How to use flyers to market your Managed Services business

Robert Peretson

Businesses that are looking for dozens, or even hundreds of new customers (like a cleaning service or a copier repair center) can invest heavily in printing and mailing tens of thousands of flyers in the hopes of getting a return of just a small percentage of interested customers.

But for you as an independent computer consultant, the cost to embark on a large campaign where you'll print and blindly mail hundreds of flyers (especially if you're just starting a computer consulting business) would not generate the sales quickly enough to justify the large expense.

Your flyer WILL be effective however if used to support your other sales efforts.

Primarily as either:

  • A leave-behind (along with your business card and a note) when making a door-to-door cold call.
  • An attachment to an email following an initial phone conversation with a prospective new client.
  • As a follow-up mailer to a prospective client who's requesting "more information".
  • Or even as an offer for something like a free on-site evaluation of their computer support needs. (A great way to sell them exactly what they might need – which isn't always the same as what they THINK they need).

Because you will be handing or mailing your flyer to a limited number of recipients, your production costs can be kept very low. You can print your flyers inexpensively on your own inkjet printer (assuming you have a decent printer and use quality, heavyweight paper), or you can have small production runs produced by a web-based printing service.

The purpose of your flyer is to get your prospective customer to take a specific, desired action. Just as with your other sales and marketing efforts, your intention is to help your target recognize that they have a problem in need of a solution and to show them how your service will solve their problem.

The components of an effective flyer are:

1. A Compelling Headline
This is where you'll either capture their attention, or have your flyer deposited in the trash bin.

Your headline should contain a benefit or it should generate interest. How about...

  • "5 reasons why John Smith should be your computer consultant !"
  • "Here's how you can have a full-time IT department for less than a part-timer's salary!"
  • "If you're tired of worrying about unexpected computer problems hurting your business then one simple phone call can prevent them from ever occurring in the first place!"
  • "The secret to having a trouble-free computer network in your office

2. Your message

This is your list of services, which can be presented in comparison to other types of service solutions. Your job is to show what your unique selling proposition (USP) is. What makes you the best option available.

3. A promotional offer

This is where your flyer becomes an effective marketing tool. Direct your reader to take action by giving a specific instruction and providing a compelling offer, such as one of the following examples:

  • "Call before Oct. 31st and receive 30 days of server monitoring absolutely free!"
  • "Call now for a FREE 27-Point Network Evaluation"
  • "Until Oct. 31, get 5 free hours of on-site support when signing up with our Daily Monitoring Plan"

While the content is key when creating your flyer, design is equally important. A photocopied flyer with black courier text and some clipart isn't going to cut it. A very professional flyer can be designed inexpensively and easily in any of today's standard desktop publishing or word processing applications. But if graphic design isn't your strong point, there are many options available for outsourcing the work to a freelancer (check elance.com) or a web-based printing and design service.