We’ve all been there. We’ve all dreaded it. You mentally prepare yourself for it every time you step off the bus.
Walking through the free speech area of your campus is like running through a war zone. You put your armor up in the form of headphones and fakes phone calls, but they keep coming. The flyers, the coupons, the invites to recruitment events are all thrown in your face, and all you want to do is get to Calc class.
When you’re on the other side, it’s just as terrible. You reach out to students with professional development opportunities, concerts or fundraising events that you have worked hard to create and they would genuinely enjoy; yet they shrug you off – or worse – straight up ignore you as they walk by.
Flyering is a dreaded process, but it’s one of the best ways to spread awareness for your organizations’ events and interact with future members during recruitment season. The key is to make it fun, so that you can engage more people and spread more awareness for your student org.
Start with the flyer design.
If the quarter-page sheet of paper is completely covered in text, it doesn’t matter how interesting a paragraph you have written, no one is going to read it. You don’t need to include everything about your event or club on the page. The flyer on the left is way too busy, and no one wants to read through all the information to see the events scheduled for the next week.
Create a clean, clear design (like the one on the right) that grabs people’s attention, while including only the most important information. This would usually be the time, date and place of your event and the name of your organization. A well designed flyer is grabs attention and communicates clearly.
If your event has a website or facebook page, including a link to it on the flyer is the easiest way to get people informed and involved. If they follow your page, that will keep them engaged in your future events.
Don’t forget, printing these can get pricey. Use Freenters to ease your budget!
Make your event pitch quick and clear.
Don’t babble on about your event. Just like your flyers, you want your pitch to highlight the most important parts first (ie. What would college students be most interested in?). Famous speakers, concerts, career opportunities and food are some of the most popular.
Pro tip: If your event has food, capitalize on this! College students love being offered free food, and if they know there will be Chik-fil-a nuggets at your general body meeting, they will be twice as likely to show.
A good example of an elevator pitch as people are walking by would be:
“Hey, do you like ice cream? Come out to Ice Cream and Chill with your advisors! They can help plan your schedule for next semester while making sundaes.”
*Hands person flyer*
The most important thing about communicating while flyering is your attitude and body language.
Have confidence. A good way to engage someone from the moving crowd is to make eye contact and smile. Walk up to each person you speak to with a genuine smile and say hello before diving into your pitch. When you take the time to talk to them as a person, instead of as a flyer distributing machine, they won’t be so scared to take your flyer. Plus there’s a better chance they will follow through to attend your event!
Be excited about your event when you talk about it, and it will get others around you excited as well. The more fun you look like you’re having out there, the more people you will draw in the rush between classes.
Finally, don’t push information on people. If they can’t talk or aren’t interested in your flyer, simply thank them and wish them a good afternoon. Leaving someone with a “Have a nice day!” is reflects much better on your organization than a begrudging look.
No matter the situation, smiling and keeping a good attitude in will make both you and the people walking by feel better. With a good design, pitch and attitude, you will give, or even take, a flyer in stride.