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watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
edited November 2015 in Sales
Anyone have some advice in this area ? I  don`t have any brochures
yet. I have microsoft desktop publishing which I did plan to use for
brochures. Any opinions
on whether it would be a good sales tool for me to use or  would it just look
" homemade" and I should just bite the bullet and go for the professional brochures?  Thanks !
         &n bsp;         &n bsp;         


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    theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    I`d ask a couple questions.
    What`s your budget for brochures and how would they be used? What do you think would be the return on investment for a professionally designed brochure. What are your competitors doing? What do their brochures look like.
    Sometimes, the brochure is nothing more than an ego massage. Sometimes, the brochure is a real sales device.
    If a brochure is necessary, I`d recommend a professional designer. I`ve seen too many brochures that look like the annual Christmas letter you hate to receive.
    But, if it`s more collateral, you might make it yourself. The key, in my opinion, "Keep it simple... keep it elegant."
    And if you don`t end up liking it, it could serve as a model for your designer???
     theswaynester2006-4-6 10:28:55
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    watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Thanks for replying. Budget - don`t have one yet, this  is an upstart cost and
    I dont have a business budget yet. Just starting out and trying to learn as I go along.
    As far as the ROI - I really dont know at this point - I am just thinking
    "doesnt every business have brochures?" - some don`t pop out to
    me and I will read only if I am interested in what they are
    selling.  The disadvantage or the advantage (depends how one looks
    at it) is that I am starting a brand new service in this area (or maybe
    anywhere that I am aware of). It is a service focused at seniors, later
    on  two income families.So I don`t have any working examples to
    compare anything to. I did print up some visuals for people so they
    could know  about my business and what I am providing and some
    history on me. But these are rather lengthy and I dont think it is
    something people will be that interested in.  I think for people
    considering a service like mine, they want information, but just a
    little or they will just put it down.  I have
    been checking out brochures from vistaprint and others but they seem pricey.
    On the other side of the coin, I want to start out with the right sales tools, so this
    is something that I have to think about more !
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    watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Yes, I use vista for my cards and stationary. I looked at their brochures
    and they seemed pricey - but maybe that is the going price ? I don`t know.
    I really didnt see anything that I could say really grabbed me, but I am getting
    close to the point where I have to do something. I think I have a few months
    before I start advertising.
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    theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    It does sound like you need a brochure as a sales aid or leave-behind.
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    watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    I know, Matt, thats what I think too
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    theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    How about friends and family. Do you know any graphic artists?
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    watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    graphic artists - no - don`s know any - family or friends - no one that I know
    has their own business at all
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    PatriotToursPatriotTours subscriber Posts: 1
    I was in your position about a year ago, very little money to work with and totally new to marketing my business.  I spent a lot on brochures and found that compared to my website, they weren`t worth it.  But if you are going to do direct mail marketing you can either get brochures or, more economically, get postcards with your corporate design on the front, info on the back and send them via bulk mail.  The most vaulable lesson I learned about marketing was that corporate image, or branding, was the most valuable initial investment I made.  It was also the largest.  I used two one-person companies (like me!), one for logo design and one for web, and the result was fantastic at a much lower price than using an established design firm.  Everything I use from website to tickets to business cards use the same design and, after a year, people are starting to recognize it.  I frequently get comments that it was the website design that drew customers to my tour.It`s much more impressive to potential customers if your advertising, brochures, website and business card all use the same design.  It will give you the image of being serious and established and customers will feel more comfortable doing business with you!
    PatriotTours2006-4-6 11:44:33
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    Melissa1Melissa1 subscriber Posts: 0
    I used Microsoft Publisher software to create my brochures. It costs about $100, if I remember correctly. It comes with dozens of templates and color palettes for creating everything from business cards to tri-fold brochures, calendars, greeting cards, gift certificates, letterhead, newsletters, envelopes, and much more. The templates were created by Microsoft designers, so it`s like having professional design services for the price of a software program.
    I created tri-fold brochures and business cards for myself (I`m a freelance writer for this site and elsewhere), and I created business cards for my parents and for a friend who has a pet-sitting business. They all look great, but it`s the software that deserves the credit.
    I use HP matte tri-fold brochure paper, which is a heavy cardstock that`s pre-scored for easy folding. For the business cards I use Avery 8869 (print to edge) or Avery 8877 Clean Edge Business Cards, depending on the design of the card. They print eight to a page and then snap out cleanly, with no visible perforations. Few people would be able to tell that the cards weren`t professionally printed. I print them and the brochures on an inexpensive color printer.
    The software and the color printer, if you don`t already have one, are an investment, but I`d recommend it. You can change your business card or brochure at any time. And as we all know, things change quickly when you have a new business. Good luck!
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    theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    That`s good advice, Karen. All of it.
    I would say that you`ll want to talk to future customers and see what media they are familiar and comfortable with. Are seniors in your area comfortable with the web?
    A web site is probably a prerequisite, though.
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    watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Liked your comments  Thanks!
    I did think about postcards (for later on though) when I wanted to announce
    a new service or feature one service in particular or a seasonal
    service. I know image or brand is so important (and since this service
    business is a first of its kind, I would like a brand that people will
    remember). I am going to depend on word of mouth advertising, I will be
    dealing with seniors and they tell others
    good or bad about the experience they had.  I think most seniors
    would do well with brochures vs my website. I think my website will
    work for younger people (not to insinuate that seniors dont use the
    internet)  I think it would work
    for me to present brochures (a leave behind tool) for initial
    consultations with seniors. I can explain what my company will do for
    them and go through my printouts and explain to them in detail the
    services that would help them specifically. Then leave the brochure so
    they could discuss it later with their children and each other. Then if
    their kids want to check me out they can go my website. Right now I
    have matching cards and stationary but I dont have a logo. I would like
    a logo for my website and my suv sign and later on add it to cards and
    stationary and postcards. 
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    watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Hi Melissa, thanks!
    Thats a major point you brought up - how quickly things change - that did it for
    me - Im going to print my own brochures
    up. I did print cards up initially and came out great - but then I did
    order from Vista - since the price was right - I got a lot of cards for
    the price - but it didnt have the colors like mine did. So in this case
    I went for quantity not quality. I do have the glossy brochure paper
    and I have a HP printer and a Lexmark printer/copier/scanner. Can`t I
    print out the brochures on my HP printer and have them in color ? - it
    worked on my cards. Do you have any experience with "desktop publishing
    software". I have that installed on my computer? Thanks
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    theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    I actually can see the justification for a brochure in that case.
    Maybe you can post for a graphic designer who wouldn`t mind taking on a cheap assignment. Then you can print it off yourself, or head to some Kinkos or printer for more versions?
    I think that would be a cheaper route. But I want to reiterate what`s been said before... make sure your branding and message points are all squared away and then get ready. That way, two years from now, you`re not in the same boat.
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    watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    I havent talked to any seniors yet - outside of seniors in my family - and they
    arent on the web at all! I guess some use it, but I have talked to
    other people in business who specialize in business with seniors and
    they all say they really could use my services, some more than others
    of course.  I heard a heart breaking story yesterday from a
    business owner.  This senior went to get her taxes done and she
    found out that her bonds were cashed out and she owed the taxes on
    them. Guess who cashed them out? - Her daughter and she refused to press charges. Her daughter forged her name.
    I think with seniors, the best approach is a face to face meeting - so
    I can actually ask them a series of questions, I have forms for them to
    fill out and to find out what they really need to stay independent. I
    think for most of them they probably will just call me on the phone if
    they have a question or ask me in person.
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    bobbyhumebobbyhume subscriber Posts: 1 Member
    Hello Jo.

