Welcome back. How would you like to get some easy and fast cash? Yes? I must be psychic. Somehow I thought you’d like the sound of that. Well stay closely tuned to what I’m about to say then, my friend…
Barring winning the lottery (which is statistically how most Americans plan to get rich) and inheriting money, there are only 3 ways to make fast and easy money that don’t involve getting arrested:
Today, I’d like to just focus on the third option. You may have heard some of this before, but I still think most people take for granted what is truly an incredible revolution that’s taking place.
The good news is that, thanks to the Internet, easy and fast money has never been more available, efficient, and affordable. Here’s why:
You can go on Google right now and place an ad, and within minutes, you’ve cast a net into a deluge of hungry fish. Don’t know how to write an ad? Keep reading! You don’t need to be one of the big boys with big budgets- on the Internet all trade is done virtually, so it’s a level playing field. The customers don’t know if they’re dealing with a conglomerate or a guy sitting in sweat pants (and as we’ll see in a second, the guy in the sweat pants does a MUCH better job…)
It used to be the case that any ad you wanted to place was on a wing and a prayer; you could never be sure if your target audience would see it or not, and how many of them would see it. You’d have to pay for the ad even if nobody bought anything from it. Now? You KNOW that your target audience is seeing the ad AND you only pay for the ad if a customer clicks on it. This is truly amazing when you think of it from the old school perspective of efficiency! What’s more, your ad is based purely on the word a prospective customer is typing into Google. If that person types in “fishing pole” and your ad is for “fishing poles”, your ad will be shown at some page in that search. It used to be the case where we just didn’t know if people wanted a certain product or not, but now the Internet tells us specifically what people are looking for by what they’re searching for. The guesswork is over.
I just explained how you only pay for the ad if somebody clicks on it, which is incredible in itself. But you can also set the amount you’d like to spend each day, and it can be as little as pennies a click.
In short, the little guy has never had such an incredible opportunity. Think back to the ‘old days’ to appreciate this. Get in my time machine and imagine me making this call in 1990 to a newspaper to place an ad:
Newspaper: “Hello, Daily Herd.”
Me: “Hello, yes… I’d like to place an ad, 2 columns wide, six inches.”
Newspaper: “Okay, that’s a thousand dollars according to rate card.”
Me: “I never pay rate card.”
Newspaper: “Ummm, well I’m sure we can give you a discount if you place a few ads. You see, it takes the customer approximately 7 times of seeing your ad before they recognize your company, and…”
Me: “I think that’s BS. Have you any solid proof of that?”
Newspaper: “Well… no… it’s just an accepted…”
Me: “I thought not. Now, I’m not only not going to pay rate card, I only want readers who are interested in my product to even see my ad.”
Newspaper: “What? That’s impossible! How can we possibly control who sees the ad!?”
Me: “Well, I want your assurance anyway. And there’s more…”
Newspaper: “Oh do please tell me. I can’t wait to hear more.” (Under his breath to a colleague: “Mandy, we’ve got a psycho on the phone…”)
Me: “Now listen my good man, I’m only going to pay for this ad if I get any customer enquiries from it, and I’ll pay you 50 cents for every enquiry. I think that’s fair, don’t you? Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter if those enquiries end up in a sale or not, I’ll still pay you the 50 cents per enquiry. Sound good…? Hello? Hello… are you still there? Did we get cut off…?? Hello?!”
That’s how lucky we are today.
Ah, I hear you say, but it all comes down to writing an ad, doesn’t it?
Yes, it does. So that’s what I’d like to talk about next, because there’s a simple formula you can use. The first thing I need to do though is banish a big myth from your brain regarding what makes a successful ad…
Understand: 99% of the ads you see on TV are AWFUL.
But how can this be? Those ads are created by top agencies on Madison Avenue, costing millions, with major corporations behind them. They win awards!
Don’t get confused between an ad that’s cute and designed to win awards because it’s cute. Ads that are cute and ads that sell product are NOT the same thing. Unlike Internet advertising, TV advertising is completely unaccountable. They really don’t know whether an ad works or not because they’re still advertising like it’s 1990. The phrase, “Advertising Budget” applies to this form of marketing because it’s unaccountable. Think about it: advertising is either profitable, or it isn’t. The concept of an advertising budget is nonsense.
On any given evening that you’re watching TV, look at the ads, and honestly say how many of them make you go out and buy that product the next day. Some ads may entertain you, they may be “very clever”, but could you even remember the product name after, let alone go and buy it?
No? Then, by definition, that was a BAD ad, regardless of what some Madison Avenue award ceremony says!
Says the ad agency in response: “Ah, but we raised the product’s brand awareness!”
Says me: “Do you have proof of that? And guess what? Brand awareness doesn’t pay the bills today!”
Last night I saw a TV ad for a new Greek yogurt from a major food conglomerate that presumably threw millions at this campaign that was run through a major ad agency. Picture the meeting between all the high-fiving hotshots: after hours of creative sessions, working late, and spending millions of the clients’ dollars, they came up with a slogan… AND they clearly thought the slogan was so hot that they’d better register the trademark, and FAST. You ready to hear it? Okay, here’s the slogan below, and I promise you I’m not making this up…
“It is so good ®”
It is so good ®. I stared at the screen in disbelief.
Are they kidding? Not even an apostrophe on the ‘s’ to sound slightly more ‘cool’? It’s so good? No, I guess a focus group somewhere in Nebraska disagreed…
Ads should not be written by a committee. Especially a committee of kids that only want to win awards. And the really sad thing is I wouldn’t be surprised if that yogurt commercial was nominated for an award. They didn’t sell any yogurt, but they won a bunch of awards. Bravo. That is so good.
Anyway, enough ranting. Here’s the magic formula for writing a good ad:
Really? That’s it? And not even a trademark?? Is it really “so good”?
Yep, that’s it. And the four words these letters stand for will change your life and put Madison Avenue to shame…
“A.I.D.A.” stands for (in order of importance): Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action…
You should tune into whatever is going on in your customer’s mind, their wants, and give it to them, only in a provoking way that really stands out. A headline. Snap them out of their apathy. For a quick and dirty example: “Yogurt’s an Ancient Greek Anti-Aging Secret?”
Now you’ve got their attention, give just a little more detail, back up your headline. For example, “Super-model Swears by Eating it Nightly!”
Now turn your attention to the customer, how it can benefit them.
“How many years will Greek Yogurt take off YOUR face?”
This part is easy- tell the customer how he can get the product or find out more information. A phone number, a website address, etc. You can also add a ‘speed premium’ here that encourages immediate action- a discount for the next 48 hours, for example. “ 2 for 1 this week only at www.GreekYogurt.com”
I’m inclined to believe that even my quick-and-dirty ad above would sell more Greek yogurt than the TV commercial I saw, but you be the judge.
When you write a Google ad, it’s no coincidence that they give you 4 lines to write on, and that the fourth line is where you put your website address. No prizes for guessing what the other 3 lines represent and in what order!
So don’t be intimidated, appreciate the magnificent opportunity, and get on Google or wherever and write an ad. Just try it. It is so good ®…