Advertising Part A: On The Chutzpah Cheap
What is chutzpah marketing Pronounced huts•pah
In this section we are going to discuss chutzpah brochures. Not the average brochure that you have ignored yourself on many occasions, but a chutzpah mini-billboard brochure that brings in customers. The word ‘brochure’ may be misleading because it is not a word some businesses I work with typically use. They may call it the take-out menu, information flier, sales handout, or their sales sheet. Whatever you wish to call it, the fact is that it is a piece of paper that sells your business in chutzpah style.
I will use the word brochure, please interchange your industry’s term as needed.
The biggest problem with most business brochures is that they are written to make the business owner or manager feel good about the important work they do. This type of brochure is little more than an ego boost for the owner or manager. This makes sense because often a graphic artist or a management consultant sells a brochure to a business owner or manager. These individuals want to keep their customer (you) happy. But, the focus is completely wrong.
The focus of the brochure should be on the potential customer. The brochure is your way to circulate so you can percolate. The brochure is your representative. What would you teach a potential customer about you if you had their attention? A chutzpah brochure is a teaching tool and a call to action.
What is the purpose of a business brochure? It is a sales tool, and hopefully, a chutzpah sales tool. It is not:
I have worked with owners or managers who have spent over $3.00 per brochure (not counting development costs). They loved their beautiful pieces of art. I have noticed them fighting back tears when I suggested that their brochure was a waste of money, and worse than that, not helping to build their business. Very fancy, glossy, and artsy brochures tend to give the wrong message to potential customers. The message is: This business is very expensive and not approachable. A brochure that teaches this is detrimental. Your brochure should teach: Welcome, let us help.
If your brochures costs $3.00 each, you will be reluctant to leave a large stack ($300) of them on a side table at the library. Would you be comfortable dropping $100 worth on a table at the mall, or giving $390 worth to the high school P.E. teacher? A brochure that does not circulate is paper money you forgot to ignite. Would you really be comfortable ordering 5000 overpriced brochures from the printer? Chutzpah marketers don’t spend a dime if 9-cents will do. A brochure has to be a hard working tool. It has to pull its weight. It has to make you money, not cost you money.
A chutzpah brochure is a teaching tool and a call to action. You cannot expect your spouse, friends, employees or customers to sell you to a potential customer. However, it is reasonable for any of them to hand your chutzpah mini-billboard brochure to a potential customer and say, “I think these guys are great.” Your referrer’s sales pitch leaves a little to be desired, but your chutzpah business brochure can fix even a lackluster sales pitch.
The size and shape of your chutzpah business brochure is up to you. I have heard numerous business consultants expound on the need for a 12-page, high gloss, full color brochure so you can represent the quality of your skills, tell your company’s story, and build a legend for eternity. For most businesses I think this is a waste of money. Your potential customer is not expecting a high society brochure. Most will assume you are simply pompous or overpriced—or both. If however, your business is very high end, such as a full day spa, herbal bath, and meditation package, then you will need a well-written high society brochure.
To save on printing and postage, I advise that you work within standard paper formats. Start with 8.5 X 11 inch or 8.5 X 14 inch paper. This size is easily purchased in bulk and requires no cutting. It comes in every color and texture. It will cost from about 3¢ to 50¢ for each brochure depending on the quality of the paper. I usually spend less than 10¢ because I prefer index stock. This stock is thick enough to hold up, but still easy to fold, and light enough to mail under first class postage weight regulations.
Most working brochures are 8.5 X 11, either folded in half or tri-folded into thirds. For short orders under 500 most printers fold by hand. Large orders are folded by machine. The fold cost is around 2-5¢ per piece of paper. If your order is folded by machine your printer will inform you that you can have a 5-10 percent loss rate due to the machine devouring them. He will expect you to pay for this loss rate, raising your printing cost by 10 percent. (In actuality the typical loss is only 1-2 percent.) Chutzpah marketers may choose to fold their own or put their kids to work.
If your brochure is going to have photos, you will want high gloss paper. This is a little more expensive, but the only way to go with photos. The photos jump off the page and look crisp on high gloss paper. For graphic art I find that 67–90 lb. Vellum Bristol feels and looks nice. You need to think about the feel of your brochure. Your reader will gather information about you subtly from the paper’s feel. I use 67 lb. White or Ivory Vellum Bristol the most. It is inexpensive, holds it shape, and colors stand out well on it.
