We all know how important advertising is to your business – if people don’t know what you have to sell they won’t buy from you. Getting customers to even think about spending is hard as everyone seems to be watching their spending. Classified ads are great because they are relatively inexpensive and are quick to set up and equally as quick to change if they appear not to be working. So how can you make your small advertising budget work for you and get your classified ads read and most importantly acted upon? Well first of all remember the magic formula: AIDA • Attract the attention of your prospective customer. • Interest them in your product • Produce Desire for your product • Request Action from them. This is the basic rule of all advertising copy and is the first thing taught to copy writers and is one key thing for an entrepreneur to remember. If you ad is not seen it cannot be acted upon, if it is not acted upon you get no sales and if you get no sales….. So how do you put this into action? First of all collect together 10 classified ads that have caught your attention and then 10 that you are sure that you will never buy from. Sit down somewhere quiet and lay them out in front of you. Examine each of them with the above formula in mind. • Has the writer attracted your attention? • What about the ads has sparked and kept your interest? • Are you motivated enough want to know more about the product being advertised? • What action must you take in order to learn more? • Are all of these points covered in the ad? When looking at the bad ones: • What turned you off about them? • Why did you overlook them in the first place? • What impression did they give about their products or company? • Did they have contact details or a call to action on them? Now you should have a good idea of what constitutes a good ad. Take one of your products or services and see if you can write them in the same way as the good ones and then check against the bad ones to make sure that you have not made the same bad mistake. Obviously you want your ad to stand out – so don’t copy the ones you have seen already! Keep practicing until you are sure you are ready to publish. A good classified ad reads like an old fashioned telegram – few words but what there are there are working for you! Good luck.