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Debt Business Attitude and Advertising

May 26, 2008
Maintain an attitude of understanding and a sincere desire to help them out of their current 'tight spot'. Don't let them get going on a deprecatory tangent, either. Should they start down that path, simply tell them, 'These things happen to everyone, and what's done is done; the important thing now is working out the solution to the problem'.

As mentioned earlier, your only real investment to set yourself up in this business will be for advertising. Even that does not have to be a 'saved up' cash outlay. You can start off by planning to run a two-column wide by three-inch deep advertisement in your most read area newspaper. Check with the newspaper office to get the best price on a bulk space contract.

Under this kind of agreement, you sign to pay for a certain minimum number of column inches for the next year, and as a result, your rates are considerably lower than those paid by the infrequent advertiser. Best of all, the newspaper will bill you after the ad has run, and allow you 30 days from the date of your billing to pay.

You should plan to run an ad in the newspaper for at least three days a week, especially in the Sunday editions, every week. You might also want to run the same ad in several of your weekly Shoppers Newspapers.

Definitely have a flyer made up describing your services. About once a month, hire 7th or 8th grade school children to hand these out for you in the busy shopping centers. Another good place to hand them out is at the entrances to your state's employment service offices.

Small 3 by 5 announcement cards or descriptive business cards on all the bulletin boards in the area will also pull in business. Finally - and most importantly - just as soon as you can afford it, an advertisement and listing in the yellow pages of your telephone directory should be bought. Telephone directories come out on a regular (usually annual) schedule, so check ahead, and anticipate cost and date you may expect results.

A good place to check for help in writing your advertising is your area colleges. The students will generally help you in exchange for the opportunity to build a portfolio. There's never a need to pay the 'out-of-sight' high prices demanded for professional copywriting and advertising design by some agencies, even if you have the money. All finished ads are unproven, and you have no guarantee that one is better than another until you begin testing or using it.

The important element is that your ad says what you want it to say - that is looks good and makes you feel that it will appeal to your potential customers - that it instils a confidence within you that it will bring in the customers. Use the 'AIDA' formula: ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, and ACTION!

An attention-grabbing headline (or first line) - a line or paragraph that definitely appeals to or arouses the self-interest of your potential customer; a 'hooker', or image-building description that causes the prospect to picture how much better his life will be as a result of availing himself of your services; a line that relieves the prospect's fear of making the wrong decision (such as 'Satisfaction Guaranteed'); and a demand that he take immediate action such as 'Call Now!' Do not approve, and do not run any ad that does not contain all these ingredients.

Here's an example of an ad that should work very well for you:

Are Bill Collectors Hounding You?
Now there's a way to stop those dunning letters and embarrassing phone calls. Get out of debt completely - without bankruptcy! Preserve your good credit rating; maintain your present lifestyle; worry no more about bill collectors! Just an hour or so of your time, and your money problems can be solved! Your satisfaction is guaranteed! Phone 123-4567 right now for an appointment.
Nationwide Credit Counselors
123 Tenth St.
City, State.

A classified ad might read:

Solve all your money problems with this easy and
completely legal solution. 100% guaranteed
anywhere in the U.S. Call Consumer Credit
Solutions at 123-4567.

At the same time your newspaper ads begin to appear, be sure to get a press release about your business to the business editors and consumer advocates at all the newspapers, radio and television stations in your area.
About the Author
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.

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