(Image courtesy of http://visual.ly/dos-and-donts-content-marketing?_from=homepage)
(Image courtesy of http://www.marketingtechblog.com/7-steps-optimized-content-strategy/)
(image courtesy of http://www.womma.org/posts/2013/01/infographic-why-content-marketing-works)
By Lauren Jeffery
March 19th 2014
“Pulsating” was not the word for it. My heart was trying to discharge itself. My legs wouldn’t move me away. My fingers tingled. Dead hush. Strong winds ripped through my ears. Tears pricked my cheeks. I could taste the grief. Fists clenched, I sat in pause. Rest. Just breathe. In and out. It’s over. You made it. You’re still here. Pins and needles numbed my feet. With 100 pound eyelids, I closed my eyes and tried to remember in detail the last hour of my life. I couldn’t recall one word that was said. Or who was there to say them.
“I love you”. “I need you here” Over and over again, my shaken mind repeated. It just wouldn’t stop. My heart needed peace and silence. A sturdy hand helped me to my feet. Wiping the salty tears off my face, along with once-perfect make up, the steady hand gripped my shoulder. “It’s over”. My heartbeat slowed, I felt the wind on my skin. Blood flow gushed like a flash flood through my hands and feet. I realized I was alive and I had survived my lifelong nightmare. I’d just survived my Mum’s funeral.
I’ve been fiddling with my Little Red brochures for months: adjusting, simplifying, correcting, adding and subtracting. Now that I think I got it pretty much right, I want to share with you how I got there. Sometimes it takes a few drafts, sometimes not. Simple fact is, it’s gotta be damn good, a lot of people don’t read brochures. They collect them at expos or in the mail and then bin them. These are my tips on getting yours to work for you.
- CLEAN- focus on colour (3 maximum), font (2 maximum) and a simple, effective layout. If people wanted clutter, they could come and look in my Tupperware cupboard. Make your graphic designer work hard for their payment so working on your business brochure pays off for you.
- QUALITY PRINTING- Having a husband who works in printing, I know good and bad printing when I squint at it. Watch for irregular bleed, general fuzziness. Find a top-notch printing agency (stick with small business yeah?) who can produce high-resolution images on sleek pages. Now brochures can’t be sexy, but you get my drift. Make them look damn impressive.
- BRANDING- Is your brand easily identifiable? Make sure your brochure logos/images make all the other business material you are producing. Having your brand recognised by others is a difficult task to achieve but you can make it work when you work hard on your brand image.
- APPROPRIATE IMAGES- Do the images match your content? This isn’t a trick question. I completed a brochure for a client who asked for pictures of puppies on their brochure when they wanted to show off their jewellery range. Puppies don’t usually wear jewellery (in Melbourne they don’t anyway) so use images to support your content. Don’t just throw them in there because “every brochure needs pictures”.
- SAY NO TO CHUNKS- Make sure your brochure isn’t wordy. No huge paragraphs or people won’t read them, or take your brand seriously. Using more words can often be misconstrued as not knowing what you are talking about. The layout won’t be as impressive if words take up all the useable space.
- KNOW ITS VALUE- Do you know how important brochures are? Do you know their purpose? Approximately 20% of people in the US have never searched for a business listing online (which means they’d need one of your brochures to get in contact with you again). The principle behind a brochure may seem old-school in this grand (new) digital age we reside in, but they never go out of style in business if they are created and used correctly.
- THINK STRATEGICALLY- Where are you going to send/hand out/ leave these brochures? This needs to be worked into your layout. You might not be with your brochure when people are seeing it for the first time. So it needs to be targeted to the appropriate audience and easy to read.
- CONTACT INFO- Make sure your contact details are clearly defined and UP TO DATE. You are creating a brochure to turn readers into buyers so the readers are at some point going to want to know how to get a hold of you.
- CTA INCLUDED- Related to #8, include a call-to-action. Provide value and information which entices your readers to want to know more and to act on what they discover in your brilliant layout.
- MOST IMPORTANT!!!! Your HEADLINE will be the decider. Five times more people read the headline than the body of any article of text. If the headline doesn’t attract them to read on, the time you spent on your brochure will be useless. Don’t get cheesy, be concise and clever.
Do you have any more tips to add to my list? I’d love to see what kind of brochures your businesses are producing. Remember that less is more in this case.
In the heart of suburban East Keilor, only a mere 17kms from the bustling laneways and skyscrapers protruding from the Melbourne CBD, comes Unwind Craft Café.
Opened in 2013, this retro-styled handmade heaven has quickly become a favourite place of mine to unwind and is kid-friendly (and puppy-friendly outside- thanks for the neat water bowl!) It’s really a breath of fresh retail air for the area and for Melbourne’s outer city suburbia in general.
(Image courtesy of Unwind Craft Cafe)
crochet-enhanced store front!
Their support for the crafty types who make the most exquisite children’s ware, natural skin and hair products, jewelry, knit ware and home wares is unwavering. Each week since opening, I’ve purchased one or two items (or maybe more- shhhh don’t tell my husband) for my children and myself. Dresses for my toddler, mason glass ware for myself and indulged in their delicious homemade apricot cheesecake- heaven in a jar! ★★★★★
(Image courtesy of Unwind Craft Cafe)
Apricot Cheesecake- delicious!
Unwind Craft Café is a trusted provider of Bendigo Wool, fabrics, craft supplies and for those interested in knitting and crocheting, designated timeslots in the week cater for a craft-and-chat: get together with your friends, share in some of Unwind’s enchanting delicacies in a space that supports the more classical and retro arts we all love.
(Image courtesy of Unwind Craft Cafe)
The great wall of wool!
Whether it’s to sticky-nose around, to buy a gift for a loved one (I recommended the handmade vintage fabric dresses for the little girls in your life) or to catch up with friends over coffee and cake, I can’t recommend Unwind Craft Café enough. Open Tuesday through to Saturday, make the drive to chat to the uber-friendly staff and soon you’ll be (crochet) hooked, it’s a promise.
You can find Unwind on Facebook
And here in the (vintage) flesh
We all need to relax and unwind and some point. No work or study task is ever so urgent that you can’t stop for a few minutes and just lay down and close your eyes after a few deep breaths.
I lost my mum to undetected heart failure in April last year. She was precious and my best friend. Please give generously to the Heart Foundation and support me in the fight to support those facing a life with heart disease. It’s the number one killer of Australians and is a significant part of my DNA.
Love this. A helpful read on a tough Friday afternoon.
Originally posted on Well, This Is What I Think:
Over here at the Wellthisiswhatithink dungeon we have made a living from writing for more than 25 years now, so we were fascinated by this excellent article from Carolyn Gregoire of Huff Post on the things that creative people do differently. Indeed, the Wellthisiswhatithink household comprises a writer, voiceover artist and speechmaker (er, that’d be yours truly), a leading glass artist, and an aspiring young actor with her own improv troupe. Close relatives have included an accomplished drawer of portraits, a member of the Royal Academy of Art, one of Australia’s leading watercolourists, and an amateur sculptor … so anything that explains the quirks of creative people is very helpful in surviving our somewhat unusual family!
When you work in advertising and marketing (areas where creativity, applied to a purpose, is supposed to reign supreme) people often ask us, frequently in a despairing tone, “what can I do to make…
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