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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 in coming.
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 second).
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" MailTo:Billboards@BigIdeasGroup.com
©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. http://BIGIdeasGroup.com
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