Business owners and Solopreneur consultants typically maintain memberships in professional and business organizations and those organizations invariably publish a newsletter. Organization members are encouraged to advertise their wares in the publication. What should you do?
The answer is to confirm your budget after checking out the rate card and jump on it if you’re able. Consider the advertising opportunity as an extension of the content marketing that you produce. If you do not write a blog or newsletter, then advertising is your content marketing and you must make the most of it.
First, consider who will see the ad. If potential clients are members of the organization, then you definitely want to advertise in the newsletter and if available, the organization directory as well. There is also a second audience for your advertisement and that is the organization big shots.
Placing ads in the newsletter and/or directory of the right organization will cause the big shots to look upon you more favorably. They will likely reward you with valuable opportunities for exposure. In exchange for your ad, you can expect to be invited to moderate or speak on a panel, or receive some other showcasing opportunity. You may even be nominated to become an organization big shot yourself. It’s a political thing and if you can scrape together the budget, you are advised to join in.
Frame your approach to the ad in terms of content marketing, that ubiquitous new term for advertising copy. Content marketer and ex-advertising executive Barry Feldman says that first, determine what potential clients need to know about where and how your services fit into their business needs and then decide what action you want them to take on the road to hiring you to solve those needs. Those pillars shape your ad copy, I.e, your content marketing message.
Your content must be compelling, communicating your brand narrative and providing information that matters to prospective clients, even if the audience consists primarily of your peers, rather than prospects. Peer organization big shots can become good referral sources, so take the time to produce persuasive content.
Because life has become a barrage of marketing messages emanating from various media, create content that makes your ad pop. Spotlight two or three products or services only, so that potential clients and referrers will not become confused about what you do. Hire a graphic artist to design a sleek and eye-catching ad.
Be authoritative, never arrogant, and perhaps also a tad provocative, as you concisely describe the challenges that cause clients to hire you and the unfailingly excellent results that you deliver. Weave in terminology that clients use, so that your content will resonate. Remember the call to action, to inspire prospects to contact you when in need of your kind of products or services.
After interested parties read your ad and decide they would like more info, what do they do? Your ad must tell them. Do they email or call, or do they go to your website to fill out a short questionnaire and wait for your response?
Generating prospective client follow-up, also known as in-bound marketing, entices prospects to commit to evaluating the fit between your services and their needs. Most ad viewers won’t take the plunge but if even one does, you will be on the road to good ROI for ad dollars spent. If you get invited to meet with your prospect, you will be 85% of the way to a contract.
As I’ve said before, social media gets all the headlines, but tried and true forms of advertising are still able to deliver results. Advertisers must approach ad copy as content marketing now and aim to teach as much as sell. From the 1960s Mad Men era to the new millennium, if you tell the story in a way that grabs prospective clients, you will get the sale.
Thanks for reading,