Advertising - For Small Businesses (Part 2)

How to do it

People skim through newspapers and magazines and they aren't necessarily looking for information on products or services (unless they're reading the classifieds) It's therefore absolutely vital that your advertisement grabs their attention and encourages them to read more. Many ads are designed merely to create awareness of a product or service, however, small to medium size businesses need a result.

Use words that attract attention in your headline - The two most powerful words in a headline are - YOU and FREE. Other great headline words are - How to - New - The Secrets of - Amazing - Breakthrough - Announcing - Discover - Protect - Facts you - At last

Don't worry too much about a photograph or a graphic - A good headline is what you need to grab attention and differentiate you from your competitors. There are several ads in my local paper for plumbers. All but one has the name of the plumbing business at the top of the ad - "Fred Smith Plumbers." One of the ads has "DYNAMIC PLUMBERS" at the top of the ad. I had to read more to find out what made this plumbing service "DYNAMIC." To me - one plumber is much like another; however, this one grabbed my interest.

Offer something free - A sample - an hour of your time - information - a drink - a coffee - some food - a place for children to play - a book - an audio or video tape. Offer something that has a high perceived value for the customer but a low cost for you. Remember - you want them to respond to your ad, not your competitors.

Use simple language - Get to your point FAST - remember, people will only spend a few seconds looking at your ad, so don't beat around the bush.

Offer benefits - Tell the customer how your product or service benefits them or solves their problems. Don't start sentences with - "We do ??." start with - "You will ??."

No jargon - Watch out for abbreviations, jargon, buzz words and technical information. You might understand the language but does the customer?

Don't be boring - Don't use words like -"Quality service" (What does that mean?) - "Established in 1862" (Who cares) - "We provide an individual service" (Doesn't everybody?) Look at what some of your competitors say in their advertising and do something different.

Touch the emotions - Make your ad look and sound human, warm and friendly. Perhaps put a name in - "Call Jim now for a FREE quotation."

Use testimonials - Put in the names of people and businesses that you've worked with and what they said (with their permission of course)

Call for action - Your advertisement must prompt people to do something. You must ask them to phone you - come and see you - ask you to see them or place an order - NOW! Make it as easy as possible for them to do that - a free phone number - a freepost address - a simple tear-off coupon to complete - something free or any other incentive for them to take action NOW!

Discover how you can generate more business without having to cold call! Alan Fairweather is the author of "How to get More Sales without Selling" This book is packed with practical things that you can do to ? get customers to come to you . Click here now http://www.howtogetmoresales.com

In The News:

Small business is big business in SC  Charleston Regional Business
Small Business Hiring Slows  The Wall Street Journal

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