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Making Money

T

The Guru

Guest
Is anyone here interested in MAKING MONEY doing picture framing? Would anyone be interested in talking about MARKETING? You know, I get a little disturbed when I hear quotes like "I dropped my Yellow Pages advertising a couple of years ago and haven't noticed any difference in sales".
 
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woody

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I'm glad to participate, too. Since I'm the one who made the "disturbing" quote, perhaps I'll learn something. The Yellow Pages are an expensive, overpriced medium. While I do not participate in the City-wide directory, other than a basic listing, I do have an ad in a local area directory. Over 15 years the price has escalated every year with my ad dropping from a half page down to 1/8 that now costs what the half page once did. I am not against marketing, only some of the vehicles.
 

Gary

Grumbler in Training
Since I keep track of the numbers this a very debatable subject for us right now. For $70.00 a month, 1/8 page add I just don't see significant numbers generated from this, even at the local level. Maybe there's something I'm missing but like I said the numbers speak for themselves and we always ask customers how they found us. At this point we're seriously considering dropping the add. I'm curious to see if there's a strong aurgument for keeping it.

[This message has been edited by Gary (edited 08-05-98).]
 
T

The Guru

Guest
OK, very cool. Since the topic of Yellow Pages advertising seems to have touched a nerve, let's start there......The Yellow Pages is the toughest, most competitive advertising arena on earth. It is the only place where you are side by side with all your competitors. Your past customers and referrals will be in there looking for you. New potential customers will be in there looking for a business that may catch their eye and meet their needs. These past customers and referrals will be exposed to competitive advertising. New potential customers are open-minded and willing to be persuaded to a competitor. All this said, 99% of all YP ads in our industry are horrible! Now, we all know that YP ads aren't cheap, and for many of us it is the single largest ad expense overall. But did you know that stats show that 60% of the people who look in our YP category have no specific store in mind? They aren't looking for a name they recognize, they are open-minded and willing to be sold. And did you know that out of the 40% that do recognize a name, a third of them are perfectly willing to be swayed from the name they know to a different one? So the bottom line is this: OVER 70% of the people who search your YP category are potential targets for YOU! But you aren't going to interest them and then capture them with your logo, name, or a fancy slogan. What your YP ad has to do is to "speak" to this 70% of searchers and tell them why they should trust you, and why they should do business with you instead of all the other advertisers in your category.--- Next time We'll discuss the calculations everyone needs to do to figure out what kind of YP ad is going to be profitable for everyone's unique situation, and we'll discuss the SECRET WEAPON that 99% of all YP ads lack. Later.

[This message has been edited by The Guru (edited 08-06-98).]
 
T

The Guru

Guest
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[This message has been edited by The Guru (edited 08-06-98).]
 
T

The Guru

Guest
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[This message has been edited by The Guru (edited 08-06-98).]
 
T

TheFrameGuy

Guest
The Guru, "You the MAN!" "Or WOMAN!"

You gotta be in the YPs. The Evergreen Picture Framers Guild located in WA and AK just had a meeting on YP advertising. A speaker from US West DEX even showed up, basically for a sales pitch, but we all learned a lot.

What I learned from the discussion is that even your loyal customers use the YP to find your phone number. If you have only a basic listing, they could miss you. At least go BOLD!
 
F

framer

Guest
"You the MAN!" "Or WOMAN!"

Sounds like a dirty movie to me.
 
T

The Guru

Guest
No dirty movies here, sorry. You'll have to keep surfing the net for that kind of stuff. No, all The Guru's got is useful info that'll hopefully help everyone make more money. What you do with the extra cash, well, that's your business.

OK, ****s and chicks, here we go with the next marketing blurb from The Guru about Yellow Pages advertising. The real key here is to Plan For Maximum Profit And Minimum Risk.

What we're going to do here is to figure out in advance what kind of money your Yellow Pages ad is going to have to generate so that you are not losing money on your ad investment.

