Many people in business lay-out (design) their own
ads. That old adage "If It Is To Be It Is Up To
Me" prevails. Do it yourself and you may get what
you want. Many newspaper salespeople are poor at
conveying customer wants to the design department,
and slow are retunring proofs. The result is an ad
with errors, not approved by the cusotmer.
If your expenditures will be moderate, you might
be able to afford a graphic designer or
advertising agency. It costs nothing to find out,
call a few ad agencies in the phone book and ask
for an account rep. Explain you may be in the
market for an agency and let them ask the
questions. A quick determination will not be long
There is a lot to be said for finding a way for
someone else to do your ads so you can use your
talents for what you do best, running your
business. Designing your own ads (a furniture
store I visited had a complete drafting table,
magnifying light and glue pot in the corner) is
about the same as fixing your own leaks and asking
the plumber to come by and inspect it.
Your ad will have less than eight tenths of a
second to get a reader's attention. You must stop
the reader's eye in less than a second, and hold
it for at least three seconds to make an
impression. Think about the ads you pass when you
read the paper, You fly by some of them faster
than you can say "one-Mississippi" (a half a
Collect a folder of ads thet grab your attention.
Gather a list of hot words. There are articles and
lists throughout the internet of "selling" words.
Type "Words that Sell" in any search engine.
Always Stress the Benefits
A feature is what something is. A benefit is what
it does. Advertise the benefits of your product or
service, not the features. People don't buy
something to get a feature, instead they always
buy to get the benefit produced by the feature.
The jury is still out on the effectiveness of
color vs the cost of color. Look at the big boys,
most don't use color in display ads (only the car
dealers, for some inexplicable reason).
There are Already Enough Egos
Look through any paper and count the mug shots of
the owner, pics of the kids or staff. Not to
mention the photos of the business building or
award. Ego is easy to sell to the advertisers, but
it doesn't sell the customer. The paper uses ego
all the time to sell you more ads. The billboard
people are especially notorious for this practice.
Focus on the benefits and forget your smiling head
and shoulders shot.
Put it on the shelf
After you put an ad together, put it on the shelf,
in a drwaer or file it in your computer for a day.
Don't look at it or think about it. Wait at least
24 hours to take a fresh look. Can you remove at
kleast 5 words? It will sell harder with less
words. You don't read jumbled ads, they don't
either. Does it have to be that big? Cut it by a
third and you can buy more for the same money.
Sell the benefits with class and your advertising
can be very effective.
For more about advertising, get my article
"Your Billboard is Showing"
?2005 BIG Mike McDaniel, All Rights Reserved
MailTo:Mike@BIGIdeasGroup.com BIG Mike is a
Business Consultant and Professional Speaker. His
BIG Ideas Group helps small business grow with
mastermind groups, seminars and training.
Subscribe to "BIG Mike's BIG Ideas" Newsletter