5 Effective Advertising Techniques For Creating an Interesting and Persuasive Ad

It doesn’t matter if you’re a copywriter, marketing executive or entrepreneur, there will always be an opportunity where you have to use visuals to market your business and product.

It sounds fairly simple to tie words to pictures; just take a relevant image and slap it above the headline right?

Here’s where the problem lies – most marketers make the common mistake of repeating in words what they’ve already shown in the visuals. How many times have you seen ads that say “2 For the Price of 1” and show a picture of 2 products being offered at a discounted price? Ads that are created this way are redundant, repetitive and mean nothing to readers!

Understand that people these days are better educated and can tell the difference between a good and a dumb ad. Showing them something that is blatantly obvious isn’t going to help you win the hearts and minds (and wallets!) of your readers! So how do you create an ad that wins you that all-important sale?

Here are 5 proven and effective advertising techniques that will make your readers go from “what in the world?” to “WOW!”

1. Use split-screen images to highlight the benefits of using your product: Do a before-and-after or side-by-side comparison. Use graphs, charts, timelines, statistics and visually impactful images to illustrate the amazing results achieved by ordinary people using your product. If you want to make your ad even more interesting, you could show the negative consequences of not using it as most people are motivated by pain.

2. Give your readers a glimpse of the future: Paint a vivid picture of the lifestyle that your product helps to create. In other words, emphasize the results of using your product. Could it be a more successful future? Or greater recognition? Or more happiness? You may even highlight the pain your readers would feel by not using your product.

3. Demonstrate the product in use: You often see this type of technique in food advertisements where motion is used to make certain meals look more appetizing – butter being spread on bread, cheese oozing out of the sides of a pizza, steam wafting out of a bowl of piping hot noodles. The rule of thumb is this: if there’s motion, show it. The same applies for products that are not food. If you’re selling t-shirts, show them being worn. If you’re promoting a skin moisturizer, show it being applied on the skin.

4. Emphasize a real, everyday person connected to your product: As I’ve always mentioned in my articles, consumers are smarter this days and relate better to ads that are believable and real. To prove this point, take a few seconds to answer this question: Who would you relate better to? An attractive-looking male model who claims he’s found the woman of his dreams. Or an average-looking Joe who has overcome low self-esteem and finally found the confidence to attract a love partner?

Therefore, this person should be a customer who has already experienced your service and product. By using pictures of real, ordinary people using your product, it makes your ad more believable and your readers will naturally respond better to something they can relate to.

5. Take the emphasis away from the product, but not the benefits: Sometimes, to stand out from a sea of clichéd ads, you have to move beyond the obvious and do something different. So besides your own product, what other images can be used to highlight its benefits? If you’re selling a hair growth product that stops balding, could you show something else that isn’t the balding scalp of live human being? Could it be the smooth surface of an egg? Or the bristles of a broom?

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Money Clips: The Perfect Executive Gifts for the Savvy Giver

If you think hurdling the job interview had been tough, wait until it’s time to give executive gifts. Selecting executive gifts can be a terrifying and time-consuming process, particularly because this is a time for confusion and self-doubt. What in the world can you buy for the boss who has everything? Or for the officemate whose cubicle is right next to yours? What do you give to that special client whose single real estate purchase helped you meet the downpayment for your new car?

The most useful thing to remember in choosing executive gifts is to consider the personality of the recipient. Paperweights with humorous sayings, for example, won’t meet much appreciation from that serious vegetarian who sits three cubicles to the right. Similarly, a bouquet of flowers will only meet blank looks from your dour, 58-year-old male boss who is always to busy he doesn’t have time to smell his newly cleaned office, much more a bunch of poinsettias.

The safest and the most reliable present are, thus, money clips. These are the perfect generic gifts for executives. After all, who does not need money clips? They are stylish, sophisticated, and useful. They are especially helpful for the executive who is keen on organization.

Here are six reasons why money clips will be appreciated by any executive with a bulging wallet.

1. Money clips are convenient.
How many times have you seen bosses or co-workers fumbling as they try to fish out some bills from their bulky wallets? If you were given a dollar each time you see this happen, you’d have enough to buy an entire week’s change of office attire. Money clips get your organized. All you need to do to make your cash slide in or out is to fold your bill and give it a gentle push or tug.

2. Money clips let you consolidate.
The average office worker’s wallet would be filled to overflowing not just with money and credit cards, but also with receipts and other once-useful stubs. With money clips, you will be forced to get rid of them because there won’t be any space for them. Bills and a couple of major credit cards would be everything you would want to put in your money clips.

