If you have ever been stuck for a way of writing an advert you may well have looked on a social media site such as Pinterest or picked up one of the many books there are on how to be more creative.
The headlines and book titles that you might discover in such a search can be very varied. Here are four: the first two from Pinterest; the last two being books I bought while browsing in art gallery shops.
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be
The Book of Doing
Everyone is Creative
Do / Disrupt
Which raises the question: are there really so many different ways of being better at writing advertisements? Or is it all just advertising flimflam expanded into a series of books written by people with nothing better to do than write a book?
I am a great believer that most people can do most things – all that holds most people back is inclination. Of course, I am not including becoming an Olympic champion or Poet Laureate but generally it is not natural ability that stops us, but quite simply belief and life.
Other things get in the way, there is not enough time to get everything done, we feel we can’t do it, and ultimately the drive to change what one does is just not strong enough.
And there’s nothing unusual about this. There are hundreds of things I’d love to do – some of which are quite simple – but I don’t. I’d love to be much tidier than I am. I’d love to remember the names of all the people I am introduced to, but I don’t make the effort.
But one thing I do know is that given a bit of time and effort, I could achieve these desires. Likewise, most advertisements can be changed so that they give a higher response rate. And most people can create such advertisements, given enough time.
So here is my list of how it can be done:
1: You need to believe it is possible. If you are firmly fixed in the belief that if teachers want a product they will buy it, and all the clever advertising in the world won’t make any difference, then there’s nothing you can do. You can’t disprove something you firmly believe. So, if you want to get more sales, you need to believe it is possible.
2: You need to be ready to experiment. You need to clear from your mind the way you have been advertising in the past and be prepared to try various other approaches.
3: You need to accept that failures don’t matter. If you believe that by sending out one email that doesn’t work you will have destroyed your business, then again, there’s not much you can do. But if you accept that an email that doesn’t work is just an email that doesn’t work, and not something that will harm your reputation for ever more, then you can experiment.
4: You need to be willing to do what no one else does. This doesn’t mean that there is no limit to the strangeness of the adverts to be sent out, but rather that what other people do, and what actually works best, may not be the same thing.
5: Finally, you need to abandon common sense. Common sense says that no one will read through all of my emails – many of which are between 500 and 800 words long. In that regard common sense is right. But the fact is that my emails are written so that most people can skim them. And then if interested, phone. Or read the next advert more thoroughly.
Of course there is more to it than this, but those points are good starters. If you ever feel that you would like to refresh your advertising or change it around in some way, simply send in a copy of your advertisement to Stephen@schools.co.uk and we’ll be pleased to take a look and offer suggestions. There’s no charge.
If you would like to talk through how we can take things further forward please do call 01604 880 927.
But if neither of these options appeal, there is a third. You can read my book on the subject, which is much more exciting than everyone else’s books about writing better adverts. You can read about it here.