Writing a sales brochure, brochure, leaflet or flyer without the necessary preparation is like shooting an arrow blindfolded. In both cases, the target is rarely reached. Here is a 14-point user guide to make all your prints successful and get your message across in the best possible way, and above all to collaborate with the graphic design agency and the editor without wasting time or money …

1. Define the frame

For maximum efficiency, your print must fulfill a purpose and have a function. A flyer placed on the counter of your shop does not have the same vocation as a flyer distributed during an exhibition and should therefore be written differently.

Is your brochure used to:

  • Getting contacts, for example at an exhibition or event?
  • Conclude a sale? You hand it over to customers inclined to buy;
  • Give pure information? The follow-up of a sale?
  • Establish your credibility and your notoriety? Available for all your visitors or partners.

While you’re at it, identify the location (s) where your print will be distributed.

2. Define the messages

Before contacting an agency or choosing a flyer template on the internet, it is best to know exactly what you want to communicate.

Define in broad outline the essential messages and the important information to send in your document. Start with the design before selecting the content is a mistake: the design must adapt to the content and not the other way around!

Okay, you will always find graphic designers to convince you otherwise …

3. Segment your content

Segment your information into as many blocks as necessary for easy reading and quick understanding. Since readers tend to hover rather than read documents, they should be able to capture the essence of your message without too much intellectual effort.

Here are some examples of headings: the explanation of your product or service, what makes it unique or different, customer benefits and advantages, the manufacturing process, a comparison with the competition, statistics, price, history of your company, all contact details, etc.

Knowing the amount of content, you can opt for the adequate format.

4. Choose the format

Choose the format of the brochure or leaflet as well as the number of pages depending on the amount of content, the purpose of the brochure and your budget.

Many sites offer brochure mockups between 10 and 20 euros. You can already choose one, which you can complete yourself if you are proficient in Photoshop or Illustrator, or send to your graphic design agency.

If you have a very tight budget, then you can go to these sites where you can do everything online, all alone like a big one.

The quality of the design is pretty dismal, you have to admit. But if you don’t care too much about your company’s image, or the inflexibility of these kinds of tools, this is an alternative to consider.

But please, never create your brochure on Microsoft Word !

5. Make a pre-model

Make a pre-model by defining the subject (s) for each page, and by describing the visuals you want.

It is during this phase that you will tweak the architecture of the document: define the priority of the information, the segmentation of the headings, the addition of boxes, the space allocated to each text.

No need to search for specific photos at this stage, although it is good to browse the image banks for some inspiration.

You can settle for describe the images you want to integrate : secretary behind his desk answering a call, photo of an elephant in the savannah, image of a sunset over the sea, etc.

Do not worry about the design of the model yet. This is just a working document for your reference. You can either doodle it by hand or do it on any computer medium.

6. Identify your targets

Before writing your brochure, it is essential to know who you are talking to.

Starting to lay your texts without knowing the readers is like playing darts with your eyes blindfolded: it is very difficult to reach the target.

Indeed, you must also understand the expectations, desires and motivations of your audience, his problems, his lifestyle, etc.

By building a buyer persona (or portrait robot, for those who have never heard of this very popular term among marketers of all stripes) of your ideal customer (s), you can deliver much more effective messages. .

7. Write the content

Write the content of the leaflet depending on your railroad.

The big difficulty is to estimate the number of signs for each element. By entrusting the design to an agency, you receive a model with dummy text (the famous Lorem Ipsum) and each element can be calculated with precision.

A experienced writer will be able to use a pre-model to estimate the volume of editorial content. Indeed, a 16-page brochure does not have the same editorial constraints as a triptych A4 format.

Unless you produce an annual report, avoid long paragraphs and endless explanations as much as possible.

Always keep in mind that the shorter the texts, the more they will be read.

8. Validate the texts internally

Validate all texts internally before sending them to your communications agency. You can always make some changes later on the final document.

Why before? Because putting text on pages takes time. And time is money.

However, it often happens that the texts of your first final version undergo major cuts or major modifications. Since chances are we don’t have an endlessly stretchy budget, I bet you’ll appreciate being able to save a few tickets during this step.

In addition, each time a graphic designer edits a text, you increase the risk of adding mistakes.

With all the respect and affection I have for this profession, I see that the basic notions of spelling and grammar of the masters of Photoshop or Illustrator often leave something to be desired.

In addition, this avoids incessant back-and-forth between the various speakers and the disadvantage of not knowing which version of the document is right!

It is therefore strongly recommended to transmit the texts to your decision-makers, during this phase already in order to make them validate. Especially when your superior takes pleasure in systematically adding a grain of salt or crossing out your prose with his most beautiful Montblanc pen, just to legitimize his title.

Unless you are as good at grammar as an autistic person in a bar conversation, there is no point in transmitting the validated texts to a professional proofreader for the moment. Better to do it later, just before printing. At this point, a proofreader like Antidote will do the trick perfectly.

9. Send the texts to the agency

Validated texts are preferable to dummy text (“Lorem ipsum” style).

Then let the agency make you proposals for models.

Remember to append your railroad or instructions. If you have other special requirements, put them in writing to avoid misunderstandings later.

10. Find visuals

Find visual concepts for illustrate and reinforce the content, by consulting the many royalty-free image banks.

Never consider the images as a simple illustration of your words. Images are perfectly capable of conveying a message, providing another level of reading or transmitting additional information.

The graphics agency can also take care of this time-consuming task, which involves reviewing hundreds of photos before finding the right one.

Do not hesitate to give specific instructions on the type of photo you want. For example: a businesswoman holding her baby in the arms, a sunset over a waterfall, translating the concept of standing out and standing out with objects rather than characters.

11. Edit the text

The agency has given you a first draft of the model. Give your comments and suggestions on the layout and edit texts according to design.

A chapter or title may be a little too long or an explanation not clear enough.

In this context, it is not uncommon, either, to notice certain redundancies or inconsistencies that were not obvious during the text validation stage.

This is undoubtedly the most critical phase : it’s about fine-tuning the details without adding shells, or negating all the efforts made so far.

However, if the writing has been done well, and especially if the texts have received the approval of your superiors, the modifications will be minor.

13. Approve and correct the final document

Confirm one last time the final document internally before requesting the voucher from the agency.

Once everything is in order, send it to a professional corrector. These syntax experts are able to find you a blunder where twenty-five people have only seen fire.

Even if you have entrusted your flyer to the best copywriter on the planet, require proofreading by a professional. It is indeed very embarrassing to print 10,000 copies and then notice a monumental blunder!

14. Validate the proof

If your proofreader has pointed out some inaccuracies, ask your graphic designer to correct them carefully.

Compare the documents well to be 100% sure that these changes are not causing other problems: a sentence with a redundant term can suddenly change the layout; a correction may give rise to a typographical error, etc.

Validate the final print once more internally and give the green light for its impression.

And There you go !