Your local advertising drives higher sales

Local advertising is a small business’s best bet to attract customers, say advertising experts Brian and Michelle Mattingly.
A simple, targeted approach to advertising will almost always yield better results if you work with limited dollars.
A primary benefit of local advertising is forming local connections. These are more powerful than the shallow, national connections big corporations try to form with a geographically diverse audience.
You need to continue to do digital advertising with social media, your website and online offers to your customers. But Brian and Michelle advise not to underestimate the value in local print advertising.
While others are investing their last pennies in digital campaigns, your audience is saturated with online advertising. You need a presence online, but it’s smart to set aside a healthy portion of your budget to invest in local newspapers.
Find an affordable, reliable printer to help you develop creative local campaigns with booklets, brochures, calendars, catalogs and other tangible resources.
Your dollar will stretch farther and you can measure the results.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email Jerrybellune@yahoo.com .
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to win the war with your rivals

Remember what Sun Tzu taught us in his “Art of War” – know your strengths and weaknesses and your competitors’, too.
Our competitors are in print, online, on the air, on cable, you name it. We never under-estimate them. They are savvy rivals.
We watch their every move. We not only need to know what they’re doing but to steal their best ideas as our own.
We read their publications, listen to them on radio, watch them on cable or TV, see who is doing business with them and how their customers invest their precious advertising dollars with them. What are their advertisers offering that our readers, online and in print, might be interested in?
If they offer products or services our people need and want, we would be remiss to fail to give our rivals’ advertisers an opportunity to make offers to our readers, too.
Does that make sense? Your rivals are fishing the same pond for the same fish.
Test their products and services. Check how they treat customers. Even hire a Secret Shopper to check them out.
This is fair, legal … and smart. You won’t be blind-sided ever again. And you’ll never be ashamed that you failed to do this.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com .

See more great content on this blog or by visiting https://www.lexingtonchronicle.com/business.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Anecdotal lede: Watch for mushroom clouds

I confess to being an advocate of storytelling.
I also favor the anecdotal lede – with caution.
I once taught this to my Seton Hall students, tongue in cheek.
The story is about a Russian nuclear attack:

Mary Jones went to retrieve the morning paper and guess what?
A giant mushroom cloud hung over her neighborhood.
She wondered if it was going to rain.

You may have to overlook my warped sense of humor.

Our friend Denny Hatch is an ace copywriter.
He cautions us to use this technique with grace and style. 
He certainly doesn’t want us to beat it into chopped liver.

“Your 1st 10 words are more important than the next 10,000,” he writes.
“All writers are in the business of selling. 
“Your single objective is to sell the reader in going on to the next sentence, next paragraph, all the way to the end.” 
This is true of every literary form – letter, article or advertisement. 

“The place to start selling is the lede
“What’s a lede
“The introduction to a news article, the first sentence. 
“The ‘lede’ is a deliberate misspelling of ‘lead.’ 
When printing was done with lead type, it prevented confusion.
The lede not only tells what the story is about.
It invites the reader to read further.

Denny believes many of us start by:
• Clearing our throats.
• Rolling up our sleeves.
• Rubbing our hands together.
By then our poor readers have already gone on to Page 2. 
Create a lousy lede and chances are the reader will go no further.

In “Capitol Weekly,” Will Shuck wrote:
“I am sick to death of the anecdotal lede, that annoying habit of news writers to start a straightforward story by painting a quaint little picture.
“If the story is about a bill requiring pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs (just to pick an imaginary example), the anecdotal lead first tells us how much Janey Johnson loves Missy, her cocker spaniel.
“No doubt Janey and Missy are a lovely pair, but a lot of us have jobs and kids and commutes and precious little time to muse about Missy’s reproductive potential.”

My humble advice is to use the anecdotal lede when it makes sense.
Have an exceptionally good one to open your story.
Take a hint from that fabled novelist Snoopy.
He always opened with “It was a dark and stormy night …”
Mine might open with an early morning mushroom cloud.
Pick your own poison.

Advance orders for my $19.99 “Little Red Book of Compelling Writing” are going at a $10 discount – only $9.99.
Get your order in for the eBook today. It will be out in July.
Call Katie at 803-359-7633 or email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Do you have enough cash to avoid disaster? Do you want profits or wealth?

Do you want profits or wealth?
As a business owner, you need both.
You cannot have wealth without profits, says our friend Ruth King of ProfitabilityRevolution.com .
Many business owners focus only on the Profit & Loss statement and totally ignore their Balance Sheet. They focus solely on profits rather than building wealth.
You can go out of business ignoring wealth to focus solely on profits.
Ruth tells of a contractor who, in a single week, lost 3 major clients to bankruptcy and more than $1 million in uncollected receivables. He needed cash to survive.
Had he focused on building cash (i.e. wealth) in addition to profits, he might have struggled but his business survived.
Here are 2 steps you can take.

  1. Check your Balance Sheet the last day of each month. Is your checking account growing this month over a month a year ago? By how much? Should you transfer any of that to an interest-bearing account?
  2. Ask yourself how you might grow your cash faster. What expenses might you trim or eliminate? What can you do to grow your gross sales and net profits?

