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Vol. 1 issue #100  Mar 3, 2004


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2003 By  Charlie Cook


Advertising can be one of the fastest ways to market and grow your business or it can be one of the quickest ways to go out of business. With the right ad you can attract clients to your business and increase your profits. With the wrong ad you can spend your way into bankruptcy.

To grow your business you need to attract the attention of your prospects, advertising can help you do so if used correctly. Unfortunately, many small businesses owners waste thousands of dollars on advertising efforts that only achieve minimal results.

If you want to get the most from the money you spend to promote your products and services, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

400% MORE


Focusing on Your Products and Services
If you want to get the attention of your prospects, speak
to their needs and wants. Your prospects'
primary concern isn't that you've been in business for 25 years; it is do you know the problem they want to solve. Use your ad to identify at least one common problem of your prospects and the benefit of using your product or service.

Having a Weak Marketing Message
All to often you hear ads and it takes some thought to figure out what they are even promoting. Make sure your advertisement includes a 7-10 word description of whom you serve and the problems you solve so people who read or hear your ad know how you can help them.

Using the Wrong Words
A word here, a phrase there can change your response
rate by hundreds of percent. When you spend money on
advertising, first test  a number of versions of your
copy to identify the one that works best. Just by
revising her ad copy so it was client and problem
centered, I helped one small business owner achieve
her best month in sales ever.


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Missing Motivation
Most ads miss the mark in moving prospects to action.
If you want to prompt prospects to visit your web site
or your store or to contact you, include an offer that
motivates them to do so.

Lacking in Frequency
Some people make spur of the moment buying decisions,
but most need to become familiar with your services
and products, and this takes time. If you want your
advertising to work, you need to ensure that your
prospects see or hear it regularly.

Web Sites that Don't Move Prospects to Action
Many small business owners direct prospects to a web
site where they have more extensive content covering
available services and products. I constantly get
calls from people who have been successful at
attracting prospects to their web site, but generate
few sales.


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Once prospects get to your web site make sure the
content and visual organization moves them to take
the action you want them to. Whether it is providing
them with ample opportunities to fill in your service
inquiry form, or including a subset of your product
catalog in your web page navigation bars, help
prospects move to client and customer status.

Lack of Follow Up
Sometimes making a sale requires sending a note or
picking up the phone and calling your prospects. If
you have an effective lead generation strategy,
prospects will provide you with their contact
information and the problem they want solved. Use the
web, email, and the phone to follow up and close the

Lack of Tracking
If you are making more from your advertising than you
are spending, you're ahead. Frequently small business
owners can't tell you which of their efforts helped
bring in the business. Track each of your ad campaigns
and you'll know where to spend your money in the
future, what to modify and what to eliminate.

- Do you know how many sales and how much money you
made as a result of each of your advertising campaigns?

- Are you making any of the above common marketing

- What elements of your marketing should you change?

Put your marketing house in order. Fix your strategy
and your materials. If you don't know what to change
or how to change it, use experts to help you with
strategy, copyrighting, design, PR, and media placement. 

Avoid these common marketing mistakes and you'll find
ore people contacting you about your products and
services and that your making more than your spending
on your advertising.

The author, Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals
and small business owners attract more clients and be
more successful. Sign up to receive the F*ree Marketing
Guide and the 'More Business' newsletter, full of
practical tips you can use at http://www.charliecook.net
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