Marketing Strategist - Copywriter - Business Growth Coach

How to Write Ads That Sell

In my blog post “What is good advertising” I explained what the underlying philosophy or driving motivation should be for small businesses, as it relates to advertising.

It isn’t anything ground-breaking or revolutionary, but many small business owners have been brain washed by college theory and flawed advice meant for mega corporations in this area so I wanted to set the record straight.

With that understanding of the goal of advertising…

This is a simple formula to help you know WHAT TO SAY in your ad, or what your marketing message should be…

  1. Provide a USP.

The term USP or “Unique Selling Proposition” simply means:

  • to provide or showcase a unique benefit
  • a unique problem presented by current solutions or lack thereof
  • a unique solution to an old problem…
  • or unique positioning of your product, service, or business

How do you do this?

Define their core problem, need or want. What keeps them up worrying at night? What do they really want, or need relief from?

After you find out what that is, you create a benefit statement, or way to describe their problem that telegraphs to them you intimately understand their pain.

Being in a market with lots of competition as if often the case, you may not provide a different solution necessarily, but maybe you present the same benefit or problem differently than your competitors.

Possibly in a way your prospect hasn’t seen before and puts their problem or your solution in a different light.

Many marketers focus on generic offers and benefit claims such as: “lose weight fast”, or “Lowest prices in town”…

We’ve all heard these claims before and they are too common.

Instead, it is better to say something like “lose 12-18 lbs. in 30 days without any crazy, fad diets.” or “Lose 3 inches or more of stubborn belly fat in 90 days or less, without a gym membership”.

In the Chiropractic or physical therapy profession, a standard ad may say “Get relief from back pain”.

A better way may be “Get lasting relief from sciatica pain in as little as 3 visits”

An ad for a dentist may say “We help you have a healthier, brighter smile”

A better way: “Up to 7 shades whiter in as little as 1 hour with our laser whitening treatment”

An ad for an auto repair shop may say “We only use the highest quality brake pads”

A better way: “We only use ultra-premium, thermal quiet brake pads, guaranteed not to squeak or squeal for 2 years /24,000 miles or we’ll fix/replace them at no charge”

A restaurant ad may say: “We serve authentic Italian food”

A better way: “Delicious, authentic Italian food prepared in-house with fresh ingredients from local farms. We never use canned sauces.”

  1. Present your solution in a way that is unique from the competition.

These days it is hard to find a market that is not riddled with competition.

In many cases, the same or very similar solutions are being offered and it makes it hard to stand out in the crowd when everyone is fishing from the same pond.

One way to stand out from your competitors is to tell your unique story on how your solution came to be — along with how you are able to provide the unique benefits your solution offers when compared to your competition.

Thousands of people decide to start a new business every year, but not everyone has a compelling reason why.

Some people may have gotten into the industry because it was the family business they inherited and felt they had no real choice.

Some may have started businesses after getting fired because they stood up to their boss or “corporate”, because they wouldn’t violate strongly held principle or value… and that principle is what they built their business on.

But what if you started an auto repair shop because you worked at a dealership where you knew management was ripping customers off…

What if they had built an unethical rewards program that virtually forced the staff to over-sell services the customers really didn’t need and you just had enough!

Seeing single moms and honest, hard -working people get taken advantage of day after day while the company profited hand over fist, instilled in you a deep desire to serve people with honesty and integrity.

That could be a very compelling emotional bond you form with potential customers before they’ve even met you.

It’s a way to get them to buy into you without having them feel like they are on the receiving end of a sales pitch.

  1. Give them proof you can solve their problem or supply what they deeply want.

Keep in mind that as a general rule of thumb, the bigger the promise or claims you make, the more proof you will need to eliminate the customers’ deeply held skepticism and build trust.

NOTE: This is the most critical part!

The more proof you can provide, the more trust and belief you build into your claims and it makes everything else you say more believable.

Whenever possible provide statistics, testimonials (video testimonials work really well), info-graphics from research articles, polls from well-known newspapers/magazines/trade journals, cite medical journals/experts in your field, case studies, demonstration or explainer videos, before and after photos etc… to build your case.

Getting people who are marketed to every day with scams, and hype to believe you is like winning in a courtroom.

You have to present a preponderance of proof to win their belief, otherwise… the verdict will be NO SALE.

  1. Make a great offer that makes it easy for them to say yes

Don’t commit one of the most common marketing crimes, by making it hard to do business with you. Especially for first time customers.

Do whatever you can to take all or most of the risk upon yourself, and give them the most advantageous proposition you can, and terms that are generous.

Stick to this motto as much as you can: “Make it easy to order, pay, and be on their way.”

Many marketers have tunnel vision and think a great offer has to be a huge discount or “freebie” offer.

I won’t deny that these can be very effective, and I do use them at times… but in the hands of the unskilled, they can create more problems than they are worth.

Always remember this rule: “How you get them, it how you keep them”.

When it comes to marketing… if you are known for heavy discounts and free offers, you will attract people who are coupon collectors and never expect to pay your full price.

They will generally be of lower quality, and complain more.

Doesn’t make them bad people, just not good to build your business around.

When I do free or heavily discounted offers, I always make it clear that only my target market can take advantage of them (not just anyone with a pulse).

I also put them through a few hoops so they prove that they really want this offer, and are not just looking for something free.

For example, I once had a hair salon client who offered a free haircut to all men and women in the area. A great deal.

However, the stipulations were:

  • They HAD to make an appointment. Absolutely no unscheduled walk-ins.
  • They had to provide us with their up-to-date contact information: name, address, phone number, and email address
  • They had to sign a document that they were agreeing to allow us to contact them regarding future offers/promotions from the business.

If they refused to sign, no free haircut.

This is a low-profile way to add perceived value to a free offer – by putting restrictions on who can use it and making a precise way on how they redeem it.

The people who agree to this, were generally people who were looking for a new salon or open to change.

A freebie seeker would typically balk at being required to provide their contact info and signing anything authorizing us to contact them continually about new offers.

That would indicate some level of commitment on their end, so it helped to weed them out.

Summarize your offer by stacking on all the benefits they will receive when they say yes, and how their life will be improved.

What will they gain by coming in for a chiropractic evaluation or treatment?

How will treatment with you improve their life?

Lay it out in thorough detail.

Pain relief is a benefit, but what does that look like tomorrow?

  • Increased mobility to keep up with the kids…
  • Bending over without fear of sudden pain…
  • The ability to sit for longer periods of time at a work desk without discomfort or taking pain killers/drugs, etc…
  • Better sleep at night because you won’t be woken up in pain every time you move into a certain position.

You need to state your offer in a way that is compelling and appealing.

“Call today to book your appointment for an exam”

Is very different from…

“Call today to book your appointment for a painless muscular-skeletal thermal imaging scan, Spinal X-Ray, posture evaluation, and diagnostic report. Let us help you chart your path towards becoming pain-free today.”

If you can follow this structure for the foundation of your ad campaign, you will greatly increase your chances of creating a wildly successful ad.

No, every ad won’t be successful.

But the good news is,  even when you miss you’ll find you lose way less money than you did when you were imitating your clueless competitors and the big corporate marketers who have more money than sense.

For more details on how to do this right, and build an entire system that funnels customers, clients, patients and sales leads in like clockwork…

Download my FREE REPORT: “Customers On Demand” here: BusinessBuildingTechnician.com


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