Burn Your Brochures and Do This Instead

matchAt the risk of expanding your carbon footprint, let me make a wild and crazy suggestion. This little insider trick has worked well for me and my clients. Recently, a client of mine took some of these to a trade show, where they were a huge hit. People grabbed them for the plane ride home… and they took just a day or two to create.

If you’ve been keeping up with the web and social media, you know that content marketing is all the rage right now. It will continue to be until the next big thing comes along. But, why limit your content to the internet?

Why not take your content off the web and put it right into your prospect’s hand?

I am talking about creating a compact, easy to read printed booklet. My client’s booklet is directed at financial services executives. It’s just 18 pages and less than 8.5 x 11 inches in size. Yours can be smaller to get started, perhaps just 4 pages… an 11 x 17-inch single sheet folded once. Include as much high-value information about your topic that you can stuff into it. You probably already know enough about your area of expertise to fill a book… so a few pages shouldn’t be a stretch.

Your booklet doesn’t have to be expensive to produce… there are a plethora of discount booklet printers on the web. Keep your first run small, in case you want to modify something later or if the information in your area of expertise changes quickly.

There are booklet templates included with Microsoft Word®. (If you use Word, select a new document and search the templates listed.) Or just Google “booklet templates” and you will be presented with a number of options. If you want to go full out, hire a graphic designer!

The important thing is that it contains your best thinking on a particular topic and NO selling… just your basic contact information. Do avoid mentioning your specific offerings.

Why this works…

First, you are not selling when you give away a booklet. It’s more like giving a gift to a friend than filling their hands with sales material. It’s about furthering the relationship. Second, it is a way to demonstrate your competence without having to talk about yourself. (Boring!) Lastly, once they’ve read your booklet, you have already helped them. This gives you “favored” status in their mind! Prospects then become more willing to take your calls and meet with you.

For my first one years ago, I simply converted some notes from a speaking engagement. I have another client who had a speaking engagement recorded and transcribed, then edited it. Instant booklet! Proofreading by another person will be very important. It’s not like a quick blog post typo that people will overlook, it is a credibility piece. Sloppiness will reflect on one’s business… (I hope you forgive my typos!) Anyway, you get the idea!

Of course, you may still need a few brochures, so don’t actually burn them! This is especially true if you have a menu of specific products or services. Your remaining brochures are best used as a “leave behind” piece when a prospect asks for it.


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