Friday, February 3, 2023



You should let the world know you are out there.

This is where a lot of small business owners get it wrong. They do not know how to advertise their businesses properly.

some of the reasons why people advertise:

To Get Instant Results: Sales, Prospects, Contacts etc: That is called direct response advertising

To Create Visibility and Mind Share: Some businesses advertise to gain a mind share so people always have them in mind and when they need a product like theirs, they would come to them.

Because Everyone Advertises So They Have To: Some people don’t even have an idea why they are advertising. Such people are not meant to be in business. They are better off getting jobs.

Because Their Competitors Are Advertising: Some business owners do not have focus. They do everything the competition is doing. They advertise only because their competitors are advertising.

To Feel Really Cool With Themselves: Some people actually advertise their businesses just to feel cool with themselves.

You have to decide on your own motive. Why do you want to advertise? Your reason for advertising will determine the kind of advertising you will put out there.

The kind of TV or radio or Internet advert you will put out there when you are looking for instant responses is different from what you will put out there if you just want visibility.

What should be your motive for advertising? There is no motive that is better than the other. It’s a matter of choice.

My advice to any small business owner is to advertise just to get instant responses. 

They should focus solely on advertising just to get instant response. Direct response, measurable advertising is what they should do. Any branding that comes up along the way should just be a bonus and not what they spent money on.

I want you to determine the future of your business with your own hands and brains.

If you have a thousand Naira to spend on adverts, make sure you run adverts that will bring at least N1,100.00 in returns. Anything other than that, you have failed.

I see lots of young entrepreneurs running around looking for investors. I don’t think your focus should be on looking for investors. Look for customers. Make money from customers. Investors will find you later.

As a small business owner, stick to only one thing. Run only adverts that will bring instant returns.

So how do you go about creating direct response advertising?

The SEVEN COMMANDMENTS of direct response marketing.

1. You must arrest attention

2. You must make an offer

3. You must make a call to action

4. You must create a sense of urgency

5. You must track/test

6. You must establish credibility

7. You must take the risk away from the customers

Commandment 1: You Must Arrest Attention

You must arrest attention with your advertising. The reason is because if your advert does not attract attention, no one would notice it. It will be as good as dead.

If you are running print adverts like newspapers and billboards, the best way to attract attention is to have a very powerful headline.

Legendary direct response copywriter Ted Nicholas suggests that you should spend 80% of your time writing the perfect headline.

If it is a radio advert or a TV advert, or a video advert for the Internet, your first statement is your weapon.

Do something from the first second.

Commandment 2: You Must Make An Offer

If you want people to respond to your advertising immediately, you have to make them an offer.

Commandment 3: You Must Make A Call To Action

Most people want to be told what to do. Don’t just assume they know what to do.

In all your advertising, you must tell what you want your prospects to do.

Commandment 4: You Must Create A Sense of Urgency

Later is not good for a direct response advert. No. We want now. The way to make people order right now, is to create a sense of urgency.

One way is to create a deadline. Set a date when your offer will expire.

Commandment 5: You Must Track/Test

It is extremely important to track and test your adverts.

Tracking your adverts simply means finding out which of your advertising is working and which one is not.

That way, you will be able to put most of your advertising budget into what works.

This should be your guiding principle. You are running different adverts using fliers, radio, TV etc. Which one is bringing in the sales? Put money on that. It is important to track.

Do not make the mistake of thinking you know the best adverts for your market. You do not know. Only your results will determine what is good.

Let the results you receive from every advert determine what is working or what is not working.

Once you see which offer is bringing in the customers, concentrate on it. That is smart marketing.

Commandment 6: You Must Establish Credibility

You are just a small business owner coming through the ranks, why should people believe you?

People want to deal with credible people only.

You must show people that you are credible as well. You must establish credibility.

Here are some ideas for you:


Get some people to use your products and get a honest feedback from them. Use the negative opinions to work on your products and use the positive ones in your marketing.

If such people permit, you can use their names, pictures and contacts in the testimonies. You can even have a recorded video testimonial. It works. It works in all kinds of businesses.

Recommendations from experts:

Get an expert to endorse your product for you. It works.

People will say if this person can endorse this, then I’m safe buying it.

Statistics from Surveys:

Carry out a survey about your products and brag about the results. Results in percentages work best.

Get people to answer questions about your products. If you have some customers already, ask them questions.

Commandment 7: You Must Take The Risk Away From The Potential Customer

People are afraid of making bad buying decisions. That is where you come in as a smart marketer. You must find a way to put their mind at rest.

The way to do is to offer your customers a guarantee. A guarantee that they are safe if they do not like the product.

How many times have you ever asked for a refund? You have made many purchases that came with guarantees but how many have you ever taken up? Most people do not. Do not be afraid to offer it. 

There are different kinds of guarantees. What you are selling will determine the kind of guarantee you will offer. 

Let’s look at three kinds of guarantees. They are the most common and effective.

Money Back Guarantee

It works all the time but I am the first to agree that you cannot use it for all products.

This guarantee, as the name implies means that if a customer is dissatisfied with your product or service, they can return it for a full refund of the amount they paid.

I agree there will be people that will try to take advantage of you. Of course there will always be rogues. But you know what? The sales your money bank guarantee will help you make will more than make up for the losses incurred by those thieves.

To use the money back guarantee technique, make sure you sell only top quality products.

Product Change Guarantee

This is another form of guarantee you can offer in your advertising. This time, you are not risking any money. You are only offering to change the product your customers are not satisfied with. You can offer them another product of the same financial value.

Service Guarantee

In some cases, service guarantees can come in handy. Free servicing for three months can work for car dealers.

How Long Should A Guarantee Last?

As a general principle, I have found that longer guarantee works better for me. When I offer guarantees for a week, my responses are not as powerful as when I offer guarantees that last for a year. I have had great results with lifetime guarantees as well.

There are some forms of advertising that will not give you the room to fit in all these features.

In a case like this, you should stick with just three commandments. The commandments are:
You must arrest attention
You must make an offer
You must make a call to action

You must arrest attention: For this all you need is a short headline. You have very limited space so you cannot write long headlines.

You must make an offer: Then you come up with an offer. A one sentence offer is the best and it must be a free offer. You don’t have enough space to convince them to buy so your best bet is to make a free offer.

You must make a call to action: get them to act now. Tell them what you want them to do. For a small advert, the best is to get them to show interest so you can follow up on them.

How To Choose The Best Places To Advertise Your Business

Before you choose the media, you must ask yourself what message are you trying to pass across? It is only after you have determined the message you want to put out, that you now decide on the best form of media that to convey
your message.

What you should do is come up with a message first, then decide on the media. What you are selling and what you want to say about it should come first and not the media.

Choosing The Right Media

Go to where your audience is. It is not about a particular newspaper or a particular blog. It is about the message and your target audience. It is not about the fliers.

When next you share your fliers, please take them to those that will likely be interested in them. You will be saving a lot of money that way.

Here are two rules about marketing with fliers:

DO NOT share your fliers on the streets to everyone. Give fliers only to your TARGET MARKET.

If you can, give your fliers to people at places where you can follow up on.

Chapter Three | Chapter Five

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Disclaimer -  Misrepresentation of the author's perspective is unintentional. Contents of this post and all other post in the "Summary Attempt" series (and all posts by other authors) are in no way intended to be an infringement on the rights/copyrights of the author/publisher/representative. Neither are they provided as a substitute to the book(s)/resource(s) but an invitation to buy the books wherever they are sold. Liability for this blogpost or any other information (or the use of such information) provided on this blog is not accepted from any source.

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