The Trust Ladder

The Trust Ladder

Let’s talk a bit today about the power of a local radio campaign. One that brands a local business (makes people think of you first in your category… and they know exactly what you’re about and what you stand for). It essentially can make a business or a business owner somewhat famous in his or her community. Someone like you. And isn’t that what you really want for your business? …for it to become famously popular with a large group of people?

A radio ad campaign is made up of individual ads. Ads that are changed every so often. About once a month for most of my radio customers. Most have an ad schedule of 3 or 4 weeks of ads each and every month. Sometimes every week.

The success of a radio advertising campaign comes from the series of ads. Not just that ONE ad that I’m trying to write. So, I guess there’s technically not a perfect ad. There’s just a series of really good ads aired over time that makes a much bigger overall impact than the sum benefit of each ad tracked individually (if you think you can accurately do that).

There’s an ad for you that might seem perfect if you know which ad finally turns somebody from a non-customer into a customer. But that ad won’t be the same one that finally tipped someone else off the fence. We all react differently to ads.

And just because one particular ad makes a few people come and buy something from you… doesn’t mean that the 6 different ads they heard in the 6 months prior, didn’t move them closer and closer to buying from you. A good radio ad campaign will constantly be moving people closer to doing business with you. Some people are closer to needing what you sell than others. Your ad campaign is constantly working for you. Constantly moving people up the TRUST LADDER.

When you’re trying to convince someone to buy from YOU instead of someone else, they need to be at an unconscious trust level with you before they’ll buy. It’s a process. And it doesn’t happen overnight… or with ONE ad.

Your radio advertising campaign (that says something people actually want to listen to) moves people of all different types up the TRUST LADDER constantly. Some get to that coveted top few rungs of trust sooner than others.

Thanks for reading. Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls

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

My Invisible Friend

Radio is like an extra person in the room. It’s company. It’s a silence breaker. It’s a friend.

So, when I’m cleaning my garage for an afternoon, I have the radio on. When we sit down for dinner and would like some “dinner music”, the radio is on. When I’m in my car, I have a passenger even though nobody is visible in the seat. Radio.

Radio is my mood lifter. My information giver. My invisible buddy.

Seems like a nice advertising platform doesn’t it?

Radio Ads That Don’t Stink

Radio advertising, sioux falls advertisingYou get stinky radio advertising results when you have stinky radio ADS.

I know Radio Advertising works great when you have something interesting for people to listen to. And radio is much nicer to listen to when the ads aren’t so putrid! AND…and…and (this is me getting excited to talk to you about good radio advertising) and… and …and do you know what else? A radio station will have more happy listeners when of course the DJs are good and the programming is good…but also when the ads aren’t so sleeeeeepy, annoying, and uninteresting.

A bunch of the radio stations I’ve listened to in Sioux Falls and all over the country have the same mediocre and worse than mediocre ads that sound just like a newspaper ad read into a microphone. Sleepy Town. And not only are the ads kind of boring and blah blah blah…but they don’t work! Talk about double-yuck! It’s like they have a template on file for each business category, and they just insert the business name into the proper one. It’s a formula that creates haters of radio advertising.

Radio works great when you STRIP AWAY the clichés, the template-style writing, and all the things that everybody else drones on about in their ads (but nobody cares about). When you say things that are interesting and unexpected, people listen, and results / return on investment / increased market share will happen.

But then…you can even take a better than average ad and improve upon it. How do you do that? Help people visualize something. Help them SEE. Make a movie with your radio. Tell a story with visual words. How do the best fictional writers get us so hooked on their story? By making us feel like we’re there. The “gurus” say that radio is theater of the mind. And it IS. But very few actually create that kind of ad. When you DO, it’s powerful.

Let’s do something that works. Let’s leave out the everyday phrases nobody cares about. Replace them with something interesting that a listener can “latch onto” and cause them to REMEMBER you. Let’s make some radio ads that smell like chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven. When you do, you’ll love what radio advertising can do for your business.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

I’m a radio ad writer and sales guy that works for Results Radio in Sioux Falls. Love my job. Of course it comes with stress and frustrations at times. But when you have a passion for something…what doesn’t? I like to help Sioux Falls business owners convince the public that their business is the bomb. It’s a process. But it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Let’s get started!

