Your brochure is key to positioning your continuing education program as a leader.
Think of your position as “mental real-estate.” That means owning a position in the prospective customer’s mind. Do you want to be thought of as the most innovative? The most economical? The most advanced? Whatever position you want (and this should be based on the position you already hold with your best customers), you need to develop a strategy to communicate it. To do this, follow these five points:
- Objective. What do you want to accomplish with your brochure? Registrations? Information? To build your mailing list?
- Target audience. Who is your customer. Analyze the demographics of your best participants. Speak to them. You can’t be all things to all people, so promote to those who are already responding to your programs and to other people like them.
- Consumer benefit. What makes your program stand out from the rest? Survey your participants and find out what key benefit is most important to them. This becomes your unique selling proposition and a reason for people to register in your program rather than with the competition.
- Support. People need a reason to believe the benefits you offer. Don’t over-promise or make claims you can’t back up. Don’t offer something you can’t provide, and don’t sound too good to be true. People are inherently skeptical, and you must have a believable benefit. If you do, it will attract participants.
- Tone and manner. What is your“personality?” What is the culture of your organization? This is a key part of your image and your “brand.” Are you customer friendly? Are your staff helpful? Are your instructors “the best?” Create a tone and manner that will complement the image you are creating, and use that to communicate your organizational personality to your prospective customers.
No matter how you look at it, your brochure is more than just information about your programs. It is information about you — who you are, what you’re like, and it gives people an impression of how they might experience your program.
You need to be proactive in setting the tone and in developing your position and strategy. You will have one, even if it is not by design. You can easily set a negative tone and send a negative message unless you are working to create a clear, specific positive position.
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