The Consulting Brochure – A Waste of Money?

You’re new in business and new to consulting as a professional pursuit. You may not have even one client on the books. So, you may ask, “If I only had a brochure to give to people, wouldn’t it serve to legitimize my business?”

The answer is, “No, it may even hurt you.”

This may surprise and even disappoint you, but it’s true. A printed brochure probably isn’t what you need to help people decide to hire you, at least not at this stage.

In fact, it may actually do the opposite, especially if it looks cheap or homemade. And let’s be clear. A brochure is a selling document. When you’re just starting out you may not have a clear picture of what your niche market (or niche markets) actually expect of a consultant – and therefore, you don’t know what they expect in the way of a brochure.

To Succeed in Consulting, You Need to Appear Successful.

I don’t believe that you overtly sell consulting as a service. People do make the decision to engage your services, usually to solve a problem — a problem that isn’t likely to be described in a selling brochure. More often than not, for example, you won’t know what the real problem is until you conduct a Needs Analysis.

So the most effective brochure may well be a simple typewritten list of your services on a single sheet of second sheets to your stationery. If you provide a range of services, a separate sheet devoted to each one may be sufficient.

Flexibility In the Beginning Can Be Beneficial.

As you gain clients and experience and become comfortable with your “style” of consulting you will develop a better understanding of your target market’s expectations. At that point you will have a better idea of whether or not you need a printed brochure and, if so, what form it should take.

Be wary of flamboyancy!

There are well-established rules for the use of type styles, sizes, art and colors. Most non-professionals who decide to do their own design work choose the wrong type styles and use too many different ones (no more than three to a document is a good rule) and tend to use flashy color combinations laid out in ways that not only defeat the purpose of the communication, but actually detract from it. Unless you have professional training or talent for graphic arts, you’re best off to stick to the basics.