3. Money clips are fashionable.
Money clips are at the forefront in men’s fashion and are lugged along not only by corporate executives but also by professional athletes and Hollywood movie stars. No one will ever mistake them for your grandfather’s wallet! Even better, they tastefully complement your wardrobe.

4. Money clips are versatile.
Wallets are not very adaptable. You could choose between black or brown, and perhaps add a fold or two, but other than that, there’s nowhere to go. You will never have the same problem with money clips because when it comes to style, you can be as unique as your imagination will let you.

5. Money clips let you personalize.
Money clips may be engraved with initials, names, dates, or even company names and titles.

6. Money clips are inexpensive.
Money clips are so cheap you might even find yourself worrying if its the right thing to give to your boss. Do not let this worry you, however. When it comes to presents, its no longer the thought that counts or the price, but the discriminating taste behind the choice.

Money clips are the solution to your gift-giving dilemma. When in doubt what to give, give money clips!

Business Lessons From the Final Four

I frequently draw from the military and sports worlds for leadership lessons. Wooden and Lombardi gave us examples as relevant and compelling as Winston Churchill from politics or GE’s Jack Welch from business.

The teams that have made the NCAA’s Final Four provide lessons that are easily exportable to business. A few of those follow:

Sometimes the “bad guys” win. Kentucky’s head coach John Calipari has run what journalists call “renegade programs” since he was the head basketball coach at the University of Massachusetts a couple of decades ago. Investigations seem to follow him around from one college program to another. Even when he appears to be operating within the letter of the law, he rarely seems to operate within its spirit. His players rarely graduate. His recruiting methods are routinely questioned, and yet he is always employed and always wins.

In business, it’s easy to find low-life executives who provide negative examples from which we can derive rationalizations, justifications and excuses for unethical or “borderline” behavior. I’ve personally known some executives who operate “on the fringe.” Some of those bad actors, however, achieve great wealth for themselves and their companies.

You always have a choice; you can follow the dysfunctional, unethical example of others, or you can be the example – the role model – for others. You can be a “what I’m doing isn’t that bad” person, or one who believes that character is truly revealed when no one is looking, and the odds are slim that transgressions will be publicly revealed.

More in the next bulleted point:

Wisdom and character most often trump talent. Every year, a few Universities and Colleges get their “pick of the litter” when it comes to basketball talent. For some schools, a kid’s potential to graduate is a lot less of a factor in his admission than his ability to “stick the three.” At many of these institutions, coaches and administrators create scenarios to explain to themselves how a “borderline” kid might graduate, given the appropriate mentorship and tutoring, while either their intention to provide those things or the kid’s intention to accept them are in serious doubt.

Some other coaches and administrators, however, have an unflinching dedication to “doing the right thing,” as opposed to “doing the expedient thing.” For them, integrity is a ground-rule rather than just one among many considerations that inform how they run their programs.

In your business and life, is integrity a ground-rule, or just another consideration among many as you make decisions and take action?

Age is not a prerequisite for wisdom and character. Two of the Final Four coaches are really young guys. Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart is 33. Butler coach Brad Stevens is 34. When I listen to interviews with these two guys, the phrase that comes to mind is “old souls.” While one seems more reserved, calculating, deliberate and methodical (Stevens), and the other more effervescent, emotional and enthusiastic (Smart), they both strike me as guys who have learned and then employed life’s lessons.

I have written that “Wisdom is imparted by experience, but not always. A huge difference lies between having ten years of experience and one year of experience ten times. For experience to result in wisdom, reflection, judgment and behavioral adjustments have to ensue.”

Each of these guys seems to have taken the experience that he’s acquired in his young life and extrapolated that into something bigger, better, and wiser. Each would be as successful as a business leader as he is as a basketball coach.

In your life, is “the whole” of your lessons greater than the sum of the parts?

• Smaller, less significant competitors often become big Kahunas. College basketball experts and talking heads refer to VCU and Butler as “mid-majors.” While no one seems to have a great definition of that term, I think what it means is “schools that do not have long, countrywide reputations as basketball powerhouses, who have not historically made it very far in the NCAA tournament, who play in smallish facilities, who do not enjoy having massive recruiting and scholarship budgets, and who compete in conferences with schools that have similar limitations.”

After making the NCAA tournament several times in recent years and the Final Four this year and last year, Butler is moving out of mid-major status. VCU is still firmly entrenched there.

As I recall, UCONN was classified as a mid-major until 20 years ago when Jim Calhoun took the reins of their program. Who would call UCONN a mid-major today?

