How To Create a Flyer That Gets Results

Create an Effective Flyer For Your Business Quickly and Easily

How to Create a Flyer
Create a Flyer. Getty Images

You may know it as a flyer, a leaflet, a handout, a circular, a pamphlet, a bulletin, a handbill, or even a playbill, but whatever you know it as, it's something that still has a presence, even in this digital world. 

The humble flyer is usually described as:

"A small handbill advertising an event or product."

It really is as simple as that. Or is it?

While it may be just a simple piece of paper printed on one or both sides, it's also an eye-catching way to grab someone's attention, and promote sales...IF it's done right, and that's the key

Remember, people see advertising messages every other minute, especially when they're out and about on the streets. Some say we see up to 7,000 ads a day now, although most of those are on phones and tablets. But even when you're out and about, you need to do something that has great impact. Sadly, most flyers go straight in the trash, and that represents a lot of wasted time and money on your part. 

So, how do you break through the clutter and make a difference? How do you create a flyer that is not instantly tossed in the garbage, or thrown into the gutter?

Here's a quick 7-step process to help you create a great flyer that gets noticed.


Whether on your own, or with a business partner or colleague, write down as much as you can about your business, and what you're advertising. Don't be afraid of putting nonsensical ideas down on paper. Sometimes, the most bizarre ideas can come together to form one big, money-spinning idea.



When you have exhausted every possible avenue, step back and look at what you have written down. Walk away. Give it the overnight test if you have time (this is not always necessary, but can work wonders). When you come back to the white board or sketch pad, what stands out?

That's your idea. 


A great headline or visual is only half of the battle. Now, you need to push the idea further. What can you do to make it really stand out? Do you have a way to fold it? Can you print it on something unusual? Is there a way to make it smell, or look like something that people cannot ignore, like a parking ticket?


What can you do to really break through the boundaries and the clutter? This is a world filled with advertising messages. What makes this one different? Why should anyone spend their valuable time with it? What are you going to do to make it really stand out, without being salesly? 

However, if you have a great offer, you may not need a great headline. After all, you could say "the way to anyone's heart is through a complimentary pint of ale," but FREE BEER is free beer, and will catch anyone's eye. Don't be too clever for your own good.


This is where you may need some professional help, although these days, with modern desktop publishing and online templates, you can do a lot yourself. First, you need to make sure your design has enough space to make the headline and the offer stand out. Don't crowd the typography, or add too much copy.

Next, think carefully about imagery. You cannot just grab whatever you want from the Internet, most photos have rights. You can buy stock photography for very little money at sites like And finally, check it twice for any errors. You do not want to see spelling errors or other issues once the printed flyer is in your hand.


Don't skimp on printing (unless the idea demands it). But, get ready to negotiate. Printers do it all the time, especially if they know you will be a repeat customer. Respect the fact that they are in business to make money too, but if you can barter with them, or combine your run with that of another small business, you may get some great discounts. 


So, you have your flyer in hand, and it looks great. Now, think about how you will spread it to the right people.

You don't want to throw your money away, and nothing is more disheartening than spending time and money on something you see littered along subway tunnels and trash cans. 

Find a way to give it to people who look bored; people waiting for their partners to finish shopping in a store, or watching their kids at a play area in the mall. You have an audience desperate for something to read, so give it to them. Putting them under the windshields of parked cars can work, but again, think about the audience. Will they simply rip it off and trash it?