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com . Purchase an electronic copy by visiting Amazon.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

How to get prospects to open your emails

How can you get prospects to open your emails?
Want to write subject lines that work?
Subject lines that prospects will open?
You are competing with the 121 other emails most of us receive each day.
The only way to attract traffic, conversions and sales is to stand out.
These subject lines are backed by 20 studies. Your goal should be to use the best-performing email subject lines.
Put these 10 subject line templates in your “swipe file”and post by your computer.
• 3 steps to a {desirable outcome}
• What a new {idea, product or service}can means for {prospects’ life or career}
• Stop {undesirable emotion} now
• What {credible influencers} say about {topic, idea or strategy}
• {Someone prospects look up to} can afford any {product} but she uses this…
• You’re missing out on {something prospects desire}
• Tonight Only: A {prospect’s role, goal or career}’s dream
• Want 587% more {sales or results}?
• If you’re sick and tired of {whatever}
• {Name}, gain {something desirable} today only
Use these in ads and sales letters, too.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com. You can purchase an electronic version on Amazon by clicking here.

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Productivity: How to double your productivity

Our friend Andrea Nierenberg shared with us these ways she makes her 24 hours each day more productive:

• Awaken 10 minutes early and you’ll be surprised to discover how much time you have created through those extra minutes.
You can start a project, connect online, write a note to people in your network, catch up on important reading or exercise.
Squeeze extra productivity out of your day.

  • Ask yourself these 5 questions:
  1. How much of my time is spent with clients or people in my network?
  2. Do I confirm appointments?
  3. Is my paperwork done completely?
  4. Am I willing to meet with people at their convenience instead of mine?
  5. Do I frequently have productive coffee and lunch meetings with my network?
  • To help yourself list.
  1. All the ways you waste time and how you will stop doing them.
  2. How you can be more productive.

Time can be your best friend and worst enemy. It keeps moving, so use it wisely.
Don’t multi-task. You’ll make mistakes.
When someone meets with you, give them your undivided attention. Always ask, “How much time do we need right now?”
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Is someone secretly stealing from you?

How do you know your bookkeeper, employees or vendors aren’t helping themselves to your hard-earned revenue?
After working with business owners for 38 years, our friend Ruth King can almost smell when the books are not right.
Often it is a bookkeeper, employee or vendors. Ruth hates telling owners, “Someone is embezzling and here’s the proof.”
All leave tell-tale signs. Sadly, most could have been caught quickly by owners doing one simple thing – having their bank statements sent to their homes.
If you aren’t getting your bank statements sent home, stop reading this and get your bank to send your statements home.
Check them carefully. The microfiche’s show signatures, who the checks were written to and the numerical sequences. If something doesn’t make sense, ask questions. This is your first line of defense!
Ruth has caught vendors changing the amounts on checks before depositing them. A $40 auto repair invoice became $400 when the vendor deposited the check.
You have to watch your vendors, too.
Get Ruth’s helpful newsletter by writing her at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Sell by the numbers for greater profits

Houston Rockets basketball coach Mike D’Antoni is passionate about 1.16.
That’s the number of points per possession they must score to be the best offense in basketball history, Ben Cohen writes in the numbers-driven Wall Street Journal.
D’Antoni has long been known for strategies that push the boundaries of his sport.
On points per possession, he decluttered the Rockets play book. If one play produces 0.8 points and another 1.2, why run the 0.8 plays. Run the 1.2 plays every time.
D’Antoni aims to average 1.16 points per possession. Anything above 1.16, he keeps. Anything less than that is thrown out.
His obsession with 1.16 drives the most unusual strategy in the National Basketball Association and why his team has taken the pursuit of peak efficiency to an extreme. They cut out all plays that don’t work.
What if you did that with your business?
Analyze which are your most profitable products and services. Concentrate on advertising and selling them.
Which customers produce your greatest profits? Concentrate on serving them and developing products and services that meet their needs and fulfill their dreams.
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at katie.lexchron@gmail.com or call 803-359-7633. For an electronic copy through Amazon click here.

Your best source of new business

All of us know we should ask for referrals but we too often forget to ask.
Our friend Ruth King advises her coaching clients to place a statement at the bottom of their bills, proposals and the backs of their business cards.
Print “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provided excellent customer service, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
This statement lets a customer know that you are serious about providing outstanding customer service and that you appreciate referrals. Some will call you with referrals. Some will let you fix a problem rather than spreading the fact that they were unhappy to friends, neighbors, and social media.
The statement on proposals should be slightly different: “We grow our company through referrals from satisfied customers. If we provide excellent customer service when you become our customer, please tell your friends and colleagues. If we did something wrong, please tell us and we will fix it. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction.”
We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.
You can also order an electronic edition through Amazon by clicking here.

Master the short game of business

The “short game” of golf is where you are near the green, chip onto it and putt your ball into the hole.
We’re not just talking golf when we consider the short game. We’re talking about the game of business, life and success.
You may lead great organizations or small businesses. You may be a veteran who feels the hot breath of eager young entrepreneurs on the back of your neck.
They may be able to drive the ball farther or make more sales calls a day. But when you are close to the green, you have an edge. You have more experience and you know the value of practice.
This bit of wisdom comes from Austin, TX, Country Club pro Harvey Penick. If you are a golfer, you should be familiar with his “Little Red Book” on golf.
Harvey maintains that older golfers can excel at the short game with practice. And he recommends you do it with only one ball, just as you would in playing a game.
He says it helps sharpen your focus.
This is true in business and life, too.

  1. The more we practice what it is that we do in life, the better we become.
  2. It helps for someone like Harvey to coach and teach us good practice habits.
  3. Practice keeps us sharp and focused.
    That’s where golf and life are alike.
    We discuss such ideas in, “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”
    For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633.
    Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.