Snoozer Ads: “The List”

I listen to the radio. And I listen to the commercials. Especially the commercials on one of our 8 radio stations. The radio commercials we write, engage and keep people listening longer. If I ever need to remind myself of what most local radio ads sound like…I just pop it over to a station outside of our group. It’s kinda painful.

I like to evaluate the ads on any station – ours or theirs. I can tell the difference between an ad that has potential…and an ad that will help listeners tune out faster. I heard an ad recently that needed some major help. It contained “THE LIST”. The ad that lists about 15 different products. One after the other…and anoothther…and anothththeerrrr…Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So, what were they trying to do? They wanted to let everybody know that they have a huge selection to choose from. I get it. But the problem is…it’s grounds for being a SNOOZER AD. There are many different kinds of snoozer ads, but today we’ll talk about “the list”.

How can we let people know that you’ve got a lot of great products? Well, you can let them know you’ve got ONE great product, and a lot of others just as great. What I mean is, you focus on ONE product. You dazzle people with its greatness. You make them SEE themselves using the product. You make them see how wonderful it would be if they OWNED it. You describe the product through story. You describe the process in making the product. Whatever awesome things your product can do for your potential new customer or whatever they might find interesting about the product, you talk about it. Maybe it’s super high-tech. Maybe it’s a combination of this and that. Maybe it has a feature that people don’t know about.

But you can’t be tempted to start rambling off a bunch of other products. When you start listing products one after another, that’s when your Snoozer Ad Warning System signals “red alert” in your brain. Don’t do it. Be strong. Once you’ve pulled out some great juicy bits about your ONE product, then you can say something like, “If you don’t think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, why not inspect one of our other 27 selections.” Or something like that if you really feel the need to let people know you have a ton of products.

When you intrigue people with one product…and they believe that it’s truly a whiz-bang product…they’re going to assume all your other products (or services) are equally as fantastic. And by doing your radio ad that way, instead of inserting “the list”, your ad became interesting, entertaining, informational, and above all…a non-snoozer.

Have a great day! Do one thing better than anyone else could do today.

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog

I’m a hard-working guy at Results Radio Cumulus Media in Sioux Falls. If you want to chat, drop me a line!

A few Sioux Falls radio spots

I’m pretty excited! I just figured out how to put some audio into my blog posts. Here are 3 radio spots I wrote. And they were produced by either myself and/or Results Radio Cumulus Media production department. Once in a while I’ll share some ads that I’ve done to give you an idea of what we can do for you. I’ve also added a page up above with even more ads if you’d like to tickle your eardrums. 🙂

Cake Lady Results Radio spot

Heirloom Creations Results Radio spot

Sioux Falls Psychological Services Results Radio spot

For all your blankity blank needs…

Some business owners know that they need to say things in their ads that hold more “substance”. They know that they need to get people’s attention…and say something in their advertising that might “move the needle”. Say something in their ads that people actually care about.

And then there are others that could really improve their advertising immediately by eliminating the clichés and fluffiness in their ads.

For example…

“For all your ________ needs.”

“Turn your dreams into reality.”

“Second to none.”

“Knowledgeable staff”

“For all your ________ needs.”

Yes, that one was listed twice. I not only hear that way too often on the radio…but see it even MORE in print or on the side of service vans.

Increase your ad effectiveness immediately by REPLACING those clichés with something that will help people remember you. They will NOT remember “for all your ________ needs.”

Here’s a super quick video about it. Because you love video, right? Especially when it’s short and to the point. 🙂 Click here.  For All Your ____ Needs VIDEO

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising BLOG

Results Radio Cumulus Media

Are you preparing for a Groundhog Day Sale?

Are you preparing for a Groundhog Day Sale?…

OR are you preparing and laying the groundwork for a fantastic YEAR?

Do you want to be the business that is always searching for a gimmick to draw a crowd? Or will you be one of the few that advertises in a manner that consistently attracts profitable new customers to that the end of the year can be labeled a huge success?

