Can I get an “Amen!”

Non-Fat Advertising

I found this blog by Matt Haughey. At the end of the post he says this…

“So maybe instead of getting your company on twitter, paying marketers to mention you are on twitter, and paying people to blog about your company, forget all that and just make awesome stuff that gets people excited about your products, hire people that represent the company well, and when your stuff is so awesome that friends share it with other friends, you may not even need ‘social media marketing’ after all.”

Is that completely awesome or what?!

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Non-Fat Advertising

I’m a marketing guy and ad writer. This isn’t just about better ads either, it’s also about a strategy to set you apart and help you be remembered (in a good way). I write this marketing blog because I’m on a mission to help you get more from your…

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How do you write a different future for yourself or your business? How do you make an impact? How do you change the outcome?

This should help…   2 quick Moneyball movie trailers –

And Whoa! I love this next one too –

When you need to make something different happen…

When you’re tired of the same outcome time after time…

When you need a change

You need to do things differently.

“Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players…your goal should be to buy WINS.”

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

“Doing things differently is pretty much the only way I feel comfortable doing them. I used to feel bad about that. But not any more.”   

Marketing in Sioux Falls

What IS marketing anyway?

Isn’t it just finding a good way to make some moolah from a product or service? So, what are some good ways to market what you have to offer? Let’s take a look at a few from the top of my head.

1. Have a really awesome product or service that will generate some word of mouth (some buzz). BUT this is easier said than done. Your product needs to wow the pants off of people. It needs to be better, faster, easier, etc. than the next best product. Your service needs to be a step above what your closest competitor is doing.

2. Make it look good. So, if you’re a retail store, make people say, “Wow, this is really nice” once they’re inside. If you’re a service biz, then don’t drive around in rusted out pieces of junk. And make your service people look like a million bucks compared to your competition.

3. Say it different. In all of your communications with a potential customer, don’t sound like everyone else who is selling the same thing. Stand out. Stand for SOMETHING. Be remembered by how you present your product or service.

4. Your policies. Don’t be a copycat. Just because most of the businesses in your category do something a certain way, it doesn’t mean you have to have a policy that makes no sense. Have some guarantees. Create some return policies that make people feel ultra-comfortable in their purchasing decision. Make doing business with you EASY.

5. Free merchandise. Not everyone can do this, but I think most could find something to give away. Coffee mugs, T-shirts, etc. But make the stuff FREE when they purchase a certain amount of product or services. I saw a smoothie place that was selling their T-shirts. I bet their sales on those are close to zero. Why not give everyone a free T-shirt when they get 12 punches on a special card? But make your merchandise fun. Have a funny saying on your stuff that makes people actually WANT to wear or use the freebie. Cause them to proudly don your merchandise and advertise all over Sioux Falls for you. Heck, if you have a great customer, send them something unexpectedly, with a card attached that says “Thank you”. They’ll love you for it, and they’ll probably tell a couple of people.

Of course advertising on the radio is marketing too. If you want to accelerate your word-of-mouth and go beyond what I’ve listed above, I can help brand you locally. Local branding is powerful. But it’s not “awareness”. It’s totally different. Awareness doesn’t mean much. Branding makes people remember you for something good. I’ll help you be remembered when people need what you offer. If we dig a little, and find the right strategy, it’s how you can take your business to new levels.

Sioux Falls marketing doesn’t have to be so difficult. You just have to stop copying other businesses (because they don’t usually know what they’re doing either), provide great service, and get out of your “box” as often as you can.

Do you want to market your business better? Then, let’s brainstorm for an hour some day. I hope to talk to you soon! : )

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Local Advertising Book with no “sugar coating”

This blog post is about a book… and also about your local business… and what you could do to make something really spectacular happen to your revenues. And stuff.

So, I wrote a local advertising book. It’s my first one. And of course I feel that I should have said some things differently in it. And I missed that one type-o. But the best advice for some people (like me) is to just “put it out there”. Because if we wait for things to be perfect, we’ll never “put anything out there”.

Here’s the link to the book, if you’d like to plop down 6 or 7 bucks to learn about getting more out of your local advertising dollars.

