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How Do I Advertise My Business?

Advertising begins with one critical step that most people forget to perform. But before I get to that... here's how most companies advertise, and here's why it doesn't work:

Most companies focus on promoting the features of their product instead of showing the value their product provides to their customers.

Their potential customers see an ad and, even though they may be impressed by the capabilities of the product, they don't understand how it fits into their lives. Product features are only valuable to the customer in the context of how they will solve their problem. If they can't see themselves using your product, they're not going to buy it. If they don't understand how it will help fulfill their goals, satisfy their desires, or allay their fears, they're not going to buy it.

So before advertising, be sure to take this critical step first:

Ask yourself, "What am I trying to accomplish with my advertisement?"

Are you trying to introduce your product to your potential customers? Are you trying to entice them to buy? Are you trying to protect profits and increase margin? Or are you trying to remind their customers why they love and buy from you?

These are four different messages and should normally not be mingled. Pick one, and then ask yourself the following two questions:

  1. What are your customers deepest desires, greatest fears, and biggest goals in the context of your company and your products?
  2. Where do your customers go to satisfy these desires, allay these fears, and get one step closer to their goals?

Knowing the answer to these two questions will give you a sense for whether you should advertise on Facebook, Twitter, a billboard, in a newspaper, or some other medium.

With these two things in mind (what you want to accomplish, and where your customers are congregating to solve their problems), you can begin building your ad.

Again, don't fall back on showing product features.

Instead, tell your customer a story. Show them how your product fits in their lives. Evoke emotion. Help them imagine themselves using it and being happier, more productive, better versions of themselves.

I'll leave you with these final thoughts: