Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to create a brochure that someone will actually read!

As the teacher of Practice Management at Southwest Acupuncture College for a decade, I've looked at lots of projects: websites, presentation folders, business plans, biz cards, and patient information brochures. The last of these, patient info or educational brochures are always useful to have in a clinic, take to talks that you are doing, or send out with any other promotional literature or letters to potential sources of referral.

I read and grade a lot of these and the most common mistake that is made is putting too much emphasis on yourself and your clinic and not enough emphasis on what’s in for the potential patient and why will they want to read your brochure?

For example, if you place the name of your clinic and contact information as the featured information on the front of your brochure, why should I as a potential patient, really care? What’s in it for me to pick it up and read?

However, if you put something like this on the front:
"Migraine headaches don't have to keep you from enjoying life."
"Allergy season got you down? Real relief begins here!"
"Insomnia sufferers need relief now!"
"PMS got you breathing fire?"
"Maintaining healthy blood pressure is important for everyone."

Underneath or to the side of any one of these headlines, you put a relevant photo that you can buy cheaply from any one of many "royalty-free" photo services such as iStock.com. If I have one of these conditions, I might just wish to read the brochure!

Then, on the inside, put some quick data from relevant research on your topic, (which you can find  doing a word search right here at BluePoppy.com by searching the TCMInfoline...but you have to create a login to access this) or on WebMD, Acufinder, Acupuncture Today, and many other sites.
You could add the WHO list of conditions that acupuncture is considered effective for treating. (Yes, I know it is outdated and incomplete, but it still lets your patients know a lot of things acupuncture can treat besides pain?)

Then add some pictures of you working in your clinic (or a professionally done portraint) and bio on the inside bottom right.

On the back side, include a map or picture of your clinic, directions and contact information. Your website and phone number should be reasonably bold and prominent.

This is a good recipe for brochure design and you can spin headlines and content for any condition you want to treat. So get to work out there and design some great brochures to help you promote your clinic and your work! Use them at live events, when you visit other professional offices, or if you do a booth at a Health Fair. Put up a sign encouraging patients to take them to friends and colleagues.
This is only one part of your overall marketing strategy, but not an unimportant link in your marketing chain.
Good Luck!

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