How To Know Your Advert Will Make Money BEFORE You Publish It
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This ebook is intentionally short so you can read it in a single sitting. It covers a single topic and is designed to give you the information you need to make a massive impact in the shortest possible time. The subject is very deep and this is a taster of it but will give you enough information to take action and create adverts which can transform how you attract new clients.
So ‘Congratulations!’ You’re part of an extremely small group. And I mean that sincerely. How many people say they want their own business? But how many actually take the steps they need to make it a reality? And then on to being a success?
Do you find yourself marketing and hoping it will work? By the end of this short guide you’ll understand how to know whether your marketing will work before you even publish it and I’ll give you a clear real-world strategy you can implement today.
The life of a small business owner is not an easy one. Your decisions impact your family’s future and it’s an immense responsibility. The decisions you make on a daily basis also affect how the world sees you because people love to see others fail (more on that in a minute).
One of the truths about business is that you need customers for you to thrive. But how do you differentiate yourself from all the other businesses out there? How do you let people know that you really care and are good at your profession?
Frequently it can feel like you’ve bought yourself a job. You’re doing all the work but with longer hours than anybody sane would accept and without the benefits of holiday pay or sick leave? How many times have you felt ‘if I had a job I’d be calling in sick’ only to force yourself to be friendly and nice to your customers?
The most difficult part of running a business is that you need to be master of so many aspects and as humans we tend to focus on the parts we enjoy, not the parts we have to do.
And for many people they start a business because they love the products they make or the service they provide, not because they love selling themselves. So when it comes to finding new customers it can be hard to know where to start.
Over the last few years marketing has transformed almost totally. I recently looked through the marketing manual I kept from my MBA back in 2003 and none of it’s relevant anymore. Everything I learnt back then is out-of-date and I know that for a fact as following it caused the failure of my business a few years ago. If I’d put into action what I’ve learnt in the last five years none of that would have happened… but although it was a very hard lesson to learn I’m decades ahead of where I would have been otherwise.
What I’ve discovered since that failure is that marketing is easier than we as business owners tend to think it is and if we find ourselves having to sell to a potential customer then it’s a pretty good indicator that we’ve done something wrong.
In this short article I’m going to explain one of the most critical lessons which can transform how many clients any business has. I’ve used this principle in helping clients sell water slides in Australia, online health and wellbeing courses in the UK, garden landscaping in Canada and yachts in Belize so even if you sell boxes in Huddersfield you can be sure that this is a timeless strategy which always work and isn’t dependent upon the latest Facebook flash-in-the-pan technique.
Having said that if you use Facebook for your marketing and follow this you’ll suddenly find it IS possible to make money online.
But most of all it creates elegant solutions for bringing in new clients through your doors.
Small business owners are problem solvers. They have to be. But this extremely useful skill is the reason so many of us fail at advertising.
If I ask a group of business owners the question ‘Who do you sell to?’ the answer usually is ‘Well nearly anybody could use this’ because we see all the opportunities.
Unfortunately in marketing that skill will hold you back because if a company tries to be all things to all people then even their best efforts are ignored because we then create adverts which are very broad and very general.
And these adverts fail because we’re exposed to so many that our brains protect us by ignoring all of them.
But it’s possible to creatively get around that problem by understanding how our brains work and using some psychology.
Humans have three brains which have evolved on top of each other. On the top is the big neocortex with the two hemispheres. Below that is the limbic system which was the original mammalian brain and underneath that is the one we are interested in – the reptilian brain which operates at a very basic instinctive and primitive level.
This brain contains your reticular activating system (RA system for short). You know when you are driving and see a ball bounce into the road and you instantly focus upon it? That’s your brain’s RA system kicking into gear. It’s part of the brain which amongst other things looks for patterns and alerts you to them.
The secret to getting your adverts read and responded to is to laser focus them at one highly specific target market and ignore all others.
Your instant reaction to that is probably ‘But I won’t have a business left…’
Don’t worry! You can have multiple target market but each marketing message is directed at just one at a time so it will resonate deeply with them.
Here’s an example of how this works with the Yellow Pages. I just did a search for ‘dentists’ and it came up with these results.
What do you notice about all the adverts? If you took the names off and mixed them up would you be able to tell them apart? They are all the same and there’s no way for anybody to differentiate between them. Even the pictures they include don’t mean anything.
If I was advising a dentist on how to get new patients I’d solve the problem like this:
Most dentists get new clients for one of two reasons. Either somebody moving to the area or somebody with toothache who needs help now and these are their main target markets
I’d pick one of those target markets and appeal directly to them. This advert is crude and took 3 minutes to slap together and I’m certainly not a designer but I know who would get the calls:
Here’s a bigger version of the ‘logo’ I’d put in so you can see the approach:
The advert is talking to a single target market. The words ‘Sore Tooth’ will make the reticular activating system of a person with a sore tooth instantly light up and lock onto this because it is talking directly to the problem they are trying to solve. That basic part of the brain makes it impossible to ignore.
‘Call now on’ is a clear call to action telling them exactly what to do next. Most people scan information in a passive manner and even if it’s offering them exactly what they want they’ll just keep on browsing so you need to tell them what to do in very clear language. Never assume they’ll put two and two together because all the studies show they don’t.
The bottom line of the advert is not necessary but quite elegant in what it achieves. ‘We’ll get you in as fast as possible and won’t charge more’ reassures them they’ll be seen as quickly as possible which is all they want but also creates the thought that if they went somewhere else they may be charged more as an emergency visit.
I have no idea if dentists usually charge for emergency visits but now the prospect has that subtly placed in their mind but why would they risk calling up anywhere else to find out?
The way to answer this is to ask: ‘Is there any reason why a person with a sore tooth wouldn’t call?’
I think it’s very compelling. It speaks directly to their problem, tells them what to do and reassures them. Why wouldn’t they call?
None of the other adverts on that page have given any reason to be called. This one stands out a mile.
If I was that dentist I’d probably buy another space and have the second one appealing to people who have just moved into the area too.
That way the dentist would seal up a lot of the traffic at no extra cost, all because they’ve taken the time to understand the problem their target marketing is trying to solve and given them a friction-free way to solve it.
First realise that this form of advertising doesn’t mean you need to do big expensive adverts. Frequently you’ll be able to place small adverts in the classifieds section because although people only scan over them their RA system will pick them up. This means you can get adventurous and test different ones in as many different ways as possible.
The first step to creating an advert like this is to leave your ego behind. That expensive logo you had designed has no place here. Pretty pictures don’t help usually either – text is king.
Think back over the past clients you have had. Has one stood out as being perfect because they were pleasant to deal with, bought a lot and frequently and got a great result they were happy with? Maybe you’ll have to combine two or three past clients to get a single fictitious ‘ideal’ customer but that’s fine. What problem were they trying to solve?
You may need to get creative but there is always an answer to that question and when you have it you then need to decide how you can use that question to activate their RA system because when you do everything about your marketing changes.
Most adverts try to persuade and convince people to contact them – or bribe them with discounts. This type of advertising (and we’re only scratching the surface of what is possible) does it differently. It gives them a compelling reason to get in touch with you so they become the driving force for doing business with you. Some businesses will need a slightly more sophisticated approach but when you crack the secret they will come to you causing your business can grow extremely quickly because your adverts will ONLY be attracting the exact type of customers you want to work with.
In case you think this might not work for you, let’s look at the biggest buying decision most people ever make – buying and selling their house.
Imagine you’re an estate agent. Your role is to get new listings but it’s a huge decision for people to make to put their house on the market. It doesn’t happen easily… But when you start to dig under the surface there are ways you can make anything almost friction-free and this is an example of how a slightly longer and more sophisticated approach might work:
Now imagine you are a house owner. You have thought about moving to another area but you haven’t even spoken to your other half about it yet. What’s the first thing you’re going to think about?
Probably ‘I wonder how much this place is worth?’ So a wise estate agent may send out a monthly newsletter with the local house prices on it so it’s now easy for that person to answer their questions.
What would the next logical question be? ‘Should I fix up the kitchen or the garden?’ That wise estate agent would know this is the next logical question and so at the bottom of the newsletter they’d put ‘Would you like our free guide to how to maximise your property value and let you know whether extra work really makes a difference? Call our free-recorded message on xxx and leave your name and address and we’ll send it to you.’
Is there any reason they wouldn’t do that? They don’t even need to speak to a person. A couple of days later the guide would appear in the post and answer their question. But it would also prompt the next logical thought or question. ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody just wanted to buy.’
At the end of the information it would say ‘Would you like to join our Silent Sale? We know our buyers extremely well and we have a number who are looking for
Not every house will say ‘yes’ to that but some will and some houses will sell. At no point was there ever any friction. The estate agent simply needed to understand their ideal customer extremely well and put in place simple systems to walk them along a carefully orchestrated path where the only logical conclusion was to do business with them.
And even if the house didn’t sell that way, when it did come to selling which estate agent would they choose? The options would be the one that made you fill out a form giving your name, address, when you wanted to move, where you wanted to move and a hundred other details before talking to you or the one that made it all so simple?
A little preplanning can transform your business and mean you never need to worry about your advertising or be nervous about how to sell your products or services again.
But the best part is this: 90% can be automated so once you have it up and running you’ll have perfect customers delivered to your door without any effort and you’ll know that your adverts will make you money before you even publish them.
The first steps in trying this type of advertising can be challenging as owners are often too closely involved in their own business to be able to see it from the outside and a fresh perspective helps so I’ve put together a 30 second checklist of what to look for in your own advertising.
Download it now from and then look at one of your most recent adverts.
If you were your ideal customer would it be compelling to you? Not compelling as in ‘that’s interesting’ but compelling as in car-crash, can’t take your eyes away from it compelling?
Go through the 30 second checklist to discover how to make it compelling so that your ideal customer calls you when they read it. Download it now and make the start to quickly and easily attracting new clients into your business.
If you want more advice on how to rapidly grow your business connect with me at [+ [email protected]+] especially if you have questions about how to take the first steps in changing how you attract new clients into your business.
I also hold regular webinars where I explain in more detail how to start experimenting successfully with this way of advertising and I’m happy to answer questions during the sessions. You can find more details at
Do you ever find you 'hope' your advertising will work before you publish it? Attracting new clients into a local business can be very expensive if you get it wrong. In this short guide you will discover why traditional adverts in newspapers, magazines and even online fail to make your phone ring. It will also show you the exact steps you need to take to change your adverts so you can start to rapidly attract new clients through your doors. And not just any clients but exactly the ones you love to work with. All of the strategies and tactics are simple to put into action and can be used by any business and will usually reduce your advertising costs whilst simultaneously increasing your sales. The book also includes a simple checklist for you to follow as well as extra free training if you want to take your ideas further.