Limited Time Offer! Schedule your FREE business coaching session and scale your business smarter & easier! Reserve My Spot

Success! Your account information has been updated.

close icon

This business coaching episode explains the basic principles of advertising.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Lesson Nugget: Narrowing your advertising to a strategically selected "target market" can vastly reduce the cost of your marketing effort.
  • Lesson Nugget: Word of mouth is a good strategy if you have already acquired a strong customer base. Make sure you start with strong advertising to acquire those initial customers.
  • Creative Advertisements That Work: 1. Target Ideal and Likely Buyers
  • Ask Yourself: How fast is my business growing? Am I growing at a 20% basis annually?

udemy for marketing and small business ideas

-What's going on, guys? My name is Daniel McKenna. I'm the executive producer here at Thrive15. Caleb Taylor will be sitting down and interviewing Clay Clark, and we're talking about advertising-- specifically, eight principles for creating advertisementsand small business ideas that work.

Depending on your business model, advertising and small business ideas could be huge. If you are currently stationed on the moon, maybe you don't need advertising. I don't know how it's going to help you get other customers, but anywhere else it could be a big deal.

We're going to teach you some of the fundamentals, some of the basics, some of the stuff you need to know to make advertisements that actually work. Here at Thrive15, we believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. Unless you actually watch today's lesson, and pay attention, and then do something about it, today's lesson is going to be more meaningless and taking your desktop computer with you on an airplane-- because they have not retrofitted those things with electrical plugs.

Therefore, you cannot power that thing on, and I don't even know if they'll let you carry it on. It's kind of big. It probably doesn't fit underneath your seat.

-Clay, it's good to see you again.

-Hey, good to see you. I got here today, and I thought, man, if he wasn't here today, it could be special. Then I saw you, and I realized, it was special with you.

-It's even more special. I'm not too close, but I can tell, you've got some minty fresh breath. You've popped like six of those in?

-Yeah, well I did have a delicious Altoids.

-You're telling me you just had one of those.

-Curiously strong mint. Well, I had five of those, and I'm excited to be joining with you today to use my WriteBros Paper Mate pen, where I use it to take notes on my paper that I've purchased from Office Depot.

-All right, well today, we are talking about marketing. This is the advertising 101. It's the eight principles for creating advertisements that work, which is the kind of advertisements you want.

So specifically, these eight principles that we're going to be diving into here-- let's just jump right into them. But I'm excited to pick your brain here, because you have a vast number of experiences and examples to drawn on from a bunch of different companies and advertisements that work and probably ones that didn't work, I'm guessing.


-So I'm excited to jump right in here. Let's go to principle number one here for making an effective advertisement. It is to target ideal and likely buyers-- target ideal and likely buyers. So how do you attempt to target your advertisements when you're reaching out to the ideal and likely buyers?

-Well, I'll give you one example that sounds maybe like an extreme example, but I think it's a pretty effective one. Years ago, I had an opportunity to work with a cosmetic surgeon, and his business is focused on-- as a general rule-- the people who are calling for his services were women between the ages of 30 and 55.

It doesn't mean that women are 25 weren't calling, and doesn't mean that women are 55 weren't calling. It doesn't mean that guys never called, but as a general rule, almost every call came from that niche. And so we looked for magazines that were read by that demographic.

We looked for neighborhoods where that demographic lived. We looked for stores that demographic shopped, and we determined that we would be in a local, high-end the magazine. We would team up with a local luxury car dealership.

We would be featured in the local publications that were consumed by that market, and then the organic, the high-end grocery stores-- we'd make sure that we were also featured there. And some of the local fitness businesses that had a higher price point-- personal training, that kind of thing. And we did phenomenally well spending almost 10 times less money-- it was over 10 times less money than they had spent in previous years, and we were able to do significantly better. So we decreased expenses on advertising by about 10 times, but yet, we increased the actual return by about three times.

-I know a lot of people-- in that example, they were already spending money on advertising.


-But some of these viewers, you might have to convince them that this is actually worth spending money on. I have heard many entrepreneurs say, well, listen really my business operates on word of mouth, and honestly, my product sells itself.

-Well, the one thing you have to look at in business, and can I use this incredible board here?

-Yeah, please do. Absolutely.

-Just to show-- when you go out there, and you acquire this first customer, the cost to get this customer-- it doesn't matter really what study you're going to read, but most of them say, it costs about five times more money. So five, the number 5-- five times more money to acquire this first customer than it does to get your word of mouth customers. Because if this customer's happy, they'll tell other customers, and these next customers that they bring on-- in theory, you didn't have to buy ads for those people.

So what you'll find in business is that it's always five times more expensive to get that original customer. So for companies that are saying, well, I only rely on word of mouth-- that's great, but you have to get your core 1,000 customers, 500 customers, whatever. So if you're an orthodontist, and you're sitting there with zero customers, you can't sit there and say, oh I'm waiting on word of mouth. Or if you're a guy who's been in business for 10 years, and you haven't grown very much, you can't say, well, I'm waiting on word of mouth.

So I would just say this-- if you're not growing at least a 20% annual basis, then you need to be advertising. If you're growing 20% or more every year and you're not advertising, maybe you can get away without doing it. But I would say, if you're not growing at least 20%, then you really need to be advertising.

-Because you've got to get that core first, and that'll cost money.

-And it will cost some money.

-There you go.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Ask Yourself: 2. What ZIP Code do my customers live in?
  • Ask Yourself: 1. Who is my customer?
  • Ask Yourself: 4. What experiences do my customers already appreciate?
  • Ask Yourself: 3. What are the hobbies and interests my ideal and likely buyers have?
  • Paul Graham: "It's better to have 100 people that love you than a million people that just sort of like you."
  • Ask Yourself: Sit down and ask yourself those five questions previously listed in this episode.
  • Creating Advertisements That Work: 2. Grab the Attention of Your Audience

Small Business Ideas for Your Business


-Now tell me, before we keep going here, what is some of the-- what are some examples of your most effective Tulsa advertising and marketing plans?

-Well quite a few actually. For the cosmetic surgeon that was a particular ad that I enjoyed, because it was really speaking to the women. And it had sort of a shocking visual. I did not decide on the actual language, but it had sort of a shock and awe, where it was borderline offensive to half the people reading it.


-But it was so shocking, and it asked a question about a woman's physique and whether they were happy with it. And if they weren't happy, they can call this number to make the-- to do deal with it. And if not, they can-- but anyway, it was very kind of shocking.

We also did an event for a client I worked with, we actually give away a Mercedes to one of the clients who referred the most clients. And we did that. We've done bridal shows in the years past, where we've actually sold-- I know it's hard to believe-- but almost $100,000 of products and services we sold at a one day trade show in the wedding industry. So that's like-- typical weddings are about $600 a ticket, and we sold almost $100,000 at one show.

So we, I mean, over the years we've had quite a few effective marketing strategies and moves. My most favorite though is putting all of our DJs, taking their heads and enlarging their heads, and putting big heads on small bodies in the Yellow Pages. Because no one else was doing that. And we just stood out, and it was very, very effective. We had a strong call to action, it worked great.

-I love it. So tell me, if I'm an entrepreneur watching this, what are some action steps here that go with this first principle of finding the ideal and likely buyer?

-You need to sit down right now and ask yourself five questions.

-OK, five questions.

-One is, who is my customer? Is it man or woman? What sex is it? Perhaps you have a transgender market, and that's interesting. But is it man or woman?

The second is, what zip code is does your customer live in? There's no laughing on this set! What zip code does your customer live in?

-What area.

-What zip code. The third is specifically, what are the hobbies and interests that your ideal and likely buyers have?


-Because if they're interested in golf, then you should probably be marketing on golf courses. The fourth thing is, what kind of experiences do they appreciate already? So like if you're saying I'm going to build a restaurant that caters to serving lunch to middle class machine shop employees, then you're going to have a different decor probably than if you're going to do a high end steakhouse. So you want to ask yourself, what kind of experience are these people into?

And the final thing I think that you really have to look at, because as you're targeting your demographics, you want to make sure you don't swing and miss. You need to meet these people. Meet your ideal and likely buyers and ask them what are they looking for. Actually physically meet them, talk to them. Because if you meet with even like, let's say 25 of them, you can really learn a lot. You can quickly put into your business systems that you would not have thought of.

-Air BnB did that.

-Air BnB did it, and I would say--

-A lot of these top companies.

---Paul Graham, you know he's the guy who started Y Combinator, the incubator system that coached Air BnB, and he says it's better to have a million people that-- or, better to have 100 people that love you than a million people that sort of like you. And the whole idea is, you want to really be known and loved by your core customers. Because when you're marketing to them, they should be like yes, that's exactly what I've been looking for! They shouldn't be like, what is that?

So even the language they use. And you don't know until you meet these people. So a lot of times I've designed ads, and I'll sit down with the ideal and likely buyers and I show it to them, and they're like, what does that even mean? Because if you're a doctor, and you're used to using a certain term, it doesn't mean your customers are. Do you know what I mean?

-That makes sense. So those are your action steps. Sit down and ask yourself those five questions, determine what those are before you move forward.

-And I'm going to grab myself a little bit of this Perrier water--

-Look at you, so classy!

---the water that is Perrier water. It's captured at the source.

-Good. Perrier?


-Good. All right, well let's go to principle number two here. Grab the attention of your audience. Grab it! Grab that attention. So walk me through what the concept is, this concept of grabbing the attention of the audience.

-OK, the ad that I'm going to tell you, that I wasn't going to tell you, but now I'm going to tell you.

-No, tell me.

-It was for a cosmetic surgeon. And the ad said, are you tired of that extra badonkadonk?

-That was the word, that was the language.

-Yeah, and I did not use that word. That wasn't a word that I came up with. I didn't even know what that word means really, until I saw the ad.

-Do you don't use that word often?

-No, but the silhouette showed a woman with an enhanced derriere. A very large derriere, Perrier, it all goes together. But very large butt. And it was posing the question like, is this you? Are you tired of this? Do you know what I mean?... Small Business Ideas.

And people called all the time off that ad. So I mean that's just an effective ad. I'm not saying I necessarily chose the language for it, but that's an example of one. Another one is Dr. Zoellner, who's one of our Thrive mentors--

-I was hoping you were bringing this up.

-He has a, he did a deal where he did Lasik eye care for $1. One eye.

-Was it a billboard?

-Yeah, and it said Lasik eye care, $1 for one eye, or something like that.

-No, I don't think he even clarified. I think he said, Lasik eye surgery, $1.

-Lasik eye surgery, $1.

-And they were like, how did you do that? And they would call in and he would say, well the other eye is much more expensive than that first eye.

-Yeah. But it got calls.


Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: If you are not grabbing your ideal and likely buyers' attention, you are wasting your money.
  • Ask Yourself: Are my advertisements grabbing the attention of my ideal and likely buyers?
  • Action Step: Examine your competition's advertisements and see what you can do to improve your own.
  • Creative Advertisements That Work: 3. Put Your Contact Information on the Advertisement

FindSmall Business Ideas to grow your company


-The whole idea is you want to have something strong, that's shocking, that questions what people are used to.

-The purple cow, something that really stands out, right?


-Southwest Airlines is great at this. They started to say, well, everybody else charges for bags. So let's not, but let's tell everybody about it. So bags fly free was big promotion they did. Very memorable.

Or like, Jared. The shocking visuals on Subway of this guy who had lost so much weight, it was shocking. You want somebody that reaches out and just grabs the attention. Like, wow, that before and after picture is crazy. Wow, I can't believe they wrote that in print. Oh my gosh, I've never seen an airline that has the bags fly free.

You just want to make sure you do things that are going to jump out and grab the attention. If you don't grab the attention, it's sort of a waste of time. And a lot of people want to be safe and they don't.

-Have you ever been worried about an ad being too strong?

-No. No.


-I'm the other way. I don't really care. I'm all about trying to get paid as much money as possible by offering the most amount of value to ideal and likely buyers.

And entrepreneurs, as a general rule, the most successful ones are ones who've decided at some point to put fear aside. And so I do ads based on my own ethics. If I think that my ads are offensive to my faith or not honest with my faith or my values, then I won't do them. But I don't care if someone's offended.

-Right. So how do you know if your ad's strong enough, then? How do you know you've got an ad that can grab the attention of your likely buyers?

-Usually, if someone in your staff is like-- I think Doctor Zoellner tells a story which is phenomenal. But he says, if someone on your staff isn't saying, oh no, you can't do that, then it's probably not a good ad.

-It's not strong enough.