When talking with the printer, feel free to ask for the high quality, no name paper. The printer typically has this in the back, but he will rarely show it first. (If he does, he is not a chutzpah printer!)
Resist printing your own brochures unless you have invested in a high-end printer. Ink jet printers are very expensive to print on. Laser printers are better and cheaper to run. But, the initial cost of a quality color laser printer is $2,000 or more, and it will cost about 30¢ per side of paper to run. A print house can beat that price and save you up front costs and aggravation.
Typesetting can be done on your computer if you have a real typeset program; or it costs around $50 per hour to use a professional graphic artist. Most find that taking their handwritten copy into a pro is easiest. But, lots of us love fighting with our computers (they are easier than people.) A typesetter just copies your work into a digital format. If your brochure is done cleanly (easy to read) when you hand it to them, it takes little time for the graphic artist to format it. They can show you a list of fonts (fonts will be discussed later) for you to choose from.
In the following pages you will see the most common types of paper brochure folds. One piece of paper can be presented in many different ways to your reader, giving you lots of options in how you present your information.
Common types of brochure folds
8.5 X 11 inch paper folded in half makes a wonderful shape. You have an 8.5 X 5.5 front and back, and an 8.5 X 11 inside. The inside can be used as 2-8.5 x 5.5 sections or used whole. The two major drawbacks are that you have only 4 areas to work with, and the brochure will not fit into a standard #10 envelope.
Center fold parts
Another option is that you can put several center folds together to form a roomier brochure. They can be seam glued, stapled, or stitched by your printer.
A tri-fold gives you six panels to work with. This tends to make for nice columns and separations.
A tri-fold works well to “tell a story” as the reader progresses through your brochure.
The sections are a little complicated because you have to think of the brochure in three dimensions. Avoid the urge to relabel the panels. This is the way these panels are usually referred to in the printing business.
Parts of the tri-fold
When the paper is flat the sections look like the diagram above. There are several ways you can fold this. Think of it as a kind of brochure origami. I will explain a few common ways over the next few pages. Don’t allow the alphabet labels (A-F) to confuse you. You may wish to fold paper and play along. What messes people up are the words front and back. Front and back refers to the front and back of the piece of paper, not the brochure. The “front” of the printed brochure is panel A.
Tri-fold flap style
#A is the first panel of the tri-fold brochure (See above). Usually #B is the inside flap panel, the first panel seen when the brochure is opened. Panels #D and #B can be used together when the brochure is first opened. See below.
Nice printable area by combining panels #D and #B
You can also fold the paper into a Z-fold or accordion fold which makes #F the back panel of the brochure. See below.
The front printed page, #D, #E and #F, are the inside of the brochure. You can use them as a full spread or combine #D and #E or #E and #F for a 2/3 1/3 effect. Or you can use each separately for 3-1/3 effects. Lots of choices—giving you a lot of opportunity to say what you need to say.
When you are working your brochure use separate sheets of paper for the front and the back page. The bleed through will drive you crazy. I like to glue stick the mock-ups together to give myself a feel for the wholeness of the brochure.
A 3-up, or rack card, is an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper cut into three equal parts. You get three 8.5 X 3.66 inch brochures. This can be great for a chutzpah marketer.
In a 3-up you don’t have a lot of room, only 8.5 X 3.66 inches times two. See next page. But, the reader easily sees half your message for just pennies to you. This is by far my favorite shape for most entrepreneur businesses. 3-ups are cheap and powerful. You can blanket your community for a few hundred dollars every few months. At a cost of only 10¢ apiece you feel free to place stacks all over town. You add your 3-up to all outgoing mail with wild abandon. I personally have built my therapy business with my chutzpah business card, my chutzpah 3-up brochure, and my chutzpah nine-second speeches.
A single 3-up. You get 3 per sheet of paper
A big positive of the 3-up format is that I can easily afford to customize my message. I have a “child” focused 3-up, a “victim” focused 3-up, and a “family” focused 3-up. (I also have a few “business consulting” 3-ups.)
The drawback is that you can’t build a relationship with your reader. You simply do not have the time in the space you have. To offset this drawback, use chutzpah graphics or photos. 3-ups are short and sweet, but very effective.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, should go into your business brochure without chutzpah scrutiny. Every section of your brochure is valuable and important.
The purpose of a chutzpah business brochure is to sell. Do not confuse teaching with selling. Many business owners and managers believe that they must teach the benefits of their offerings through their brochure. This is a major mistake. It makes for brochures that are whiny and full of jargon. A chutzpah mini-billboard brochure is made to convince, not to inform! Your goal should be to motivate your potential customer to contact you. Specifically you! The information in your chutzpah business brochure must dazzle! It must draw potential customers to you. A chutzpah business brochure is a magnet for your potential customer. Every word in the copy must mesmerize. It must communicate to the heart of your potential customer. It must speak to their needs…calling them to action.
Your chutzpah business brochure should sell you as the right company for your potential customer. You cannot be all things to all people. You need to focus on your market niche, your potential customer. (Please, please, please) Write from the needs of your potential customer. All the same rules apply as we discussed in Talk to not at your customers.
It is dumb to start off your brochure with your name. Harsh words, but I believe in tough love.
This brochure is representative of most business brochures I see. It is written from the standpoint of the business owner. It is about the her. It will not get noticed. If a person views it in passing, it barely registers in their conscience. If it is noticed, the reader quickly categorizes it in her mind as…
I know everything I need to know about Sandy somebody…
…then she stops reading.
Your brochure has to attract the attention of potential customers. It has to grab them and make them want to pick up your chutzpah business brochure. The initial words also have to get the readers to investigate the rest of the brochure. As the reader investigates they are called to action. They can call for an appointment, they can share the chutzpah business brochure with their spouse, or they can ask a friend what they think about this business! Voila, you are circulating!
Your chutzpah business brochure should consist of 5 major parts:
Writing copy (words written to cause a sale) is hard. Especially when the copy is just a few words like a chutzpah headline grabber. You have to look through the eyes of the target audience and solve their problems. Make each word count. Don’t use any word that is not absolutely necessary to get your point across. Continuing with our example of Sandra Beach, what does she want to sell? She is a Marriage and Family Therapist so she wants to sell marriage and family therapy:
Which brochure works better to encourage a potential customer to read on?
We are going to spend a lot of time working to find the correct words to talk about your business. Often I am told that it is “frustrating” or “impossible” to find the correct words. The art of writing powerful copy can be developed, and over the next few pages I will encourage you to start building your headline writing skills.
To show you the power of writing copy, I want to introduce you to a project developed by Smith Magazine called Six Word Memoirs. The rules are simple, share your story in exactly six words.
Learn more and share your story at www.smithmag.net.
A lot can be shared in six words.
Large blocks of text are intimidating to the average reader. Short text blocks, with clear subheadings, encourage the reader to continue.
When writing the subheadings and text copy, follow the same principles as outlined for the brochure heading. Write to the reader’s emotions, avoid jargon, and promote benefit.
Again let’s follow Sandra Beach’s therapy brochure as it progresses:
Under each subheading you will need powerful text. Here we are talking about creative writing skills (and you thought high school English was bogus). Your words need to amaze, astound, evoke, and empower the reader. You will need to paint vibrant pictures with your words. Show with emotive verbal pictures; avoid telling in monotone. Show with mind pictures don’t just tell with words!
Use verbs, lots and lots of verbs! According to the Encarta World English Dictionary a verb is:
a word used to show that an action is taking place, or to indicate the existence of a state or condition, or the part of speech to which such a word belongs
Your goal is to show action and deliver hope. Talk to your prospects needs. For example:
Have the readers read about themselves.
Many display ads tell off, or growl at, the reader:
Potential customers does not want to know your problems. They are looking for your assistance in solving their needs.
Write your copy about the potential customer. Picture your ideal customer and write your copy to that person. Avoid we and use a lots of you.
The last point about your text is its font. Font is the style that the letters take. Your font should be a balance between readability and design shape. The most important aspect has to be readability. But, and this is a big but, your font cannot look like a “retail” store ad. It should not look like a newspaper advertisement.
A chutzpah business brochure for a woman’s dress shop should look quite different from a brochure for a tire shop that is aiming to cater to woman.
Limit your brochure to complimentary fonts. A good rule is two or three fonts maximum in a large brochure, and only one font in a small brochure. If your fonts stand out they are probably in the way of your message. If your fonts are supportive of your message, they will blend in.
Black type on white paper is the easiest to read. Colored ink costs more to print, but gets more attention, and can go a long way in establishing a feeling. Be sure to keep ease of readability in mind when choosing a color.
It is easier to read sentences and paragraphs that have both caps and small letters. All caps are difficult for the eye to negotiate. On the Internet, all caps means yelling.
Graphics and/or photos are essential to your chutzpah business brochure. With graphics you get to show the story you are telling in the text. A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure it is the right “thousand words.”
Pictures of your staff working with your target reader looking very healthy and happy are by far the best. Avoid before and after pictures of people because they seem unethical and tend to overwhelm and turn off the public. Before and after pictures of your work on a car or building can be very helpful.
I advise you to use pictures of healthy looking active individuals, couples, and groupings. Have the people in the pictures smiling and happy against a light uncluttered background. In group shots, have older people helping younger people “do” something. Each picture must “say” everything is going to turn out wonderfully. Hope and help are just a phone call away.
Probably the most overlooked part of an entrepreneur’s brochure is the call to action. I once saw a scene in a movie where the football coach was inspiring his demoralized team at halftime. Over a few minutes he built up the lads to believe in themselves. He proved he was an amazing leader as he pulled them out of despair. Then, he sent his excited players back to the game, unfortunately the locker room door was locked and the team bunched at the door utterly defeated.
As your reader builds confidence in you through your chutzpah business brochure, you have to make sure the door is open for them to come through. You have to give your potential customer that last little push to move them into action - to get them to call your office or drive to your store! Some examples:
Next let’s play around with the look a little bit. There are a lot of ways to present your information. As long as it fits with your business branding you will stay focused. A company who works with banking officials will have a different font than a company who sells children's toys. Since the purpose of the information is to sell, a chutzpah marketer never forgoes ease of reading for graphic beauty.
Please note: Always put your whole phone number in your brochure. You don’t want to miss an opportunity because a potential customer accidentally gets a wrong number calling you from her vacation home or out of area cell phone.
Don’t assume that your reader “will just call.” Ask them to call. Inspire, stimulate, encourage, induce, urge, help, cause, and motivate them to call. The point is——if the reader does not call for an appointment, the brochure did not sell!
Encourage the reader to get in the car and drive on over right now!
Inspire them to go to their computer (cell phone, ipad) and check out your free PDF offered free from your amazing web site.
The purpose of a chutzpah business brochure is to sell.
Your job is to write, rewrite, and rewrite some more until your brochure sells you well to your potential customer. Use your business branding to check your ideas against. Stay focused on your target population.
I am very fond of my chutzpah 3-Up. I like it because it is inexpensive and easy to hand out. I get a lot of space to teach what I want to teach, along with white space to direct the reader’s eye. Over the years, I have noticed that I tend to give out lots more 3-ups than I do business cards. I’m liable to use business cards more with face-to-face contact, and 3-ups with group and public gatherings. Later, I will explain how I give out these little gems.
In my 3-up, I start with a feeling, my logo, and then teach how I can help. Over the years this simple piece of advertising has encouraged thousands to call in and make appointments. I always ask, “How did you get my name?”, often to hear, “My friend/doctor/dentist/waitress/priest/hairdresser gave me…” “I picked up your brochure at…” or “I don’t know, but I have had this big yellow card for months.” Not bad for a few pennies of advertisement. 3-ups are very hard working, low cost mini-billboards.
It costs just pennies to make a 3-up, and dimes to make a tri-fold or single fold. Now you have to think of them as seeds. For a seed to grow they have to be sown. There are chutzpah ways to sow that get more seeds to land and blossom.
Donald told me with anger, “I placed a big stack of my brochures at the library and the next day they were all gone. So I put out another stack. Two days later they were gone. I was suspicious, so I checked the garbage can and there they were. Someone had thrown away my brochures.”
What Donald didn’t understand is that his stack of brochures were not valuable to anyone but himself. I assume his pain actually came from the potential value of his brochures. If you leave stacks of your brochures lying around you have not sown them. You have to make your brochures important.
Let me give you an example.
My 3-up ad is only on the front of the card. The front is what I want potential customers to read. But, Mrs. Smith is not walking around thinking of herself as a “Dr. Phil Potential Customer.” She is Mrs. Smith, mom, driver, snack maker, cleaner … you know - she is all the parts of her life. She is the roles she plays. The back of my 3-up is for her, in her many roles. How do I get one of her many roles to pick up my 3-up? I have to give her a want.
If I am talking to a PTA group she is involved with, the want is easier to think of. She may want to take notes on the topic. I want to make this easy for my audience, so I provide a low cost, highly valuable way for them to take notes.
On the back of my 3-up I print a Note and To Do list area. At the beginning of my presentation, I hand out a stack to each side of the group and say, “I have some note cards for each of you. Please pass these around the room.” I hand out the cards note side up. Near the end of my talk I softly point out, “If you have any further questions, please call my office… my contact info is on the back of your note cards.
A few people may want my contact info during the presentation. But everyone wants their valuable notes. My ad simply rides home with them on the back of what is important to them, their notes.
Once I was invited to speak to a group of building contractors. I was paid to talk about dealing with drug use in the work place. I had 20 minutes to cover a very large subject and the organization that invited me was happy to foot the bill for a take home package that they would print for me to give to their members. My contact was adamant that since they were footing the bill for the take home package, I could not include my ad, just basic contact information. As it turned out, the take home packet was a well done advertisement for the organization and a microscopic note of thanks to each of that day’s speakers.
I wanted my advertisement to go home in the hands of every attendee. So I went chutzpah. As I started my talk I said, “You contractors are an interesting bunch. You’re constantly on the run, constantly thinking and dealing with a million things at once. In fact, I have noticed that you folks never have note pads, you jot everything on the backs of envelopes. So…,” holding my 3 ups, “I have the backs of envelopes for you all to take notes on. Please pass these around.” On the back of my 3-up, I printed the back of an envelope. As the 3-ups were passed around the room, the chatter built into laughter.
Later that day, I enjoyed seeing T.B. poking his warm self out of the shirt pockets of many attendees. (They keep their notes private and close to their chests.)
As Donald discovered earlier, if you just leave a stack of your brochures in any old place, they tend to get thrown away. Where you leave your brochure could place you in a bad light. Thumbtacking your ad on the community bulletin board at the grocery or the feed shop, may make you look less than professional.
How should you put your brochure in the public information area at the public library?
It is important to have your brochure fit where you leave it. Because 3-ups and tri-folds are inexpensive, I have different formats for different venues. At the library, I leave my stack of brochures called Most Common Misspelled Words. The list of words won’t fit on the back of a 3-up, so I print it on a tri-fold brochure. (A piece of paper printed on both sides. The cost is 5¢ when done in quantity.) My info is on panel B of the brochure, so when the brochure is opened, the ad is right there. I also use this tri-fold chutzpah darling when I talk with school groups, “I’m sending around a list of the most common misspelled words. Take as many as you need.” Teachers ask for lots to give out at their schools. This very inexpensive and helpful brochure ends up stuffed at the bottom of lots of backpacks and eventually in parents hands all over the county. I work a lot with children and adolescents with behavior problems. Often parents get concerned about behavior changes in their teens with no idea that their adolescents may well have easy access to drugs. When I talk with this population of parents, I want them to have much more information than I can give them in brochure form. Many parents are so sure that their child could not have a drug or alcohol problem, that they are not even open to taking a free booklet, especially in a public setting like a PTA meeting.
I direct them to my web site where they can download free PDFs on a variety of subjects. I also have a Victim’s Have Rights 3-up. Police, social workers, guidance counselors and emergency room nurses tend to hand these out for me.
I hope you have noticed how hard my chutzpah brochures work for me and my potential customers. I keep stacks in my waiting room, and regularly a cop or a nurse will pop in to grab a few hundred. Recently, a police sergeant grabbed a stack of Victim’s Have Rights 3-ups and said, “Thanks for these, the state has no money so I can’t get their flier.” I like the idea that I can help victims of crime with the contact information concerning local and state Victim’s of Crime services.
Now comes the fun part. You get to create your brochures. First, look over your branding goals that you developed in Chapter 1: Talk too, not at, your customers. Repeatedly check your creative ideas against your business branding goals. You want to stay on target.
Most companies find that the brochure is a targeted form of their business card. It is targeted at some branding goal for the company. A common question I am asked during the creative phase:
If you are Coca Cola or Apple Computer, you are spending millions every month to teach/remind the public about your offerings. If you are like most companies and have a very limited budget, you only need to change your advertisement if your ad stops working, or you stop offering that product or service.
The public will not get bored with your ad, they won’t see it enough to get bored with it. You may get tired of it because you see it all the time. I heard Willie Nelson in an interview explaining that there are certain songs he has to sing every show or the audience will leave feeling unloved. He may be bored with a song, but his audience is not.
It is common for me to find an owner or manager that gave up on a good advertising campaign too soon. It takes millions of dollars to get the public to notice your ad and get bored with it. As my mother would say, “You should have such worries.” To date, I have not worked with a company where the public got bored of their good advertising campaign that focused on them and their needs.
A chutzpah marketer is focused on the potential customer’s needs.
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