The importance of being earnest…enough to advertise
Most dictionaries would probably define “earnest” as “serious in effort” or “sincerely passionate.” If someone is earnest in what he or she is doing, they put their full heart, body, and soul into it. Which is why, if you’re trying to motivate people to take a specific action, it’s important to tell them.
I felt like I needed to post a short reminder about the importance of advertising, following a conversation I had with a political candidate over the weekend.
If you have a great message and no one hears it…does it make a sound? I’ve written about the subject before, but if you missed that previous post, my main point is, if you want others to know what you’re doing – you have to let them know.
That should be obvious, but unfortunately, it’s not always so.
Political season gears up
Over the weekend, I had a wonderful opportunity to chat with a political candidate during a meet-and-greet sponsored at the business of one of my clients. She was in the early stages of the campaign - just starting to reach out and let folks know who she is and what she stands for – but was very well-spoken, friendly, and knowledgeable.
The attendees and I talked with her about what she believed, what she thought she could accomplish, and why she was running. Each time she was asked a question, she responded with a direct answer and was unapologetic for her beliefs.
I was surprised that a person this comfortable with public speaking had not run for office before.
And then she told me…she had.
You ran for what? When??
I was shocked to learn she had run for another political office a mere three years ago. I stay pretty well-informed about our government and political issues, so it came as quite a surprise that she had run a campaign for an election that featured at least two other candidates – and although I remembered both of their names, hers did not ring a bell at all.
I told her I apologized for not remembering her, and half-joked about the importance of advertising…but the fact is, it’s not even close to a joke.
Of course, campaign fund-raising is important, and it can be very difficult to do any kind of promotion without a significant budget these days. Campaigns have to deal with a lot of quirks that normal businesses do not, such as having to raise vast amounts of cash in a short time for the express purpose of advertising; having to pay radio, TV, and newspapers in advance, before any advertisements or commercials can run; and trying to grow as quickly as possible, rather than being able to take a longer, more measured approach.
But the fact is, you won’t get the results you’re looking for – whether it’s an increase in widget sales, customer volume, or an election win – unless you advertise.
If you’re not advertising, you’re keeping it a secret.
How do you plan to let potential customers or constituents know what you can do for them? How do you plan to showcase services, products, benefits?
If you’re not budgeting for it, how do you expect to get the word out?
Next time you’re reading the local newspaper, try this: search through the pages quickly and make a mental note of what types of ads you saw. Then flip through it again and pay attention to all the ads, and see if any new ones pop out at you. Finally, flip through it a third time and scan each and every page until you find an advertisement you didn’t notice the first two times.
Then ask yourself, how many people who weren’t diligently scanning the paper missed that ad? How many people do you think actually saw it and were moved to action? Was it money well-spent?
It’s not about money; well, ok, it is
Yes, money helps buy commercials and advertisements…but actual “advertising” is more than that. It’s word-of-mouth, it’s meet-and-greets, it’s press releases, it’s phone calls with news directors and show producers, it’s talking to everyone and anyone who’ll lend an ear.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to help businesses spread their message and grow, and I know for a fact that if they weren’t online, on the radio, or on social media, they wouldn’t be where they are now. Money will buy you the number of ads you’ll need, but the real value is in the message itself – what it says about you or your business, how it portrays you, and how your business can help the people you’re trying to reach out to.
So don’t let that message go unheard or unseen. Advertise.
The people who hear about you today will become your customers – or, in some cases, your constituents – tomorrow.
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