In business, wasn’t Southwest Airlines a mid-major until fifteen to twenty years ago? When I flew into Baltimore Washington International Airport in the early 90s, USAirways (then USAir) dominated. Southwest has effectively driven them out coupled with USAir’s own incompetence. Who heard of Capital One Financial in 1995? The first time I heard “What’s in your wallet?” I didn’t get it. Today, their brand is as recognizable as McDonald’s. Howard Schultz not only built a company and a brand, he also created a category. In 1990, coffee was still a breakfast beverage; now, it’s a lifestyle drink. My point is big companies were once small; powerhouse brands were not always so; potent competitors were once struggling start-ups.

The lesson for you: Never, ever create excuses for tough competition or tough times. I hear it all the time. Executives and business owners blame regulation, competition, Bangalore, third-world slave shops, recessions, expansions, sinus headaches, male pattern baldness or the full moon for their companies’ lousy performance when the right answer is always in the mirror! Don’t be one of those. When times are tough, double-down. If your company is small, invest in growth. Own your results; own your life!!

Copyright 2011 Rand Golletz. All rights reserved.

Financial Market Trading Performance Dipped? You Need This

Trading Performance Dipped? You Need This

Over the course of his meteoric rise from young man to successful trader he had come to believe he was unstoppable. He was on fire. In at the crack o dawn, powering through his days, doing WHATEVER was needed to succeed. He was certain he could not fail. He was the main man! He kept aiming higher and higher. His whole life felt awesome. Why? Because he was The MAN on his desk! His friends and family saw him as the man who went to the City and conquered! Living the dream.

Fast forward just a couple of years. His hunger is not what it was. The treadmill of trading life has kicked in. The new breed is now on the desk. They seem hungrier than he ever was? As soon as the bell goes and the adrenaline drops, he is looking over his shoulder living in fear.

Sound like anyone you know?

Been at the top of your game, then for absolutely no identifiable reason the winning trades faltered and the bonuses dried up? Your power to deliver has waned? Life has got in the way? Buying too soon? Buying too late? Have you lost the balls to follow through and beat the gun? What has changed that means you are no longer following through?

This may just be the most important article you will read this year.

A recent study of 40 financial traders over a 2 year period at the Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Cambridge United Kingdom; has concluded that successful trading is more than knowledge of securities. “Traders must also possess confidence enough to place their bets, risk preferences high enough to place bets of meaningful size, and the ability to process information quickly enough to keep one step
ahead of competitors”.

So what drives this confidence?

The study continues, “In that study we noted that on days when traders had high morning testosterone compared with their median level during the study, they recorded a significantly higher P&L for the rest of that day than they did on days of low morning testosterone. In other words, morning testosterone levels predicted afternoon P&L”.

So if at this simplistic level testosterone levels drive our ability to take action, to take the risk, to place the bets, to lead the market. How do we break the cycle we are in? Scientists have yet to develop a solution that means we start playing at our peak with one blue pill and a glass of water.

I can guarantee with cast iron certainty that I know what your mindset was when you started in trading. You were either **** scared that you could not fail; no, scratch that, you would not allow failure to be an option. You had your back against the wall. There were times when you worked 16 hours straight reading, listening, immersing yourself in everything stocks to ensure you would not fail.

Am I right?

Why did you have this pig headed single mindedness? Who were you proving a point to? This drove you. This created the drive and the testosterone that in turn created a belief and a self fulfilling prophecy. “I will not fail!”.

What has happened to that person?
Sitting Comfortably?

If you have stopped trading at your peak, the reality is, if you stripped away the layers one at a time you have reached your comfort zone.

Aka known as grey. Aka a living death.

You are more content doing an hour or two less a day, you can deal with the loss of status, you have had your day right? You can’t be at the top forever. You had it good while it lasts. Life slows down, it’s only natural I would lose my edge, my confidence would drop. Yes, the wife and I now argue over money, but that is normal isn’t it? It will be alright, no-ones died……

No! Stop!
You are more than that. This middle no mans land you are in is not you. You are more than this!

You know in your gut that you can achieve much more than you are demonstrating now. You have the experience. You have the skills. You have the competitive edge.

If you, no, scratch that….. WHEN you get your momentum back, you will be armed with twice the skills and experience you had when you were at the top of your game! You have even more potential than the new breed!

What if something could come along and fill you with absolute certainty that you will find a way that will make you The MAN again when the voice inside says otherwise?

Let me give you an example about a client of mine; let us call him ‘Mike’. Mike was working at Nomura in 1996 and absolutely kicked it. He was the proverbial dogs b’s. He could do no wrong. He told me, his thirties kicked in. He got used to the drinks after work, the cars, the all night parties, the status. As sure as you can be that Tiger Woods will get caught out again, Mike woke up one day and was threatened with losing his lucrative position at Cazenove. Why? He said he had ‘lost his edge’. He was going to be out of his ludicrously high paid role along with half the city. Who the hell was going to pay for the house? He hit a downward spiral. He had cold sweats. He was out of work, a failure. Tail between his legs. He was meant to be impenetrable. Scotch became his ally. The burn rate his savings was killing him and his ego.

Fast forward 2 years. He was earning more than he ever had. Why? He had met the woman of his dreams, had a baby. He had to step up now. He had his back against the wall. He had to make this work. It was now that he found out how to get back to being him. To follow through once again. As a man he knew he was capable of more. This is when Mike was put in contact with us via a mutual trader acquaintance.

First Mike needed to understand why he was not performing at the levels he once was.

There are 4 factors to every cycle of success in your trading career

Factor # 1 – Potential to be a successful trader
This does not change. This is limitless. Guy hands; the UK’s leading financial trader was born dyslexic. He was even cast as Lady Macbeth as a 10 year old. What would that do to his sense of self? His potential did not change. He had it. He just needed to find it and USE it. He started at Goldman Sachs, then went to Nomura when Mike was there. He made a veritable fortune. His potential was there as a 10 year old probably getting mocked. He left Nomura to create Terra Firma which debuted with a $2.7 billion private equity fund, immediately making it one of the larger private equity firms in Europe

How much have you made in a year? You have done that already, when you did not have the skills you have now. Your potential to achieve much greater heights is there. It always will be. Your potential is no more, no less than Hands. It is limitless.

Factor # 2 – Action you take each day as a trader
Has this changed? You know, the action you take determines the results you will get. Has this dropped? Are you taking less action? Are you taking the same action? Are you making the calls? But making them late? Are you taking the action but not really believing what you are doing? Are you merely coattailng now but following the wrong guy? Taking more action without the belief is fruitless.

Go with this, you are about to have a breakthrough.

Factor # 3 – The Trading Results you get every day
Totally dependent on the previous steps. Have you tapped your potential and taken the intelligent action required to get the desired results as the bell sounds? Have you lost your shirt more than once? Your action is dependent on your potential, which we know is limitless, so why has the action not transformed into results which should match your actions? What type of action are you taking? Think this through carefully, we are nearly there.

Factor # 4 – Your belief that you can be / are an awesome trader

The middle ground of ‘maybe I am, maybe I’m not’. This will kill you in the trading environment. SO what makes the rich get richer? The successful trader gets more successful?

Let’s go back to when you were at the top of your trading game. When you had the momentum, when you were The Man. You were getting results that matched your executed action. Your potential was the same as it is no, so what was different?

You “tapped” more of your “potential”.

Really think this through. The only difference was that you knew in your gut. You knew in every fibre of your body that you were the man. That you were going to make this a success. No, scratch that. You KNEW you were already a success and reality just had to catch up with the vision you had in your mind. You know you would not fail. Didn’t you!?

Don’t just read this intellectually. Stand up and feel it! What did you feel in your gut as you looked in the mirror each morning when you brushed your teeth? What do you feel now? A winner! Proud! Certain!

What do you feel now?

The difference is you believed you could achieve that day, that week, that year, this lifetime whatever you set your mind to! This belief drove the very biomechanics of your body. You walked, talked, breathed, held your head, slept in different patterns, talked with a deeper, slower voice. Do you see the power that this belief held over your thoughts and even your physiology?

What do you believe today? (well, up until you have finished this article).

Death by a thousand cuts

You didn’t log onto your trading system one day and suddenly lose it. The transition from your old belief (The Man) to your current belief (I am destined to…) did not happen overnight. You did not realise that your belief in who you are and what you could achieve was changing at all. It happened bit by bit. Trade by trade. Day by day.

A dear friend of mine calls this process of going from the Alpha male. Successful, in control of his destiny to the shadow of himself – ‘Death by a thousand cuts’. Your beliefs are always changing.

So how do we get back to ‘The Man’? How do we get your belief back that determines how much of your trading potential you will start tapping right now?

What follows are three simple and deeply effective steps that will recondition your conscious and subconscious mind to that of the successful trader which you are.

As humans we tend to look for the most complex route to success. The simplest route is always in a straight line. Follow through and you will see massive change to your end of day P & L.

Step 1 – Associate massive pain to this belief that has held you back

Action Point: Stand up, close your eyes, see yourself in 5 years time acting in the same way you are now. Ask yourself the following questions.

