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Creating TV Commercials That Move The Needle

commercials that move the needle
One of my clients spends a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money creating TV commercials.

For weeks prior to the shoot, they are busy casting, assembling wardrobes, arranging locations, fine-tuning the scripts, and coordinating with the production crew.

It’s an impressive operation.

On the day of the shoot, there are usually about 20 to 25 people on the location—about 80% of those from the production crew, and the rest are various personnel from the company.

The production crew consists of a couple of camera guys, some lighting guys, sound guys, several assorted other guys who I’m not sure what they are doing… as well as the director, a makeup lady, a woman who sits in a chair and takes notes on what’s happening, and one person who’s sole responsibility is to be in charge of the food.

It’s like being on the set of a Hollywood blockbuster. Or at least what I imagine it would be like.

We usually shoot 5 spots over the course of 3 days… then it takes another 3 to 5 days to edit those into rough drafts, which then take another 2 to 3 days to fine-tune into final spots.

The final cost: about $20,000 per spot. A hundred grand for the 5-pack, not including my fees.

And I will tell you—the spots are fantastic.

I have another client who is on the extreme opposite end of that spectrum.

After I write the spots, we usually spend about 10 minutes on the phone fine tuning them.

He usually finds a home to shoot in (of a previous customer—he’s a kitchen and bath remodeler) a couple of days before the filming date.

He normally arrives at the shoot about 10 to 45 minutes late, which is okay, because the camera “crew” of one guy is usually still trying to get the lighting set up, or rearranging the appliances on the kitchen counter.

He’ll quickly change into a company polo shirt, and sometimes there is a makeup girl there—sometimes not. If so, she spends 4 minutes making sure his head isn’t too shiny.

Then we put the script for the ad on a teleprompter app on an iPad, and he busts through the script 3 or 4 times to make sure we have a good take.

We normally go to a second house to shoot in a bathroom. Sometimes it’s the same house. Either way, we can nail 4 or 5 spots in about 6 hours, including lunch and travel time between homes.

A couple of days later, the first drafts are edited, and I usually spend a couple of hours giving feedback and fine-tuning the spots.

Total cost: About $2,500 for 4 or 5 spots. Not per spot. Total.

The spots don’t look spectacular, but they are professional and well done. They communicate the selling advantages, and make this company the obvious choice to do business with.

The real question, of course, is how do the spots work?

The answer, in both cases, is amazingly well.

Because the reality is… as long as you’re not making cheese-butt-used-car-salesman commercials, it’s the content of the ad that is the most important thing.

Consider a few things:

In my last post, I made a case that massive repetition is the master key to advertising success.

And I also said that you can start small. Start by dominating one day per week on one radio or TV station. Then 2 days. Then 3 or 4. Then do the same thing with a second, then a third station. As your budget grows, keep adding stations.

What most people fail to realize is that because you will be talking to people on a regular, consistent basis… you DO NOT have to grab them by the throat, throw them on the ground, and force-feed them your message.

The goal is not necessarily to get the phone to ring RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Instead, you should be having a conversation with each person in your audience. Talk to them a little bit today. If they ignore you or don’t happen to be watching, that’s okay. You can continue the conversation tomorrow. And next week. And next month. And next year.

You should be thinking of your advertising today as nurturing sales for your company in 2017, 2018, 2019, and beyond.

The goal is to get everyone who will ever need (whatever you sell) to:

  1. Know that you exist,
  2. Understand your value proposition, and…
  3. Trust that you will deliver what you promise.

That’s it.

Most TV advertisers manage to do #1 above pretty good—repetition definitely leads to awareness.

Unfortunately, many advertisers fail (and hard) on #2 and #3—the value proposition usually isn’t very clear (or believable), which in turn, does not breed trust.

This leads to commercials that tend to simply annoy people over time. And annoyed people don’t usually become customers.

A big part of what I’ll be teaching in my upcoming “Make The Jump to $10MM” 2-day seminar is how to create killer TV commercials that will move the needle.

I’ll talk about the concept of Identity; how it is the foundation of your entire marketing program, and how your TV commercials should incorporate yours. We’ll talk about using powerful language and creating scripts that let your passion shine through.

And I’ll show you dozens of examples of TV and radio ads that my clients have spent literally MILLIONS of dollars to run.

Like anything else, there’s a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it.

I’m looking forward to showing you the right way.

If you haven’t already done so, please take a minute to take a look at everything that will be covered in the course. If you’re truly ready to “make the jump,” you won’t want to miss out.

For more information about the upcoming seminar, click here.

 

P.S. In my next blog post I’m going to talk about a topic that makes or breaks companies trying to get to $10MM… it has to do with scrutinizing who you take advice from. Talk to you then!

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TV Advertising… It’s Not Magic, It’s Math

cost per thousand
I’ve been talking about using TV (and radio) advertising to grow your business to $10MM and beyond.

In this blog post I’m going to give you a quick overview of how and why it works. I’ll cover all this in more detail in my upcoming (April 26& 27) 2-day seminar in Dallas, “Make The Jump To $10MM.”

But for now, the thumbnail sketch:

To grow at a rapid pace, you’ve got to get more customers. A LOT more customers. And to get more customers, more people have to find out about you somehow.

The key is getting in front of a lot of people—without spending a ton of money.

It’s kind of funny that I would use the phrase “without spending a ton of money” about something I routinely have my clients spending over a million dollars a year on.

But you can’t focus on the raw dollars spent. Instead, you have to consider how much it costs to reach each person. Or more specifically, how much it costs to reach a thousand people.

In advertising, we’re concerned with COST PER THOUSAND (aka CPM; M being the Roman numeral for 1,000).

Take direct mail as an example. Let’s say it costs $0.50 per piece of mail you send out. That means it will cost you $500 for every 1,000 people you reach… or a CPM of $500.  Even if your mail is cheaper–$0.35 per piece—that’s still a $350 CPM.

By contrast, TV and radio can be bought for between $2 and $10 per thousand.

That doesn’t mean you should never use direct mail. Direct mail has the benefit of being highly targeted. There are lots of situations where it makes perfect sense.

But when reaching out to the masses, TV can be up to 250 times less expensive.

That’s what you call SIMPLE MATH.

Which leads us to the next advantage TV has—its inexpensive enough that you can afford to hit people with the message again and again and again and again. And again.

Let’s say you’re paying $8 CPM on TV. For the same $350 to $500 it would take you to reach 1,000 people via direct mail, you can reach a person on the TV about 40 to 60 times.

FORTY TO SIXTY TIMES.

FORTY TO SIXTY TIMES!!!!!!!!

This is how you gain traction in a market—and fast.

In my upcoming seminar, “Make The Jump To $10MM,” I’ll show you scientific proof that massive repetition is the key to marketing success.

But you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you that more is better when it comes to advertising. That’s also SIMPLE MATH.

Think about it—if you are on 2 or 3 TV stations and a couple of radio stations… and your competitors ARE NOT, you’re going to win.

Your lead flow will go up—and not just with any old leads. TV leads are the best kind—these people already KNOW you and TRUST you.

And it’s not just direct leads.  Your web traffic will jump. Your referrals will jump. Your PPC and SEO will work better. When you are on TV, EVERYTHING gets better. Everything.

And the good news: you can start small.

You don’t have to spend a million dollars and be on 2 or 3 TV stations to start.

We can start with one radio station. Or one TV station. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each media in my course. But for now, who cares—just know that you can start small.

I just put a $4MM in Milwaukee on one TV station for $2,600 a week. They’ll be on that station about 35 weeks out of the year—that’s all the budget they have available right now.

You have to start somewhere!

The key is to dominate that station. Own it. And if you can’t afford to own the entire station, own one day of the week on that station. And if you can’t afford to own one day, own part of one day.

Whatever budget you have is enough to start.

But your ultimate goal should be a million dollars. ONE MILLION DOLLARS spent on radio and TV. Because that’s going to be the catalyst to getting your company to $10MM, and what is going to give you all the financial freedom you hope for and dream of.

Now, a few FAQs:

Q: I don’t even watch TV anymore. Does anyone watch TV?
A: More than enough to get you to $10MM.

Q: What about DVRs? Don’t people just zip past the commercials?
A: Some do, but we have strategies to minimize it… and as long as it’s working, who cares?

Q: We tried TV and it didn’t work. Why would it work now?
A: You almost certainly were doing something wrong. Call me and let’s talk about it. I can probably identify the problem in about 60 seconds.

Q: Isn’t it expensive to make TV commercials?
A: It doesn’t have to be. And if it is, who cares? As long as it’s making you money, that’s all that counts.

Q: How long does it take to achieve success on TV?
A: You need to commit to the long term. 12 months at least.

If you have other questions, or want to discuss your situation, just email me here.

The course will only be open to the first 10 companies who register—I want to be able to handle individual dialogue during the course. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so by following this link.

Let’s get you to $10MM.

P.S. The ads you run make a huge difference. In my next post I’ll give you some ideas on how to write killer ads that really work.

 

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Don’t Be The Fat Kid Shooting 3’s In The Driveway

Contractor Marketing
If you’re serious about getting to $10MM, you’re going to have to Master internet marketing.

That’s Master, with a capital M.

Like Steph Curry is the Master of the 3-point shot.

But honestly, most remodelers are more like a fat kid hoisting 3’s in his driveway. They’re just not very good at internet marketing

But Mastery is non-negotiable—if you want to get to $10MM. Here’s why:

1.    Every lead you ever get from any source is going to check out your website. All of them. And if you’re not careful, your website will scare them off—without you even knowing it.

2.    There are a TON of prospects wandering around the internet just waiting to be captured by you… or somebody else who is better at doing so.

To learn more about the Make The Jump Event click here.

In terms of websites: yours MUST be fresh, clean, and current. It has to turn LOOKERS into BUYERS. You have to build a case for why you’re different and better than your competitors. You have to show them plenty of evidence. You have to be convincing.

