How to Write a Brochure

20 Questions a Brochure Copywriter Should Ask Before Putting Pen to Paper

posted under Marketing with Brochures & Print Materials

Write your brochure

A well-written brochure is interesting, informative and effective at getting the reader to take action.

You have a clear definition of your audience and marketing objectives, and now you’ve decided a brochure will help you sell product. How do you write your brochure?

If you think you can hire a brochure writer and then magically have a superb, finished piece show up on your desk a few weeks later, you might be disappointed. The best brochures involve research and forethought.

Start by Gathering Information

A professional brochure writer can create effective promotional copy for you, but don’t think you can simply delegate the assignment. Even the most talented brochure writer will need your help getting started.  After all, nobody knows your business better than you.

What’s my approach? As a freelance copywriter, my first step is to immerse myself in relevant information. I’ll want to become familiar with the facts, figures and industry terminology relevant to your product.

I’ll ask to look at other materials you’ve written such as previous brochures, your website and marketing letters, to speak with key people in your business and to get the names of your biggest competitors so I can research them on the web.

I consider it part of doing my homework and making sure I write copy that is truly informative and doesn’t come across as “fluff.”

I know from experience that facts become the fireworks that light up the prospect’s eyes.  Good information translates into excitement, color and emotion. It also makes for persuasive copy that is engaging and effective.

brochure copy

Make sure your brochure copy answers the questions you expect customers to have.

Answer These Questions

Before I start to write, I’ll want to discuss answers to the 20 questions below:

  1. What are your product’s benefits?
  2. What are your product’s features?
  3. How is this product different from the competition’s?
  4. How is it better than the competition’s?
  5. What problem does your product solve?
  6. Who are potential buyers?
  7. How can we best reach those prospects?
  8. How is the audience for your product different from the general public?
  9. What does the buyer expect from your product, and do we deliver?
  10. How is the competition’s product positioned?
  11. How should your product be positioned?
  12. Is the product for business or personal use?
  13. How much will the buyer be willing to pay for your product?
  14. Can you expect multiple sales from a buyer?
  15. What objections might the customer raise and how can we respond to those concerns?
  16. What approaches have been used to sell your product or others like it in the past?
  17. How knowledgeable is the customer about your product type? Do we first need to educate him?
  18. What do you want the brochure to motivate the reader to do? Buy? Ask for more information?
  19. How will you fill orders?
  20. How will you follow-up once the order has been filled to encourage future sales and referrals?

With answers to those questions, delivered verbally or in writing, I’ll have a clear idea of what information needs to go in your brochure.

Create an Outline

Now it’s time to create an outline for your brochure.  I’ll determine what facts and pictures should be included.  I’ll organize them so they’ll make the most sense to readers while subtly steering them toward a sale.

An outline will also reveal if I have any knowledge gaps.  Are there any features or benefits that I don’t understand? Do I need more details to flesh out certain sections?

Refine your first draft. Editing is critical to making every sentence clear and easy to read.

Crafting the Copy

Writing the brochure copy will be easy once I’ve completed the research and outline. From there I put together a rough draft.  At this stage, I’m not worried about perfecting every word.  I’m more concerned with including the right information and organizing it in a way that the reader will understand.

Often I find the rough draft is too lengthy.  That’s okay.  It’s easier to cut down than to build up.  With skillful editing I’ll make sure every sentence is succinct and propels the reader forward.  The secret to good writing is not just writing; it’s rewriting.

Polish Your Headlines

Your headlines in the brochure are likely to be the first thing the reader notices even before they look at the pictures. According to Kissmetrics Blog, “A good headline focuses on one big idea – usually your most important benefit.”

Determine the main message you wish to communicate. It can be an explanation of what you do or how your reader will benefit from your product or service.

The Approval Process

Depending on your organization, you may have a simple approval process or one that is more complex with multiple layers.  Be sure to combine all feedback onto one draft before providing it to your brochure writer.  Otherwise, you could end up giving the writer conflicting instructions.

As you read through the brochure draft, put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Is the copy easy to understand?  Is it compelling?  Will it be effective in accomplishing your objective?

With precise feedback, I’ll be able to craft a second draft, which should be getting close to final copy, ready to be passed to the graphic designer for a layout.

I appreciate clients who take the time to thoroughly read my drafts and assist in the fine-tuning process.  You know your business and I know copywriting.  Together we can create something beautiful.

Need help writing your company's brochure?  Choose a professional copywriter with 20+ years of experience writing print materials. Contact Susan Greene today!

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