The first thing we need to do is figure out how much money your average framing job or art sale is worth to you (I think average sale is easier to deal with in this case than average customer, since in our industry it's easier to think in terms of art sales and/or framing jobs per month rather than customers per month, since many customers place multiple orders. However, you can also use the following formula to figure everything in terms of average customer). So, for example, to figure what your average framing job is worth to you, do the following:

1. Figure out what your average framing job sells for--let's say it's $150.00
2. Subtract all your costs of materials from that number--let's say we're working on a 50% margin, so that would be $75.00, so $150.00 - $75.00 = $75.00
3. Next figure out how much each framing job has to contribute to all your fixed costs, like rent, electricity, employee salaries, insurance, telephone, etc.(if you do some or all of the framing you need to figure in your share of framing labor as well!). So, let's say all these fixed costs come to $5000.00 per month, and you do 100 framing jobs per month, on average. So we will divide the fixed costs/month by the average number of framing jobs/month. So, $5000.00 / 100 =$50.00, which means each framing job has to contribute $50.00 to all your fixed costs.
4. now we can figure out how much each framing job is worth to you--how much is left over to put in your pocket. So we'll take the $75.00 from step #2 and subtract the $50.00 we got in step #3. So, $75.00 - $50.00 = $25.00.

So that's how much each average framing job is worth to you--$25.00. Now it becomes easy to estimate what kind of performance your Yellow Pages ad has got to have in order to keep you from losing money on that ad. Let's say that you are considering a triple quarter column ad, with no color, which will cost you $250.00 per month. So we'll now just divide the monthly ad cost by the amount your average framing job is worth to you--$250.00 / $25.00 = 10. So this means that your Yellow Pages ad has got to bring in or prevent you from losing 10 framing jobs per month in order to break even. Remember, preventing lost jobs has the same profit impact on you as getting new jobs.

And remember, each framing job you bring in from your Yellow Pages ad is helping to pay a share of your fixed costs, and the more jobs you bring in, the less each share of those costs will be for each job. Also, if you do your job right, and give the customer a "WOW" experience, that customer will bring you more framing jobs either personally or through recommending you to others.

So, there you have it. I know, it sounds an awful lot like work. But hey, once you get the number you'll feel better (I hope!). Also I think it would be very interesting for everyone to share their results, it could make for some interesting and useful banter.

Next time we'll discuss the secret weapon that 99% of all Yellow Pages ads in our indutry lack. Later.

(c)1998 The Guru
 
F

framer

Guest
Say Guru, your holyness, why not update your profile and let us know what framing experience you have. From the sound of this last message you're full of horse poo. For all we know your BEN up to new tricks.

[This message has been edited by framer (edited 08-07-98).]
 

Le

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Using those numbers I could have two beers at thirtyfive wateringholes and have change to tip the bartender. Ten framejobs no sweat.
 

JPete

<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
Please<B/>, eliminate the hogwash and give us the weapon<B/>!

[This message has been edited by JPete (edited 08-13-98).]
 
L

LAM

Guest
You need to ask yourself 4 ?'s when you spend
hard earned $-----
1.WHO- Who is going to see it?(Do your
homework)
2.What- What media do I want to use?(Be
creative)
3.Where- Where will it be in relation to your
compition and why am I different?(Be
honest)
4.How- How will I cover the cost and how will my customer perceive my store(Be freinds
with your accountant, he will teach you.

As far as YP these tasks are a must. YP advert is in the hands of your customers and potential customers for a YEAR or more.

Just some things to think about in your spare time. HA!
 
L

LAM

Guest
Just be carefull sometimes display advert in
YP can bring phone shoppers. You know- What would it cost for this to be framed? on to the next advert. These people buy on only one thing PRICE.
Try just bold type, advert.

Just another thought worth pondering.
 

woody

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Which poses the question: Is it smart to give price quotes over the phone? Is it even possible given all the choices and variables in framing?
 
T

The Guru

Guest
Does it sound like The Guru means that if you can't or don't have the largest ad possible your YP advertising efforts are going to be wasted? Absolutely not! You do not need the biggest Yellow Pages ad to be a huge winner with your ad. Your message is the most important thing. Message is always more important than size.

Having the biggest ad in the best position only works to the highest advantage if the sales message that fills up the ad is good and strong. If all the best stuff you can think of to say about your business fits in a 2" x 2 1/2" space, well then just blowing that on up to a full page ad is a foolish and poor investment.

So, how do people use the Yellow Pages? People who use the Yellow Pages can typically be broken down into two core groups:
1.) People who search a Yellow Pages category looking for a specific business name they know, or a name that sounds familiar to them.
2.) People who search a category with no specific business in mind.

People in the first group are more or less using the yellow pages as they would use the white pages section of the directory. They are searching the in-column listings, but at the same time they are exposed to the competing ads in the same category on that page. They may have a specific business in mind, or one that rings familiar, but there is a chance that they may be compelled to check out the other ads on the page and a risk that they may find another advertiser that seems to more fully meet their needs.