Especially considering your prices are going to be 50% to 150% higher than your competitors.

Fat kid in the driveway isn’t going to cut it.

Want to see what your website SHOULD look like? Click here, here, here, or here.

If you want to learn more about what goes into a great website, watch this webinar.

Now let’s shift gears and talk about SEO & PPC.

These are two of the least understood weapons in the remodeler’s toolkits—because sellers of SEO & PPC have been ripping remodelers off for well over a decade now.

Everyone has stories of failure and doom. And most of them are true. You do have to be careful when wading into these waters.

But flushing SEO & PPC down the toilet because some company ripped you off makes no more sense than homeowners flushing remodeling down the toilet because contractors have a bad reputation.

Get over it—there are hundreds and hundreds of leads just WAITING to be captured.

Obviously, you have to have a killer website or else the prospects that land on your site are going to draw the natural conclusion that you suck. Airball.

But beyond that, what are the rules? How does it work? What should you do?

For SEO, it’s simple. You have to add TONS and TONS and TONS of relevant, interesting, and well-written content and add it to your site.

Every. Single. Month.

Content can mean articles, blog posts, videos, geographic-specific pages, product-specific pages, case studies, project photos, online reviews—just to name a few.

Google sees all that stuff and rates you higher than your competitors who don’t put in the time and effort to do so. It’s just that simple.

But still, most SEO companies try to shortcut the process. The key words above were “relevant, interesting, and well-written.” Most companies settle for poorly written, irrelevant, and uninteresting.

Fat kid hoisting 3’s in the driveway.

And they wonder why Google keeps crucifying them.

SEO to the level you need to get to $10MM is going to cost you about $1,200 to $3,000 a month—and it strictly depends on how aggressive and good your competitors are (at SEO).

Most of our clients are on a $1,200 a month plan and are riding first page (and many #1) rankings… and rising. A few of our clients pay double that because they are in super competitive markets, or they have a few really bad reviews that we have to bury. (note: bad reviews does NOT necessarily mean they are a bad company. It often means that some idiot jack-wagon has a vendetta against them. You also need to actively manage your online reputation and reviews).

Not doing SEO is not an option. It’s 100% mandatory.

But what about PPC?

To be a $10MM company, you’re going to want to Master this one as well.

To learn more about the Make The Jump Event click here.

Google recently changed the way its search results look. The top FOUR spots are now ads, then a map, and then the “organic” (SEO) results.

Take a look:

Roofing Dallas google search
Let me give you the short course on PPC, then give you some links to read more if you want.

PPC providers are worse than the SEO guys. There are a TON of them that have ZERO clue what they are doing. Most of them are simply taking your money and putting it on an online automated bidding platform that takes a huge chunk of the money you paid to use. You never know this except when you get crappy results. I want to emphasize—they literally have no idea what they are doing. None.

Fat kid in the driveway trying to shoot a medicine ball.

The few that don’t use an automated system have SOME clue, but almost always are generating fewer leads than you should be getting.

To get to $10MM, you have to find a great PPC company, then once you’re satisfied they’re good, SPEND AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE WITH THEM!

Why? Because every dollar they spend is going to bring you leads.

But not just leads. Leads from the people who are actively trying to find somebody to buy from!!!!

Once you have a great website and you’ve Mastered SEO & PPC, you’re ready to talk about MEDIA advertising. Radio and TV.

And radio and TV is what is going to make you a millionaire.

Next post, I’ll explain how.

Happy Marketing! For info about the upcoming 2-day seminar, click here.

P.S. Here’s a great webinar I did on SEO & PPC called “The No BS Webinar On SEO & PPC

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“We’re Overwhelmed With More Than We Can Handle.”

It May Be A Little Unnerving To Stand In Front of a 10-Foot Tall Picture Of Your Face...

It May Be A Little Unnerving To Stand In Front of a 10-Foot Tall Picture Of Your Face...

How A Portland Remodeler Fared 90% Better At This Year’s Home Show:

A Few Minor Adjustments Made All The Difference In The World.

By Rich Harshaw

Note: This article is part of Monopolize Your Marketplace’s ongoing “Client Success” series. All of the information is real and current; please respect the privacy of the companies mentioned; they don’t want to be overwhelmed with questions and comments.

At the end of the day, bigger really is better.

And more is better than less.

At least when it comes to home shows, it is.

You may recall hearing about how our client Don Isaacson (a.k.a., the “Persnickety Remodeler”) who turned his home improvement website into a cash-printing machine in a previous blog post. Or you may have heard me talk about him on one of the webinars I’ve done.

So he went to the home show last year and had a good, solid response. Got a lot of home improvement leads, set lots of jobs, made good money.

But this year he wanted to do better. As he thought about what the negatives were from last year’s show, he felt like he simply didn’t have enough room to showcase everything. After all, ten linear feet is not very much room to cram a ten-foot backdrop, a couple of pop-ups, and all of your promotional materials.
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