Diary of an Ad Man

June 15, 2019


In all my years of writing ad copy, I’ve only had one client who told me “YOUR COPY IS NOT LONG ENOUGH.”
Come a little closer, I want to tell you something about this guy…
…He was perhaps the smartest marketer I’ve ever met.
He knew the truth… that “people” will not read all that ad copy… but “people” and “prospects” are not the same things. You see, “prospects” are damn hungry for information, and THEY will read any amount of ad copy, as long as it’s interesting and helpful.
A lot of clients initially told me my copy was “too long” and I had to put them in a choke hold, till they tapped out and admitted that we want BUYERS and long copy works.
But this guy… wanted more copy. He was smart. When you’ve got money on the table, you want to give prospects every reason to buy, don’t hold anything back. You just don’t know all the buying-resistance-crap that is swirling ’round in their head.
Information leads to positive buying reactions.
The lack of information leads to building a “worst case” story of imagination in their head.
PROOF: If you’re advertising an office space for rent. And your ad says “OFFICE SPACE $500 A MONTH” and that’s all… folks can sure make up a story about why it’s so cheap, or so expensive. We all assume the worst with a lack of info.


Trying to get your business to grow… but it you get stuck in a loop…you’re stuck at $1-5 million gross sales… but profits are slim, you don’t even know how to read a financial statement… you know you’re really just a technician… who owns a business… but really the business owns you… you must grow revenue PLUS grow profits… they are not the same thing.

If you’re honest, you know you need help to get to the next level… Steven Ike, and Pete MacBeth can help. It could be you’re not running your business by the numbers, or you’ve hired the wrong people, or you need capital to jump start things, etc.

Those two guys are masters of business. They’ve got a universe of real world experience in growing both revenue AND profits.

You’re really sitting on a goldmine, in most cases, but you don’t know it. Bring Steve and Pete into your close ranks, let them shine the flashlite of truth so you can get out of that dark cave, that grind, and let them give you a second set of eyes to you can see what your financials are really telling you. Cash flow, sales, profits, margins, debt management, 12 month goals, operations management, — Jack of all trades, master of none. Reach out, it’s important.
Linwood Austin

June 13, 2019

A Wonderful TJ Ad.

TJ's old mag adThis is a TJ ad. I’ve followed his work off and on for many years. There was an opening line in one of his sales letters that I JUST LOVED…and I borrowed it from time to time to use in sales letters that I wrote…
The line was…
“This is T.J. writing to you again.”
I just love that line. Why? Because even if you’ve never received a letter from him before… the phrase (“writing to you again”) makes you “feel” a connection, makes you think you’ve missed out on something, makes you think, ‘Wow, I don’t remember him writing to me before, but maybe this is important, maybe this is a second chance, maybe the universe is looking out and trying to tell me something.’
The phrase is BRILLIANT. Hats off to TJ.
Keep in mind of course, that that phrase alone won’t increase your sales, you’ll need a complete sales argument for that. But, the phrase drives the reader deeper into the letter to see what’s going on. What it’s all about.
On my profile page, on Linkedin, I put a PDF of all 31 advertising triggers you can use to boost sales. Go check it out. If you’re like TJ you can use my “triggers” to write your own ads. But you know in your heart that writing great ad copy is a pain in the ass. If you want me to write your ad copy, reach out…


Way back, in the 80’s, I started my ad agency. I knew nothing really about the “ad agency business”. But I knew how to make ads based on direct response methods.
Someone, in the business told me, “You need a car dealer as a client, they spend money on advertising.”
So, I picked up the phone and called all the car dealers within 3 counties. 33 dealers as I recall.
Mrs. Gatekeeper NEVER put me through to Mr. Big. And Mr. Big, never returned my call. So, I was kinda pissed. “I’m Linwood Austin, how dare they not return MY call”.
I had my pride, you see.
So, I sat down and wrote 12 letters about advertising. Each letter focused on a different area of advertising; newspaper, TV, radio, etc.

I mailed them all a letter every 3 days.

I never got past the 8th letter before I had more ad agency work from car dealers than I knew what to do with.

Listen, that’s why I recommend you do much the same with linkedin, facebook or any other platform, IF you are selling B2B.
I have personal experience with this, and I’m betting you’ll do well with it too.

If you want me to write those 12 letters for you, let me know.

Phone: 801-895-9598

Why do people hate MLM but they don’t hate “drop shippers”? 

