No One Likes An Advert So How Do I Promote My Services?

Rowan Blair Colver
4 min readDec 13, 2021
Lucid Leadership by Rowan B. Colver

We all press skip on the ad if it’s an option. It’s not what we wanted to see, it is just in the way. Ad designers have all kinds of methods to sell the product. Sometimes it is simply a numbers game. Imagine if you are a wasp nest removal person and you want to advertise in order to get the work you need. No one will know about your service until you communicate it. You know that most people do not have a wasp nest problem at any given moment. There may be a genuine statistic you can draw on but let’s say it’s one in a thousand people that need your help. These people might have a wasp nest in their property or know someone who does. The mathematics of the equation means that if you show your advert to ten thousand individuals then you stand to find ten people who want your service. Out of these ten, you might find one that has the initiative to get the cash together and give you a call. This is what marketers call the sales funnel. Your advert has to cost less to create and run than the amount of profit you make from the customers received.

A simple blanket method might work well for a service that is necessary. If you can offer a good price and a prompt service then you’ll be in the listing among the other traders. You will get some of that market share provided you advertise. Making it add up in your favour is not always a simple matter though, and there needs to be continual growth and lessening of costs in order to make sense. How do we create an advert that works in this way? So much of the time we really are not paying attention to the things in between what we want. Junk mail and adverts are important to the business but irrelevant to the consumer. You have to make them stop the process of automatic rejection and rethink the value of the communication. The time you have to do this in is the time it takes to press skip, walk past, or throw something in the bin. Therefore clarity is essential. It must be absolutely clear from first glance that you are sharing valuable information.

We know that the only people that will find value in our communication are those who already want what we are offering. How can we communicate an immediate sense of value to the people we are in service for? When we can interrupt the natural train of thought and cause a person to stop and pay attention to our message, it’s because we have isolated a thought they have and reflected it to them. They’re interested because it speaks to them. Engaging a person is half of the problem, next we have to communicate our value in a way that doesn’t inhibit the natural process of their day. If we make it difficult for them, they’ll find someone else.

Too much information is a common mistake. We don’t really have time to read more than one or two paragraphs of an advert or watch more than ten or twenty seconds of an ad that’s in the way of our chosen media. A concise education into your product and service, the benefits they bring, and the reason you can be trusted will bring in the right people without pushing anyone away. Remember, if you’re an entrepreneur then you are likely considerably more intelligent than a lot of people. This isn’t a good thing, it means that your manner and vocabulary have the potential to be oppressive and alienating. Bring yourself down to the level of a child, remember how it felt to be spoken to in language over your head? Baffled and maybe even frightened, we avoid these situations when we can. Your adverts have to be as precise and simple as you can design.

Avoid talking about yourself. A lot of adverts have whole sections on the CEO or the investor, or some other big fish. No one really cares. We are more concerned about the staff we will meet, the service we will get, and the price we’ll be asked to pay. The company message has a place of course however you’re selling the product and not your company. Paid advertising can’t be about vanity or social status, it’s a simple method of moving your communication as far as it can go.

We’re easily bored and put off, we’re also privately judgemental. When presented with an advert, we will immediately judge it as unwanted unless it immediately counter-acts boredom. So if we want to get a message into people’s lives then we need to give them something they can enjoy and that speaks directly to their problems. We have to show, in as few moves as possible, that we are a great option to choose. Provided we understand our customers, know what they are looking for, and understand what else is on offer that they can also choose, we can create a unique and identifiable service that many will want to try.



Rowan Blair Colver

Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome.