foot massage, which means that ... it feels oh-so-good.” Or, “This hand treatment has an exfoliation component, which means that ... your skin will glow.” Benefits are what sell services and products.

6. Make the Brochure a Keeper. Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage the reader to keep it, refer to it often, or pass it on to other people. If you are selling nail care products, you can give your readers tips on how to combat dry brittle nails, cuticle problems, or cracked heals. While most brochures are aimed at selling consumers a service, informational brochures can be just as effective in building your business. Brochures like these position you as a knowledgeable, helpful expert and develop trust between you and your customer.

7. Alter the Shape. Who says a brochure has to be 8-1/2” by 11”? If you are selling natural nails, design a brochure in the shape of a nail polish bottle. Acrylic nail services? Design it in the shape of an acrylic nail. Use your imagination to come up with an original, eye-catching piece. Try tall and slim, square, oblong, whatever you like. The only limitation is your imagination, and, of course, your budget.

8. Less Is More.
When it comes to word count, remember that less is more. Don’t try to pack every page full of writing. Leave some white space and room for pictures and graphics. Include bulleted lists to emphasize important selling points. Most customers won’t read your brochure front-to-back, but they will look at visual elements and easy-to-read lists.

9. Ask for Action. Regardless of how you organize your brochure, there’s only one way to end it. Ask for action. If you want your reader to come to your salon or spa and get a service or purchase products make sure to give them a gift with purchase offer, or some form of response mechanism. In fact, to increase your brochure’s selling power, include your offer and a response mechanism on every page.

Ana Loiselle is business coach for Milady (www.milady.com).