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Setting Up Your Business -- Creating Sample Books and Materials

At this point in planning your funeral program business, it’s time to start assembling some basic marketing materials. This doesn’t require anything elaborate, just a portfolio that shows your customers what you can do for them. Let’s talk about a couple of easy ways you can put those samples together.

Assembling a Printed Sample Book

As you’ve been practicing how to add photographs, clipart and other elements to funeral programs, you’ve probably saved those files to your computer. You can use those files to create your printed sample book. Try printing memorial programs, prayer cards, bookmarks and funeral announcements on different paper stock.

Think about the types of customers who may come to you to create personalized funeral mementos. What kind of religious symbols, backgrounds, borders and frames might appeal to them?

Create sample documents using those in different combinations within your funeral program templates. Print each one to add to your portfolio. Design entire collections of funeral keepsakes including a funeral program, funeral announcement, prayer card, bookmark and thank you card (if you plan to offer all those to clients) using the same basic design and images, to offer your clients the best possible service.

Tip for creating professional samples: Always design a complete keepsake by adding a full funeral program order of service, obituary, poems, photos and other elements typically included. This helps the customer understand what kind of information they’ll need to provide and makes the design process easier for both of you.

Once you’ve collected a nice assortment of different designs, sizes and customizations, you can put your printed samples into a scrapbooking notebook to make them easy to show your customers. This type of sample book is also easily transportable to consultations with potential business clients such as funeral homes.

Assembling a Digital Sample Book

Another way to easily collect and display your offerings to clients is by putting together a digital sample book. By creating this kind of portfolio, you can display what you’re capable of creating on your laptop or tablet as you’re meeting with customers or by sending sample files by email.  You can create a "slideshow" of your sample programs by using an image program such as Microsoft Image Viewer, or make a slideshow using Microsoft Powerpoint, just to name a few.

Save each of the files you’ve created in .pdf format to protect your work. This allows you to send them to your customer and allows them to send the files on to other family members without allowing the files to be altered.

Keep your digital sample book organized by creating folders within a main sample book folder for each collection of funeral mementos. Marketing Tip: Use these sample .pdf files on your company’s social media sites and in email or website marketing.

Special Notes for Funeral Keepsake Samples

Make sure your samples are the best quality possible by using clear, crisp photographs. You can find good photos for printing in the royalty free collections online, just make sure to check the terms of use for the photographs.

If you plan to offer photo collage service to your clients, be sure to include collages in your memorial keepsakes, so that customers can see how their loved one’s photos can be combined.

As you create funeral keepsake collections for your clients that vary from your stock samples you can add them to your portfolio. Simply remove the client’s photographs and information and add back in generic photos and text, keeping the custom design.

Having a printed sample book to show clients isn’t just smart marketing. It’s also helpful to someone who is grieving and overwhelmed with the details of funeral planning. Being able to send digital samples to your clients, especially if they’re attempting to plan a service by long distance, is one more layer of customer service.

And, finally, having professional samples that can be added to your social media, email and website marketing will help establish you as a business owner able to provide excellent service. Start putting your sample books together today using these tips. It’s the next step in preparing to launch your funeral program business!

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