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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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The Master Key To $10MM… TV Advertising

TV and Radio Advertising can take you to $10MM
A couple of years ago I had breakfast with Brian Elias, the owner of Hanson’s Windows, at a hole-in-the-wall diner near his office in Detroit.

When we walked in, I was shocked at peoples’ reaction to this guy. You would have thought I walked in with David Lee Roth in 1984.

The entire diner was craning their necks, pointing fingers, and whispering “it’s that guy from TV” in hushed tones.

The waitress was especially star-struck. After asking for his autograph (yes, his autograph), she requested a picture with him so she could text it to her daughter.

Brian just soaked it all in. This must be just like living in paradise.

By way of reminder: I’m talking about a guy who sells windows, siding, and roofing for a living. In Detroit.

To be fair, Brian has been—and will continue to be—a fixture on the top 10 of Qualified Remodeler’s annual Top 500 list for a variety of reasons. He’s harnessed technology like nobody’s business. He has a commanding presence and is good at getting things done. He has built systems into his business to ensure a perpetual smooth flow of business, and he hovers over the minute details like a pageant mom.

He also earned this award—that’s Brian on the cover:

replacement contractor Brian Elias
But the real secret to his success: TV advertising.

I’ve sent you something like 10 emails in the last couple of weeks.  Everything up until now has been bread, appetizers, and salad.

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

Now it’s time for the main course—TV and radio advertising.

It’s the master key to getting you to $10MM or more in sales.

Jericho Home Improvements started in 2008 in the middle of the recession. They started radio advertising in 2009, and TV in 2010.

They hit $10MM in 2012.

Horizon Services was doing $45MM in 2011 when I met them. Over the next 5 years, I took their TV & radio budget from $63,400 a year (one country radio station) to over $4MM.

This year they’ll do almost $150MM.

Hanson’s has been on TV in Detroit since the late 1980’s.

Last year they did over $70MM. In Detroit.

IN DETROIT, PEOPLE!!!

Debating whether or not TV advertising is effective is about like debating if the sky is blue or the sun is hot. Do bears crap in the woods?

Nevertheless, I always run into contractors who give me some version of “We tried TV advertising and it didn’t work. It just doesn’t work for us.”

All I can say is if that’s the case, then you were doing something very, very wrong.

And in fairness—it’s easy to do it wrong.

  • It’s easy to be on the wrong stations.
  • It’s easy to be on the wrong days.
  • It’s easy to pay too much. WAY too much.
  • It’s easy to get talked into creating and running crappy ads.
  • It’s easy to quit way too early.
  • It’s easy to track your results wrong.
  • It’s easy to underestimate how well it’s working

If you do it wrong, TV and radio advertising will chew you up and spit you out.

But if you do it right—right stations, right days, right price, right ads, right tracking—it’s about the surest bet you could ever make on your company.

Which is why TV and radio advertising is a big part of what we’re going to cover in my upcoming 2-day seminar, Make The Jump To $10MM.

I don’t teach this stuff in my regular seminars. The average $2MM remodeling company just doesn’t get it. It’s like trying to teach calculus to a 2nd grader.

But you’re not going to reach $10MM without this master key.

In my next email I’ll show you exactly WHY TV and radio are your best bet—and how they beat other media, hands down.

You’ll become a believer.

And if you take action, you’ll own a $10MM company.

Happy Marketing!
P.S. We limit the seminar to 10 companies so we can focus on YOU. No competitors allowed. For more info, please click here.

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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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The Radio “Experts” Weren’t Just Wrong. They Were Dangerously Wrong.

Warning! Listening To Advertising Experts Might Kill Your Chances For Success!

Warning! Listening To Advertising Experts Might Kill Your Chances For Success!

How I Write Radio Ads To Consistently Engage Listeners…
And Infuriate Industry “Experts.”

By Rich Harshaw

Sometimes you just have to dig in your heels and make a stand.

When you are 100% certain you’re right—and millions of dollars are at stake—it’s mandatory.

A few years ago I found myself on a conference call hotly debating the best way to write a window company’s radio ad with an overpriced, over-mouthed radio and television “expert.”

This “expert” was a representative from a marketing research firm that had been hired to evaluate the effectiveness of the radio ads I was writing for my client. The service was paid for by a station that was vying to get their hands on some of the client’s budget; they hired the experts as a “value add” to show that they were committed. Nice touch.

The problem was the “experts” were wrong.

According to them, the ads I was writing were labeled as “ineffective” because they didn’t get to the point fast enough. And they could prove they were right using scientific method.
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