Even in today’s world where online marketing is pervasive, there is still an important place for brochures in the financial services sphere. Yet how do you know what kind of brochure you need, and how which features and content should it contain to be effective?
Here at CreativeAdviser, we specialise in financial brochures and graphic design. So we’re well-placed to offer some thoughts on this important subject, here. We hope you find our thoughts and suggestions helpful. If you’d like to discuss your own financial brochure needs with an industry specialist, please feel free to get in touch with us.
Why develop a financial brochure?
A brochure can serve a range of different purposes for a financial services firm. In our experience, however, a brochure is a key step in helping a potential client sense that your business is “real”.
There’s something powerful about holding a beautiful, high-quality branded brochure in your hands that helps convince someone that you’re serious, that you “know your stuff” and that there is a sense of history and established success behind what you’re saying to them.
A financial brochure, at the same time, is a great opportunity to impress your prospects with your visual assets (e.g. brand imagery), case studies from existing clients and educate them about what value you offer – and how the process works.
Given how much power and potential are held within your financial brochure, it’s important to not cut corners with it. Whilst it’s difficult to place an exact monetary value on the importance of great design and content for a company brochure, it’s clear that this is usually a key asset in your sales process which needs appropriate attention.
The right length and layout
Whilst it’s key to invest in a strong company brochure, financial firms also need to recognise the limits on people’s attention in today’s world of “digital overload”. Most people are not going to want to read a 50-page introductory brochure about your financial planning service, so it’s important to pick the right information to present in the early stages.
In our experience, a high-quality financial brochure could range between 8-12 pages in length. If you’re planning on printing your brochure, moreover, you’ll need to work with these kinds of “divisions of four” so that the machine can line up your pages correctly. This tends to also permit enough space for your designer to work with for the relevant sections you want to include such as About, Case Studies and How We Work.
Imagery & photography
A strong financial services brochure will need to contain a decent amount of information, yet it’s crucial to not simply present your readers with a wall of text. Imagery, infographics and photography will be important assets to include for retaining their attention.
Here, you need to be careful. It’s true that it’s now possible to source good imagery from a number of “free stock image libraries” around the internet. Yet you’ll need to be careful to attain the proper licensing in order to use them.
It’s also a good idea to consider the services of a financial graphic designer to ensure that your images “hang together” consistently and project a unified message. They can also help you avoid including imagery that is cliched within the financial services sectors.
Another note on photography. Many financial planners are reluctant to include images of themselves or their team within their financial brochure. Yet it’s important to consider their inclusion if this is a viable option. Doing so not only takes the quality of your brochure to a whole new level, it also helps to put a more “human face” on your company. Otherwise, you are often left with stock imagery featuring people who do not work at your business, which can feel impersonal.
Content & tone
What kind of text should you include in your financial brochure and which tone of voice should you adopt? Here, again, a financial design agency can help you strike the right balance. Yet there are some general principles which we will share with you below.
First of all, tone of voice. In a “serious” business like financial services, it will be important to not come across as too informal. Yet, on the other hand, you likely do not want to come across as too “stuffy” or impersonal – especially in a sector such as financial planning. Our suggestion is that you stay true to the tone of voice which you have established in your wider brand. This will help to put the reader at ease, since the text they are reading will “sound like you”.
Secondly, be careful not to focus too much on yourself in the copy. Put yourself in the shoes of your reader. Do they want to read 12 pages which solely pontificates about what someone else can do, and why they do it better than others? Most likely, their primary concern will be on how you can help them and which problems you can solve for them.
Be client-focused with your copy, in other words, rather than features/benefits-focused. Be careful, also, to not only describe what you do and how you do it, but also why you do it. What are your reasons for offering the solutions you do? Is there a vision you can present which they can get excited about, and even “feel like they can be a part of”?
For instance, if you’re a financial planner focused on helping people invest their assets more ethically, there’s potential there to project a powerful vision (or “why”) to your readers which inspires them and creates a feeling of wanting to “belong” in that vision. Don’t miss that opportunity with your copy!