How I got into the advertising business.
I’m not a graphic artist. Oh No. In fact, over the years, I’ve had plenty of fights with artists who don’t understand advertising.
They think the ad or web site has to be “eye-appealing”.
I say “No, the ad has to appeal to the buyers’ self-interest.”
I got into the advertising business back in the 1980’s. At the time, I owned several retail leather stores. I knew in my gut that I “had to advertise”… but for the life of me, I did not know what to say in those ads.
In fact, I still remember how I had to go on a long walks… when I knew the sales rep from the newspaper or the radio station was due to show up at my store to make an advertising contract with me. I went on walks to argue with myself about whether or not to spend the money.
I knew I had to spend the money (some $5,000 a month-which was a big deal for me in the 80’s) but for the life of me, I felt I was going to “waste” my money because I did not know what to do or say in my ads.
One thing led to another and I began reading every advertising and marketing book I could find from the library or the bookstore.
I also called on a couple of so-called “ad agencies” to see if they could help me. Here is what they told me: “Mr. Austin, if you spend enough money in advertising, we will help you spend it.”
Not what I wanted to hear.
After reading many advertising books, and after selling my retail businesses… and after getting a divorce in which she got the equity in the business and the 5 houses we owned … I got a 5-gallon bucket of pennies… and my old beat-up pickup truck and my mind… I won… I used those pennies to buy some business cards that said I was an “ad agency”.
I passed out the business cards and lo and behold someone believed me and hired me to make their ads.
Then, my education really began.
I got $100 to create my first ad. I was thrilled. I worked my ass off to make that ad. There must have been 1,000 words in that ad (selling audio-visual equipment).
My real breakthrough into understanding HOW TO MAKE ADVERTISING THAT SELLS… is when one of my new clients put Clyde Bedell’s advertising book in my hands. Oh My God… Bedell’s book had all the insights I had been seeking for years.
From what I learned from Bedell I became one of the top advertising writers in the country. I went from charging $100 to write an ad to $1,000 to write an ad. Almost overnight. In the 80’s that was a nice chunk of change for my creative services. Later, I got more and more money for my services, because my ads worked.
I went on to write ads and direct mail packages and web sites and emails that have made millions upon millions of dollars for clients over the years.
What made the difference? Just this.
There are some things that work in advertising and some things that don’t. It takes a while to figure out which is which.
If you want some help in increasing your sales and boosting your profits using advertising and marketing methods that work, we should talk.
Here is the one BIG SECRET I’ve discovered over the years… ADVERTISING IS SALESMANSHIP MULTIPLIED BY MEDIA.
If your ad does not measurably boost sales and profits, it’s not advertising.
Call me. I’ve been doing this for years. I can help you even in these crazy economic times.
PS… don’t forget that on April 22nd … Google is going to change their ranking algorithms. If you have a web site you can pick up an added 30% to 45% in new customers just by making mobile-friendly changes to your hottest web pages (if your competitors are asleep). Call me about this. I can make those changes for as little as $1,200.