People in the second group either have no loyalties to a certain business, or they are looking for a business different from the one they have used in the past, or they are not familiar with any business in that category at all. These people will almost always look through the display advertising only, not the in-column listings.

The first and most important thing to understand and know before you set out to create your Yellow Pages advertising message is this: The name of your store, your logo, and all the other things that make you easily recognizable to your customers are of little importance when it comes to YP advertising. Using your store's name and/or logo as the dominant element or headline of your ad, for example, is a very bad waste of space and money. This is a FACT and is borne out in the results of statistical research:Also, be aware that there are some Yellow Pages reps and other experts that tell you not to talk about guarantees, service, promises, etc. in your ad. They advise you to only use the basic facts, like your name, location, hours of operation, phone number and the like. This is asinine, and awful advice. This is the same stuff everybody else has in their Yellow Pages ads -- this makes your ad no better than theirs and just turns it into a large business card, not an ad.

What is the secret weapon that 99% of all Yellow Pages advertisments in our industry lack?

Throughout modern times, in every type of print media, people who do advertising for a living have claimed that the HEADLINE of an ad is 70% to 99% responsible for the success of an advertisement.Yet unbelieveably 99% of all Yellow Pages ads DO NOT have a headline! This is incredible. Instead of an attention-getting, benefit-driven headline, these "ads" insert a store name, a logo, or some meaningless slogan.

So, when you enter the Yellow Pages battle with a headline in your ad, you will going in with a distinct and powerful competitive advantage over just about everybody advertising in your category.

OK, time to hit the sack for the Guru--a Nor'easters coming and the surf should be getting gnarly by 5:00 am-gotta get it. Later.

(c) 1998 The Guru
 

Reuben Carlsen

Grumbler in Training
He is Oz the YP ad is our best seller, it costs us under $200.00 per year and I only advertise in our LOCAL Yellow Pages.

I make sure my ad' is a little bigger than my competitors. My ad' is the only one with a box around it so it stands out from the others. I sell the SIZZLE! Like: "Quality Framing At Reasonable Prices" and "We Frame Anything" etc. etc. and it really works!

Reuben Carlsen
RMC Framing Gallery
Sydney Oz'
 

Orton

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
To attract new customers YP is the single most cost-efficient method of purchased advertising. For repeat business, my sticker on the work verso takes First Place.
The single BEST method of advertising is Word-of-mouth.
 

OregonJay

True Grumbler
This sounds like GOOD STUFF! I had a display ad in the YP for the first 10 years of business -- dropped to a in-column ad 5 years ago. Did not seem to affect business.

I'm gonna reconsider an EFFECTIVE display ad.

Also: I cringe when I hear someone say that some form of advertising is EXPENSIVE. Advertising is NOT expensive or cheap ... it's either EFFECTIVE or NOT. You must consider the cost-per-sale element rather than the monthly (or whatever) payment.
OJay
 
K

KAW1500L

Guest
I absolutely agree with those who do not use big yellow page ads. The YP serves an important function in only 2 areas for my business in my locale-#1) Corporate Clients
#2) Rush Jobs
If you are not located near Corporate clientel or are not equipped to do rush jobs
you do not need a large display ad. Someone stated that people who shop by phone are looking for price only and they are absolutely correct. As much as some people may hate it, couponing is the best way beyond a doubt to get people thru the door. I am talking about saturation-not one
10000 home mailing 2 times a year-but a minimum of 50000 a month on a monthly basis (val pak type) The Yellow Pages, for the price, is one of the biggest ripoffs out there. It is a limited forum that forces all advertisers to sound and look the same. Read the ads for any business-not just framing. The same words, the same phrases, the same bs. People have been conditioned to tune all of that **** out and basically use the YP to find phone#s and
store hours of places they already frequent.
I have gone from a half page ad several years ago down to a quarter of that size-no impact on business felt-
 

woody

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Whatever happened to this string. Here it is, weeks later, and I'm still waiting to hear an example of scintillating, sizzling, action-compelling, get-the-checkbook out, hear I come, headline.
 

Reuben Carlsen

Grumbler in Training
Hey Guys, you are paying a motsa for YP ad's.

Here in Oz' our Local Yellow Pages advert is our best seller! All the competition in my area has one line listings so I have a boxed ad that really stands our amongst them. If my competition had a boxed ad' I would have a larger one or a display ad' It costs me $280.00 per year!

