Seth Godin has a post entitled “Q: What do you think of my brochure?“
In his post, Mr. Godin tells a simple, but often ignored truth about the corporate brochure:
People won’t read it.
Whoa. So you’re telling me that something law firms spend huge amounts of time, money and effort on won’t be read?
He’s not saying that firms should ditch the brochure all together. Instead, he’s just saying that you need to think of what your target is going to do with it.
Best Case Scenario:
Mr. Godin says:
At its best, a brochure is begging for someone to judge you. It says, “assume that because we could hire really good printers and photographers and designers and writers, we are talented [surgeons, real estate developers, whatever]” And more often than not, people do just that.
So when developing a brochure, keep in mind that it is the initial perception that is the key. For a moment, take it as a given that someone is going to glance at the brochure and get an impression of you. Does that change what your brochure is going to look like?
Think of it this way: Imagine that you have a magic power that allows you to create a first impression. You’re standing in front of a prospect, and they are temporarily unconscious. When you snap your fingers, they will awaken, and the first thing they see is going to be a picture and a couple of words. The image is supposed to convey a feeling about your firm.
What do you want that feeling to be? And more importantly, what images and words are going to be in line with that feeling?
Worst Case Scenario:
Again, Mr. Godin says it best:
At its worst, a brochure solves a prospect’s problem (the problem of: what should I do about this opportunity?) by giving them an easy way to say “no.”
If your brochure looks too amateurish, that’s the impression that the prospect gets of your firm. If it looks too “corporate”, they may see your firm as bland. It really is a fine line.
So what should you do?
There is a real temptation to make a brochure that is standard. Something that could be used for all practice areas and representative client industries. But since we now feel that people aren’t going to read the actual text, we know that a prospect isn’t going to look through gobs of text to see if the firm can do their work.
What if you had a brochure that is so flexible that it could not only be customized to the targeted practice area, but could be customized to the client?
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