Why traditional advertising doesn’t work
The HIGH expense and LOW return of traditional advertising is what KILLS small businesses. Seeing your money go out for advertising but not seeing any results back in can not only be emotionally devastating but can cause crippling stress watching things spiral downhill and not know how to stop it. Fortunately, now you’ll know what to do about it.
Brand Advertising, the business killer
Most small business owners don’t start out as they should with enough money set aside to advertise (and everything else) for 2 to 5 years. So instead of a steady stream of advertising attracting new clients, they try things haphazard on limited budgets, or credit cards, and are inconsistent. THIS inconsistency is what the ad reps will tell you is the reason why your advertising isn’t working. RUBBISH (did I just say “rubbish”?).
Consistency is crucial in advertising, but if your ad doesn’t work once, what makes you think it’ll work after many times? Well, you could answer that it takes them a while to recognize your name and act on it. I’d also agree with that. Many advertisers will even tell you not to expect results before 6 months! (who can afford that?). We personally saw people walk past our spa over and over again, saying its name out loud, but not walking in until weeks later.
The real problem is the type of advertising you’re doing. Traditional, brand advertising, with your name up top and a list of services. Bad idea. It doesn’t work.
Branding takes decades
Huge companies like Coke and McDonalds do brand advertising. They advertise again and again and again on radio (all stations), television, print, billboards, etc. etc. etc. They have the money to waste on that type of advertising. As small business owners with limited budgets, we need results!
Instead of taking decades to establish “top of the mind awareness” to get people to call us, we need quick results. Many franchises will come in and FLOOD the airwaves with ads to establish themselves as a brand in a short period of time, but they typically have budgets of $10,000 per station per month and many of us can’t afford that. Who’s got $50k/month to put out there for half a year until we start getting the huge payoff?
The Same ol’ Same ol’
So what do we need? A UNIQUE advertising strategy that is efficient, affordable and that gets RESULTS.
STOP doing the same thing everyone else is doing.
STOP putting your name front and center.
STOP making a laundry list of services that looks IDENTICAL to everyone else’s.
START with an effective system in-house that will get clients to spend more, more often and refer you (why bring in more people when we’re not ready to handle them properly?).
START using headlines, these should be front and center. Like a newspaper, this is what will grab your prospects attention and convince them to read further.
START using testimonials, what others say about you is VERY powerful.
START giving them a reason to come to you. Your USP (unique selling proposition) should be a main part of your message. Always be thinking “what’s in it for them?”
START hooking people by using irresistible offers and unique approaches aside from traditional marketing. “Make them an offer they can’t refuse” to close the deal and get them to call.
START tracking everything you do (cost vs. return) to see if it’s worth doing again. Don’t do anything without tracking the effectiveness of it to see how it paid off.
START using deadlines to get people to take action NOW.
So to sum up, catch their interest with a headline, promote your USP, back it up with testimonials and then close it with an irresistible offer.
This type of direct response campaign will get results MUCH quicker than traditional brand advertising. Someone sees an ad, they act on it and you track it, refine it and run it again. It turns into a game of what can you change to get better results.
Plan out your year and be ready for things in advance. Forget about trying to brand your name. A steady stream of new paying clients that refer you to their friends is waiting for someone to step up to the plate and treat them right. Your name will be branded into their spa experience by you directly once you get them through your door.