Hey, I’ve read a LOT of marketing books. And some of them left me wondering why they felt the need to use such fluff and industry jargon throughout the whole thing. I write like I talk. I don’t sugar coat many things. And if you don’t get any “eye openers” from reading the book… or any “golden nuggets” from it, I’ll give you your money back.

I think it’s better than 50% of the local advertising books out there. Maybe you’ll think it’s the best one out there. Most of the local advertising books I’ve read, try to tell you WHERE you should advertise. But I don’t do that. I don’t care where you advertise. You might like a particular method or advertising medium. My book will just help you get even BETTER results.

But other people might think, “Oh, great. You’ve given me a lot of tools to help me not waste my advertising dollar… but I really have no idea what to do next!” That’s when you call me. Radio isn’t right for everyone…but it might be totally frickin’ awesome for YOU. Do you want your business to be famous? I could help you out with that.

You’re thinking, “Really? Famous? I’m so sure.” But when you’re branded intelligently in your area, you ARE famous. Just not in the traditional sense of the word. If you’re wondering what it would be like to be BRANDED, just ask a few of my radio clients. If you want some of their phone numbers – I’ll give them to you. They’re happy to tell you what Radio and Duane Christensen has helped them do.

But of course, my radio clients tend to be pretty smart too. They run a good business internally, and they have me develop an advertising campaign in which Radio listeners actually like and REMEMBER.

If you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to pull the trigger on an advertising campaign, in an attempt to reach a specific “champagne-popping goal” then you should first read my book. But if you ARE ready, why not just have a talk with me some day – and I’ll just bring the book to you for free. ; )

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Look for someone who has a passion for helping local businesses get ahead. Your first clue: Do they have a blog? Do they have two blogs? Let’s have a conversation soon.

Talk Radio – KSOO AM 1140 – Yup, it’s a great place to advertise!

If you don’t listen to talk radio, you find it hard to believe that ANYONE listens. But if you are one of the many who listen to KSOO 1140 in Sioux Falls…you’re kind of addicted to it, right?

Why KSOO? Because the people who listen tend to be a bit older. 40+ mostly. And who controls most of the wealth in this country? No, it’s not Mark Zuckerberg…it’s the Baby Boomers.

People spend the first 40 or 50 years of their lives accumulating wealth and then sometimes they inherit a house or even more wealth. This is just the way it is. So, when I hear of a furniture store owner, plumbing company, mattress store, glass replacement company, remodeler, cabinet company, electrician, auto dealer, etc. say they wouldn’t EVER advertise on AM talk radio…I know they are missing out on a very profitable group of people.

And talk radio listeners are “active” listeners. Meaning they are listening intently to their favorite programs. It’s not like a music station where sometimes you just have it on for background noise. So, you don’t have to air quite as many ads each week like you do on a music station. Maybe 75% as many.

Whether you’re looking to add another station to your radio campaign…or you’re looking for a FIRST station to dominate…KSOO AM 1140 is known to boost a company’s number of new faces in their doors. And you don’t just get some new faces. You get more new faces that tend to have more money to spend. And there are less of them just looking for the “best deal” or the lowest price. Finding a quality product or service is important to them. They’d rather not price shop for hours and hours. So, why not communicate to these people every day?

KSOO has a great line-up…both live and local, and also popular syndicated programs such as Dave Ramsey and Glenn Beck. And it doesn’t matter if you like both of those guys or not. They have huge followings.

If you’d like to see what a radio schedule on KSOO would look like, just let me know. And one thing you get with me also… is a radio ad writer who makes absolute certain your ad stands out, gets heard, and gives people a reason to do business with YOU instead of your competition.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

KSOO AM 1140 (one of our 8 radio stations here in Sioux Falls, SD)

Sioux Falls: Easy To Start A Business?

Oh Sioux Falls. I’ve considered moving to a more attractive climate before.

Because why do we subject ourselves to such volatile weather? But my wife and I always come back to the same conclusion – to stay. The crime is usually minimal. The people are pretty good – as long as you don’t push your political views down my throat too much. We know a lot of people too – lots of connections. We’re well established here (not always, we went through our “broke as hell” stage). And there always just seems to be something nice about the whole area. It feels good.