-Yeah. So you want to have an ad that's pretty strong that freaks a few people out. Something that's going to get attention. I mean, something that's just-- it's got to grab the attention of the ideal and likely buyers.

-So tell me then, again, if I'm on the other side of the camera here, what are my action steps to creating this ad that stands out?

-What I would do, is I would go ahead and take a look an inventory of your competitor's ads. So go get different magazines they advertise in. You know, don't act like you haven't spied on your competition.

But look at what they're doing and figure out what is a way that I can totally do something that one-ups them or wows the customers. Or it's something that they wouldn't do. So that's the opposite of what they would do.

So example, there's one company in Tulsa-- it's probably all over the country-- called Planet Fitness. And they advertise the $10 gym. And a lot of these gyms focus on trying to help you get in great shape and they put big beautiful people on billboards. And there's is more of like, it's a judgment free zone and it's only $10. Well, that just really gets your attention as opposed to the ads that--

-Have the perfect people on them.

-Yeah, and it's just counter-intuitive. They have the Real Men of Genius commercials they used to run forever. Those were funny. They whole idea is you want something that's funny, that's memorable, that's shocking, that's some sort of emotional, that it just pulls up, it evokes some kind of emotion.

-Good. That makes sense. Check out the competitors. That's the action step. Check them out and do something they're not doing.

-Check out your competitors. Look at what they're doing. Do something that's going to shock. That's going to wow.



-Principle number three: put your contact information on the Tulsa advertisement.

-Seems simple, but most people don't.

-Did you ever not do this?

-Yeah, most people watching this, if you're a business owner-- you've probably run an ad or you almost ran an ad or you know someone who ran an ad that didn't have your contact information. (SARCASM) Which is sweet! When you're like, I just spent $8,000 on something and no one even has a number.

INTERVIEWER: That's not good.

-Yeah, and that happens a lot. So you need to just make sure. Use this as a checklist. Type is in your Thrive notes right here. Pull it up next time you make an ad. Bam.

-So what do I need to include for the contact information? All of it? Some of it?

-Before-- I know you look kind of parched. Would you like a refreshing Sprite beverage?

-Yeah, I'll take this Coke here.

-Oh, OK, a refreshing Coke, the choice of a new generation. Is that what it is or is that Pepsi? Was it classic--

-Oh, you can't misrepresent our almost-sponsors.


-They're not sponsors now, but they could be in the future. So, we're just showing them what they could have right here on display.

-OK. I'm sorry. Could you repeat the question? I was so enamored by that.

-Yeah, you were talking about contact information? OK. So what-- do I need to include all of my contact information? Some of? Does it depend on the situation?

-Put your web address. Put your phone number. I don't recommend you put your email because you're going to get a lot of people that reach out to you if the ad's effective. But I do think your phone number is big. I think your web address is big. I would do it... Small Business Ideas.

-OK. But avoid the email, because they'll just blow that up.

-I wouldn't do it. Once your email's out there, people start to spread it around and you lose control.


Looking for Small Business Ideas?

Let's Get Started. Try Us for $1
Login Try Us for $1
search icon
Stuck? Need Specific Advice? Ask our Mentors any Business Question.

Ready to Thrive? Log In to your Account.

Login with your email
Please enter your email.
Please enter your password.
Login with social accounts
Signup | Forgot password?

Forgot Password?

Send us your email address, and our team of elite minds will get right on it.

Sign up to Thrive15

and get unlimited access to 1,700+ courses
  • Full Access

    $ 49 /mo
    Try it free
    • World-class mentorship
    • 24/7 access to all videos
    • Practical business tools
  • save $98 on an annual membership


    $ 41 /mo
    Save $98!
    Try it free
    *Billed as one payment of $490.
    • World-class mentorship
    • 24/7 access to all videos
    • Practical business tools
  • Thrive15 group memberships

    Team Membership

    Need to train five or more people?
    Learn More
Graduation Cap Icon College student? Sign up for $19/month. Learn More

Contact Us

Give us a call or send us an email and we will be in touch as soon as possible, or sooner than as soon as possible.

Email: info@thrive15.com
Phone: 918-340-6978
Prefer communication by smoke signals?

Ask us a question!

We want to answer you, no strings attached. How can we reach you?

Please enter your name.
Please enter your phone number.
Please enter your message.


Let us know what's going on.

Please enter your subject.
Please enter your message.
Even more feedback