    I have been thinking that you might need to ... refine your target
    market a little bit.  I really think that seniors are the easy
    money for you to go after.  They are a captive audience that is
    easily found.  Have you thought about presenting your services to
    assisted living facilities?  My great grandmother lives in one and
    is still quite independent at 90, but I am sure there are days that she
    needs an errand run and simply doesn`t have the energy. 
    Facilities like Senior Mobile Home Parks, Senior Apartment Buildings,
    Assisted Living Facilities.  Seniors group together which makes
    them easy to find and a you can centralize your advertising resources,
    not to mention if you get one happy customer in a community word of
    mouth is sure to work in your favor.  (It works both ways though;
    piss off an old woman she will let everyone know).  Maybe get
    started with seniors and grow your business later using profit rather
    than investment.  Also flyers are a great idea...door
    knockers...stuff that can be felt and read at the persons leisure but I
    don`t think it is a replacement for your site.  I will make
    graphics and logos for your site with enough resolution that you can
    use them for flyers as well.

    Senior communities have lobbies that friends and families walk through
    when they come to visit grandma, some strategically placed flyers there
    could work wonders, ... Children sometimes don`t have time to help out
    as much as they would like, but sending mom groceries or prescriptions
    through you would be a good option.  Not to mention if they do it
    for their aging parents, you are sure to pick them up as clients once
    they get accustomed to your services.


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