So, the allure of the Sioux Falls area for a lot of people is pretty strong. And the economy stays healthy most of the time, so a lot of people try to start their own business thinking that Sioux Falls is steady, but also growing.

But I just want to point out that owning a SUCCESSFUL business all comes down to the customer experience. I know location is important…and financial smarts…and demand for your product or service…but but but there’s too many start-ups that don’t understand you better deliver a solid experience for your customers.

Many think that Sioux Falls is great enough to support any new business no matter how you run it. But we still have low start-up success rates just like every other city around the country. Starting a new business and successfully operating a new business is hard. There’s so much more to do than just opening your doors and saying “Ta-da!!!”

I still have way too many awful customer experiences in this town. And we’re supposed to be friendly and understanding here in God’s country, right? Short story…

I had to drop a few things off at the household hazardous waste facility the other day. I wasn’t expecting the awesome attitudes and friendliness that I received. I got better service and more smiles there…than I do at most other local businesses! But before you say, “So what”, I want you to consider something. They have no competition! They don’t HAVE to be nice. They don’t have to worry about me going somewhere else for better service. And they were still fantastic, cheery, and helpful.

So, what about the restaurant, the plumber, the auto repair shop, the website designer, the restaurant, the advertising rep, etc. that fails to remember that they have a LOT of competition? That I have a ton of other choices?

My point? I’d love to see more new businesses thrive and stay in business – so maybe they could take a lesson from the awesome guys at the household hazardous waste facility here in Sioux Falls. It’s not easy to be profitable and be successful as small business owner…so don’t shoot yourself in the foot by forgetting that your biggest assets are your customers.

Start there first. Get some good word-of-mouth going. Then when you advertise…I’ll help you attract new faces and increase the volume of your good word-of-mouth even more! Pretty soon you’ll either have to expand, add another location, or just enjoy your profits.

Sioux Falls…I like you. I’m staying. And I want to help you grow and become known as a city of respect and friendliness – no matter if I’m walking down the street, in need of a good electrician, or ordering a Philly sandwich.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

Which Plumber Would You Choose?

I’m going to give you parts to two different ads for plumbers. Then you be the judge on which you’d be more tempted to choose.

Plumber #1

We were at a restaurant, and my brother said, “We’re plumbers…why don’t we start our own company?” You see, at the time my brother and I were both plumbers working for different plumbing companies. We’d been doing it a while and always took note of things that we thought should be done better. Whether it was better employee policies, work ethic, or how our bosses never taught anyone to treat the customer really well. So, we were sitting at the restaurant and we started writing possible names of our new plumbing company down on a napkin. We had about 12 awful names written down when I thought, how about the name of the street we grew up on as kids?…..

And so on…you get the picture, right?

Plumber #2

At B & D Plumbing, we can take care of all your plumbing needs. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that we’ve been in business for 16 years. No matter if it’s a broken faucet or a toilet that needs replacing, you can call B & D Plumbing to get the best service in town. Our trained technicians will take care of you no matter your plumbing trouble. B & D Plumbing is proud to be your Sioux Falls plumbing leader for years to come…….

So, you obviously can see the difference in the two ads. The first one is telling you a story and you’re getting to know that company and what they stand for. The second ad is what you hear every day from almost every local business in Sioux Falls that tries to advertise with radio, TV, newspaper, or whatever. It’s what you get when you think all advertising is the same and choose your advertising based on your favorite radio station, price, or by doing what you think advertising is supposed to be.

Which plumber would you choose?

I’m guessing you’d pick the plumbers that told the story over the other. And I’m also going to tell you that if those radio ads were actually running on the radio, you wouldn’t have even heard Ad #2 because your brain would have said, “Who cares” about 8 seconds in…and directed your attention to something more interesting.

If you’d like some more tips and advice, please subscribe to this blog. Or don’t be afraid to email me any questions or comments you might have. I’m in this business to help small business owners attract new, profitable customers. If I can help you out, I’d love that. I’d be honored.

You can even check out the new book I wrote here…  It took over a year to write and re-write and go back and forth deciding if I should actually publish it. Some of my biggest supporters told me to just go for it. So I did. And it feels good to have something out there that can help educate small businesses on a more effective way to advertise.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog