1. You’re spraying and praying
It’s unfocused, you haven’t established a niche or differentiated yourself. If you’re closing your eyes and hoping to hit something, you probably won’t. Build a target audience (see #5).
2. You’re trying to compete on price (and losing sales)
People buy what they want. The job of your brochure (or any other sales materials) is to convince people that you’re the right person or company to help them get what they want – whether it’s a more attractive web site, a blog, a brochure, or a higher ranking in Google.
3. It’s all about you. You’re using, “I” and “me” and “we” too much
If your brochure talks about your background, your company history, and your credentials, it’s time for a rewrite. Readers want to hear about themselves, their problems, and then your solutions. In that order.
4. There’s no definite purpose.
It’s got lots of information, but no direction – you don’t know what it’s for (generating leads, brand awareness, general information, inquiries, sales)
5. Your audience isn’t clear.
Who are you talking to? What kinds of people (animals, vegetables, minerals)? You need a target audience – so you can clearly show that you understand their problems and how to fix them.
6. I don’t know what to do after I read it.
No clear call to action. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Make sure that it’s absolutely clear what you want people to do, and what will happen when they do it.
7. It’s 11 pages long.
It’s a lot to wade through online, and intimidating off-line. Say what you need to say to convince the prospect to take action, but don’t bury them.
8. There’s a lot of talking, but no clear idea what problem you solve, or why I should trust you.
9. There’s too much about you (not enough about me).
Your awards are great (if you have them), but they don’t solve problems. What have you done to help other companies? Do you have testimonials? If you do, share them. Show me what you can do for me (remember, the world’s most popular radio station is WIIFM – what’s in it for me).
10. You’re trying to catch fish with strawberries; offering “bait” that nobody wants.
I saw someone recently asking if people would buy a software program that let you surf the Web from a boot up disk. No viruses, but you had to boot separately, and there were ads. The spam-free promise is great, but nobody will want to surf the Web from a boot disk!
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