Start with the classified ads. They are the cheapest and they pose the least risk when starting out. They can generate instant revenue because often you will be dealing with home users. They normally pay by cheque or cash, bringing you instant cashflow.
When you tackle the business market, you are mostly paid one month after your invoice falls on their desk. This could be crippling when first starting out. Get some cash in the bank and some experience under your collar.
With classified ads being so inexpensive, you can afford to take a small gamble. You only need one appointment to cover the cost of your advertising. If they become a regular client, your fees will more than cover your whole advertising budget for an entire year!
Your second choice for high profit returns and top credibility
Next, experiment with some display advertising. Always try to negotiate a discount if you can and start small. Don’t go mad and buy a whole page, or even a half page of advertising. Go for something small, just slightly larger than your classified ads. If that pulls well for a couple of weeks, bump up the size again. Do it in small stages unless your response is so good that it’s a sure-fire winner. This rarely happens though.
Display ads are more likely to attract business customers than a classified ad. A display ad makes you look more like a business than a classified ad, which can make you look like a part-time computer boffin. Don’t let this put you off using classified ads though. Judge by the type of clients that you are getting and whether they are bringing in revenue to help you get off the ground.
Yellow Page ads should be delayed until you are sure you can sustain your business with your existing clients and other advertising. The cost of a Yellow Page ad is high because its like having a display ad for 12 consecutive months. This obviously bumps the price up. I recommend steering clear of Yellow Page until you have 6 months experience.
Websites are a special case in that you can start them at any time with minimal risk. Get your website up in the fastest possible time, but the results will start to filter through a little later once the search engines have indexed your pages.
My first winning advert that doubled, tripled, quadrupled my income
The first advert that kicked off this whole shebang was as follows:
COMPUTER TRAINING available for home users. Learn Windows, Word, Excel and more. For details call 1-800-6655.
I ran the same ad for ages, with small variations here and there as I updated my skills and could offer more to my clients. It cost next to nothing but I ended up getting up to 20 times the return on my money. In other words, for every $5 spent on advertising, I would get $100 back in revenue. This return would come back to me within a month.
I have clients who have been with me for over 4 years who keep on using me for computer consultancy – and these were from little classified ads like the one above.
For example, I have one client who has spent over $30,000 on my services over the last 4 years and I got them from a tiny $5 classified ad. I make that 3,800 times the cost of my ad. Not bad!
Even half that would more than cover all the money I have ever spent on my classified ads, display ads, Yellow Pages ads and website costs over the last 4 years!!! And how much more will they be paying me my high fees for my services? Remember, it is the “Lifetime Value” of the client that helps you bring a huge return on your advertising investment.
You only need one good client to more than cover all your advertising costs.