Does Advertising Work?

billboardWe are going into the hottest days of summer here in the southwest U.S.A. It’s a time in Arizona when we hibernate indoors with the air conditioning on “high” or we head up north to the hills where cooler weather awaits.

How’s your summer going? Did you suddenly realize “Oh bleep, we are more than halfway through the year and I am NOT on track to achieve my goals”?

Are you making plans to hit a home run this year? And how are you going to do that? My hope for you is that you’re not considering dumping funds into advertising to make up any deficits. So this topic begs the big question:

Does advertising work?

Well the answer is, it depends. But most of the time I would have to say that advertising does NOT work.

The definition of advertising for the purposes of this blog post is the expenditure of funds for placement of an advertisement in a magazine, newspaper, billboard or the like.

From my own personal experience, both in high-end retail and professional business coaching, advertising is expensive, generally untargeted, and generates very little in the way of prospective clients. And the same goes for my coaching clients.

Here’s why:

  • Have you EVER bought a high-ticket service after reading an advertisement? I sincerely doubt it.
  • Have you ever made a decision to hire a firm based on reviewing one single advertisement?
  • Does an advertisement provide enough space to adequately explain your services and the benefits they provide your ideal client?

I would venture a guess that your answers to these questions would be a resounding “no.”

There are exceptions of course. For instance, if you placed an advertisement in a magazine or website that your defined niche market reads regularly, AND you provided an AMAZING OFFER, then it might be effective, after the 4th or 5th month. In other words, you have to be willing to tweak your campaign until it works.

Or, say your ad was focused on the deep pain your prospective client would feel if they neglected to hire you, that can sometimes be effective. Ads targeted to pain often outperform those targeted to pleasure. You just never know if your ad will work until you try it because every market is different.

Anyway, many marketing researchers and experts have recommendations and answers to these perplexing questions. Take a look at if you’re interested in learning more.


What can you do to achieve your goals that doesn’t involve a heavy investment?

  • Investment career professionals can invest their time in effective business networking and reach out to friends, clients, and centers of influence.
  • It’s often “who you know” in your network that can provide introductions to well-connected individuals and professionals. It’s what you do after said introductions that really matters, however.
  • Developing your sales and prospecting skills is always a worthwhile investment since “everybody sells” whether they know it or not.
  • Get exposure! Partner with a complimentary business person to develop a lunch and learn or other workshop.
  • Use one of the 3 strategies to grow your financial business income. Sell more to your existing clients, penetrate a new market, or implement new marketing tactics.


No matter what you do, for goodness sake, DO SOMETHING. Have a plan. Get motivated. Get out of your comfort zone. Just don’t spend too much on advertising unless you’re willing to go the distance.

Are You a Finance Industry High Achiever?

goals and high achieversI was listening to Garrison Keillor on NPR a few weekends ago and it reminded me of a prospective client who contacted me about coaching some time ago.

If you don’t listen to NPR, Garrison Keillor is the host of A Prairie Home Companion. I always chuckle at the end of the show when Garrison Keillor says, “Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

We live in a world where high achievers are compensated according to their best efforts. Whether you have your own financial advisory practice, you’re in investment management, or you are a finance career professional, if you take the initiative to learn and grow your skills, more than likely your compensation will increase.

We are not ALL above average.

There are those who prefer to coast in life, never reaching for more. Never yearning for a better life. You know who these people are: they are the ones who just do the bare minimum to get by.

They just “show up” and nothing more. They are happy with what they get and they shy away from activities that involve any degree of risk. Or, perhaps they constantly complain about their lot in life, yet they do nothing to change.

High achievers are goal-oriented individuals who continuously strive for self-improvement. Once a goal has been achieved, a new goal is set. Once a target has been met, a new target is selected.

  • Are you a high achiever?
  • What’s the biggest goal you’ve ever achieved?
  • If you set your sights on achieving one big goal this year, what would it be?

As you reflect on the answers to these questions, think about where you want to go with your life. What would make you happiest?

Back to the prospective client: He was at a point in his career where he had to make decisions about how to grow his income. We spoke via phone so that I could get a better idea of what he was looking to do with coaching.

Have you ever met someone who was successful in spite of themself? Well, this person was a good example. It turned out that he was looking for the easy way out. He did not want to expend any effort and he looked to me to make introductions and create magic so that he could achieve his goals.

I had to be honest and tell him that high achievers look for the right way to do something, not the easy way.

As it turned out, I declined to work with this client because: any goal worth achieving has thought, vision, strategies, and decisions that require work!


“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

Are you a high achiever? What do you do to stay on top?


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