“What does this belief stop you doing in your life?”
“What else?”
“How has this held you back in the past in the bank, at home?”
“How else has it held you back in the past, what else did you not do because of this?”
“If you did not change this what would your life be like 1 year from now?”
“What about 5 years from now?”
“What would you call a person who let a belief about their trading performance like this this run their life?”

When you feel knots in your stomach and it feels uncomfortable, you are there. Only move onto step 2 when you reach this point.

Step 2 – Create doubt about this BS current belief.
How did you cause the original belief do crumble? By questioning it.

Action Point: Remember the empowering (slight sarcasm) questions you would ask when you were on the way down from the top and write them down.

“What if I miss the trade?”
“What if I have just been lucky so far?”
“What if the new breed takes over? What if I don’t win big this year? “

Each of these questions formed a foundation and with each one the foundation got stronger and stronger, bit by bit (death by a thousand cuts), until you believed that there was little point expending the massive effort researching your trades you once did.

We are now going to recondition your mind to take control of what you believe at a subconscious level (scientists now say the subconscious mind is 30,000 times more powerful than the conscious mind).

5 Power Drivers
Use the 5 Power Drivers to annihilate your old belief. What was your old limiting belief? Mike’s was “I am not up to being a success trader, I just got lucky”.

Action Point: For each Power Driver, think about the evidence, the facts you have that fully disprove your beliefs, feel them and write them down (in hand, not typing).

Below are Mikes Power Drivers.

Environment – “I have worked at one of the worlds most prestigious banks for 10 years, which is more than just luck. I guess I must be doing something right”

Education – “I have studied from the worlds best, I devoured Chuck Mellon and Warren Buffet materials, and I did go to a great university and aced it!”

Past results – “I have traded successfully successfully in bear and bull markets. Hell, I have proven myself in all markets”

Events in life – “My father passed away, and I still managed to step up, focus and keep my head”

Creative thinking – “I have the balls to face this front on now. How many other people are ready for round 2, blow the dust off and go for it again?!”

Action point: Keep reading these again and again until the beliefs starts to weaken and you can feel in your stomach (this is key) that it has less of a grip on you.

Step 3 – Establish what you want to believe

Now this step is crucial. We have begun to loosen the hold the old belief has on you; we are now going to recondition and imprint the new belief on your subconscious (which drive yours conscious actions).

Action Point: Take 5 minutes. Go back to how you felt the first time you knew “you had made it”. What was that belief?

Mikes belief about his trading ability was: “I can do anything. I have come from a small town. Talked my way into one of the biggest banks in the world, have earned 10 times my initial salary within 24 months. I can do anything! I am The Man!”

Now what would you have to believe in the 5 power drivers to live that belief every day?

You may want to take what you have written in step 2 but add gasoline to really make them emotional. So when you read them you feel it in your gut.

Mikes new foundations:

Environment – “I have a beautiful home, family who worship me, friends who look up to me, this did not happen by luck, I am the man, I stepped up the very minute I entered the bank. That is the real me. That is when I felt most alive. That is the man!”

Education – “I have all this on the job education, I have contact, I have the experience, I know that good follows bad, these young bucks don’t get what I get, I know that it will all turn out awesome. Why? Because I am stepping up again man. Round 2 here and I am going to use every ounce of what I have learnt to make this one count!”

Past results – “I have stepped up man. Would I have taken these results as a 10 year old boy when my imagination was at its peak!? Yes! I have achieved immense amount! Hell I love what I have done. I have earned a fortune and I have my health and family! What more could I achieve!”

Events in life – “I have been through the mill and back at times and I am not just standing. I am excited about what the future events hold! This next chapter is going to be the most exciting, rewarding….damn, it’s going to be a nitro filled adventure!”

Creative thinking – “I will prove to myself and my family, my kids, that your husband, your Dad is a man you can be proud of now not for only what he has achieved, but for what he is going to do in the next 5 years! Watch this space! You will be so proud!!!! Yes!”

So how does that feel, reading your new beliefs and the drivers that tell you a) why your old belief is BS and b) just what the new belief is going to bring you?

How do you produce certainty /belief when the outside world tells you can’t do it?

Potential? You don’t change potential that is there?
Action? You don’t take more action as belief is small, therefore won’t work
Results? Won’t change as action has not changed.
Beliefs! You need to change your beliefs, your certainty that you can do it.

You follow these 3 steps every day. It will take 5 minutes to read these every morning, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Keep them I your wallet on the back of a business card. Read them in the queue. Watch your life change.

This is one of many ways we create new beliefs for our clients. The key is following through on the steps in an intelligent, consistent and regular systematized approach. Success will be yours. Life will be on your terms.