You have to sell the SIZZLE not the Sausage!

The first thing I say in my ad is:- See Us For Good Old Fashioned FRIENDLY SERVICE!

The Next is:- WE Frame Anything!

The Next Is:- Quality Custom Framing At Reasonable Prices!

The Next is:- Mirrors Made To Order At Reasonable Prices.

Impact statements that work and an ad' that stands out!
 
T

TheFrameGuy

Guest
Reuben, Only $280 per year for a display ad? That is what you'll pay for a small display ad in Seattle for 1 month!
 

Mel

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Great debate, but I too am waiting for some knock-their-socks-off headlines (and how, exactly are they different from slogans, meaningful slogans, that is)?

[This message has been edited by Mel (edited 09-30-98).]
 
T

The Guru

Guest
Hello again, everybody. Sorry, but I haven't been keeping up with the stuff here on The Grumble lately - I've been too busy being lazy, traveling, and attending lots of Pro and College football games. But I do love to talk about headlines, so here goes.

First of all, we've all got to remember that human beings are not robots. They are not drones. They are living, breathing, EMOTING creatures. So what we've got to do is, we've got to get emotion into our marketing efforts and especially into the headlines we write. You see, all our human decisions are based on emotion. We make choices and decisions based on emotions first, and then we rationalize them logically afterwards. Somehow alot of us falsely believe that people make decisions based on viewpoints that are logical and rational. This is simply not true. We can't confuse WANTS with NEEDS. A person NEEDS a shelter over his head. A person WANTS a 3000 sq. ft. home. A person NEEDS ample transportation to and fro. A person WANTS a Mercedes-Benz. You get the picture. So that's what we've got to do with our headlines: we've got to push the HOT BUTTONS of our potential customers. And we do this by enticing the prospect with what they want, not what we think they need. We all have the same emotional wants: To be recognized, to be appreciated, to feel secure, to look good, status, comfort, etc. so we need a human approch to hit these emotional hot buttons.
Here are a couple of examples to get the brain gears turning.
Everybody likes to be "in on something", not left out. Therefore, one headline we've used for years in various forms is: Why Do Over 3,000 People Choose Us Every Year? You see, that headline promises a benefit if the reader reads further (obviously you must deliver on the benefits in your body copy).
People do not like to make mistakes, and are fearful of being taken. Therefore, A "Warning Device" can be very compelling. We've used this headline with great success as well: WARNING: Do Not Call Any Picture Framer Until You Read This! ( again, you must really deliver with your body copy ).
So there you have it -- a couple of simple but very powerful examples to get your motor runnin'. Later.
(C)1998 The Guru
 
T

The Guru

Guest
I was just doing some fishing in the flats for Bonefish off of Key West, and I was reading an older book that was lying around the common area of the B & B that my family and I were staying in. The novel was titled 'Line Of Duty', and the author Micheal Grant has one of his characters deliver this: " A guy I fish with once told me a funny story. He'd just bought an anchor, and as he went forward to tie it to the anchor line, he slipped and fell overboard. Suddenly, he's sitting on the bottom of the lake in fifteen feet of water, cradling his brand new anchor. He didn't want to let go, but he was running out of breath. Realizing his choice was drowning or losing the anchor, he reluctantly let go and swam to the surface." The character in the novel, a police detective, went on to say: "The Job has been my anchor and I've been holding on to it for 23 years. I don't want to let it go either, but I've run out of breath."

Just something I thought was pretty cool. Later.
 
N

No Bare Walls

Guest
I think the first thing people look for when searching the YP is LOCATION. How close are you to me? Obviously some people will travel farther than others, but on the whole they want/need someone they trust that produces a good product and is conveniently located near them.

P.S. I like their sales pitch when they try to convince you that you need the biggest ad. "How much business can you handle? How much money do you want to make?" PLEEEEEAAAAASSEEE!
 

OregonJay

True Grumbler
NBW: I agree ... people who are looking in the Yellow Pages for a picture framer are hoping to fing someone CLOSE to them.

I also think, if you ARE going to run an an in the YP, don'y go SO big that it is on a page all its own and (perhaps) not get seen!

OJ
 

JackBingham CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
After 35 years framing with YP listings, bold listings, coupoms, small displays, and large displays. I believe you only need a standard listing, maybe bold. Our growth has always been beyond are projections. The key - Quality Framing at a great price, with great service.
 
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