When you teach people why to do business with you…

When you connect with people emotionally…

When you make people feel GOOD about your company…

When you increase the public’s TRUST in you every time they’re exposed to one of your ads…

THEN you will cease to bang your head against the wall and find that your advertising can pay you back more than your wildest dreams.

And you say, “Ha! More than my wildest dreams?!” And then I say, “Your wildest dreams (in regards to advertising) is to probably find something once and for all that actually works!”

When you find the right things to SAY in your advertising, that is when it all falls into place. Let’s make it a great YEAR…not just a great Groundhog Day.

Have a rockin’ day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog


Team member at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls.


One of the words you hear in the advertising world is “REACH”.

It’s important to “reach” people with your advertising. So, the big shiny thing for some business owners is when an advertising medium says they REACH (insert huge number here) people. But when you really think about “reach”…I mean really think about it…all that matters is if you “reach” them in a persuasive manner. I mean…are you moving people closer to doing business with you in your advertising? Are you engaging them in a conversation they can be a part of?

The TRUTH is that reach without engagement is not doing you any good.

The billboard that “reaches” tens of thousands of people every day doesn’t necessarily get noticed or make any sort of impact at all. Especially, when the message on that billboard is cliché, meaningless, and doesn’t provide any persuasive information. You better have 8 great words that combine to make a powerful statement.

The newspaper ad that “reaches” (insert their circulation number here) people doesn’t actually get seen by that many people. That’s the same as me saying that every single radio ad you air is heard every time it runs…by every single listener. And the newspaper ad that tries to “brand” your business with your business name and an un-engaging and un-persuasive slogan attached isn’t giving you what you think it’s giving you.

The online ad that comes up on someone’s page and is “viewed” doesn’t necessarily mean that you made any sort of impact. If they clicked on your ad and bought something immediately…then, yes, you can call that success. But how many times does that happen? When’s the last time you clicked on an online ad and immediately bought something?

No matter if it’s TV, magazines, Radio, bus benches, or whatever…REACH doesn’t matter all that much if the actual content of the ad isn’t making an impact. Is it getting people’s attention? Is it engaging them in a conversation? Is it persuasive? Is it teaching your prospect more about you so they can learn to trust you and contact you when they need what you offer next time?

THE WORDS used in your ads are more important than you know. They’re the MOST important part. So, when REACH is touted by an advertising medium…make sure that’s not their best selling point. They should be focusing mostly on what kind of MESSAGE will be communicated to your ideal future customer. If they fail to make the message the most important ingredient…move on until you find someone who does.

My newer clients are always surprised when they find out that I probably spend 50% or more of my time WRITING ads for all my clients. I have to. If I don’t put focus on the ad content, how would the ads ever work? How would they help attract new customers if I wasn’t constantly learning, researching, and writing better words?

Now…is there a perfect ad? No. There are too many possibilities for creativeness and other angles you can take. But it doesn’t mean I can’t try really hard to hit your customer’s biggest and brightest “emotional hot buttons”. And I DO make sure that all the ads I write will stick out and get the attention of your “target”. They’ll get the attention of your next new customer. And your radio ads will continually move people closer to doing business with you. Maybe your radio ad campaign benefits you best by bringing new people to see you…so you can dazzle them. Or maybe your radio ad campaign also reminds your current customers to shop with you more often. A good radio campaign can do great things for your bottom line.

Yes…radio can REACH a ton of people. But it doesn’t matter if those people never hear your ads.

I’ll make sure they hear them.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls Radio Advertising blog



THE PICTURE SHOWN here was whipped out by my 4-year old daughter in a matter of minutes. Have you ever seen characters like that? I haven’t. Before this picture, I had never seen her draw one even remotely similar. It was a proud papa moment.

How does this relate to radio ads? Your radio ads should be like children’s art…

  • Imaginative
  • Unexpected
  • Without boundaries

Don’t get caught up in what you THINK advertising should look like or sound like.


When I asked what they were, she said, “They’re ghosts…with food in their bellies.”

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media

Sioux Falls, SD