Pen ready to writeI was thinking the other day that network marketers is a form of drop shipping.
You know, drop shipping is where you go out there and market some product, and the manufacturer ships the product out for you and pays you a commission.
Well, drop shipping and multilevel marketing (MLM) are very much the same, except MLMers are encouraged to not only sell the product but build a sales organization too.
As far as a business model, I think the MLMers rock. Why? Because  you can join a typical MLM for $300 bucks plus $100 monthly.
And you’ve got a real business opportunity where someone else makes the product, ships the product, bills the product and processes the payments and then cuts you a check on commission. Cool.
If you start any other kind of business, restaurant, plumbing business, building electric cars, etc. you’ve got HUGE, WHOPPING overhead and headaches before you see one dime in profits.
MLM is easy. Almost lazy. And since 1990 it’s made more millionaires than any other industry.
And you don’t have to make a million bucks from it to enjoy it. A lot of people make an extra $500 to $1,000 a month from an MLM and it sure helps out.
Some folks I know make $1,000 a month for 15 years and don’t lift a finger
Some folks I know make $1,000 a month for 15 years and don’t lift a finger to keep it going. They recruited a downline years ago, and reaped the benefits for years and years.
With any other business, publishing, restaurant, home improvement, you name it, you’re going to need THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS… but with a typical MLM you only need about 100 customers to make a nice living.
With a restaurant you need what, 100 customers a day? With a plumbing business, you need what, 100 customers a month?
But with MLM, you only need 100 customers period and you’ll make about $5,000 to $10,000 a month in residual, gravy money. How? Oh, some 20% of your 100 customers will be so thrilled to be involved THEY will build a downline under you and them of some 10,000 names, and YOU will be paid about $1 per name per month.
All those MLM organizations brag that THEY have the best compensation plan out there. But it all works pretty much the same: bring in 100 and make about $5,000 to $10,000 a month. 
Not every MLMer succeeds. Not ever plumber succeeds. Not ever restaurant succeeds.
But the initial investment to jump in and give it a try is small by comparison.
And it’s easier to get 100 customers than thousands.

The rough part for MLMers is the same rough part for any new business — GETTING CUSTOMERS IN THE DOOR.
Listen, you’ll soon go broke in any business if you just rely on family and friends to buy from you.
How do you get new customers?
You advertise (with a strategy) silly boy.
Direct mail, facebook ads, Pay-Per-Click ads, Linkedin ads, etc.
You go to those meet and greet events.
You build a following through blogging.
You give public speeches at the chamber of commerce, etc.
Remember, you don’t need many, just 100 recruits to make a nice residual income. And then you can be lazy for years to come, until they all die off or quit the business for whatever reason.
What you’ll really need to make a success in MLM is a “marketing” strategy. You can’t wing it.
Some strategies work for some folks but not for others. It depends on your personality, and situation.
Not everyone can give Ted Talks. Not everyone can write books. Not everyone is on facebook.
But you’ll need a strategy to get your downline going.
Maybe I can help you in that department. I’ve helped others.
Let’s talk.

May 29, 2019

Filed under: Copywriting Tips — linwoodaustin @ 1:13 pm
What business are you in?

In Murray Rothbard’s book, America’s Great Depression, he says… “Entrepreneurs are largely in the business of forecasting.”

Today’s entrepreneurs are largely being killed by an inability to forecast. Rothbard shows that what caused the last Great Depression” of the 1930’s was the easy credit of the 1920’s. Easy credit and the free flow of freshly printed money backed by nothing causes entrepreneurs to make stupid investment decisions. Malinvestment.

Way back in the 1970’s I owned a shoe repair store in California. I learned that in the 1950’s it took a population of just 2,000 people to support one shoe repair shop. By the 1980’s it took some 20,000 people to support a shoe repair shop. Shoes had become cheap to make and tennis shoes were a throw-away item. Shoe repair was then for expensive shoes owned by penny pinchers.

Years later I bought a rock hound magazine and struggled to increase circulation and thus profits. I finally learned that nothing I could do was going to wildly increase interest in geology and gemstones. I was fighting against the s-curve. I was fighting against the market. Marketers must follow markets. Not lead them.

Forecasting today is becoming very tough. Almost every industry is hampered by excessive regulation… let alone the wrong signals created by loose credit and easy money floating into one industry or another.

In the late 90’s newly printed money flowed into the tech bubble. It popped in 2000. Then newly printed money drove housing prices to the moon. I missed both bubbles. But I didn’t get popped either.

Now, like many entrepreneurs I’m wondering where the next great expansion is. It seems to be in the swelling of government services. This does not bode well for industrial activity. More regulations are coming and will not help.

The marketer must always look over his shoulder to see which helpful regulator will be breathing down his neck, telling him he must hire this kind of person, don’t fire that kind of person, install this kind of toilet, add blue paint to that parking spot, etc.

If one is not going to make billions selling services or hammers to the government, one must find a market that is growing and try to make a few shillings servicing that market. Most businesses are servicing a stagnant market at best.

Even the old standby markets of weight loss, get-rich-quick and sex appeal, are hard pressed to find a true growth angle. (Viagra being one exception.) Double pun intended.

As our Great Depression deepens, more marketers will have to revert to classical direct marketing methods. Direct and targeted sales, long copy ads, a bonus for ordering now, story appeal, easy payment offers, etc.

Gone are the days of easy credit for the rest of us schmucks. Layaways are coming back.

If you want to be a good forecaster, you must, must, must, stop what you’re doing and bone up on Gene Schwartz’s Breakthrough Advertising. Markets are fickled. But you can follow Schwartz’s 5-stages of market awareness and at least stay one-step ahead of your competition.  Even if you’re competing against a forthcoming regulation.

We must pace ourselves to plan and act in our marketing and plan and act even in the event of bank holidays, hyper-inflation, wage and price controls, labor strikes, currency exchanges and empty store shelves.

It’s amazing how a government action can have long ranging tidal wave effects… like a one point change in interest rates can swell or shrink the ranks of mortgage brokers and real estate salesmen. Just a few years ago, the home appraisal industry felt pressured to inflate the value of a home. Now they fell pressured to deflate the same home’s appraisal even if there is a clear offer to buy at a higher price.

Government regulation causes a lot of needless “CYA” (cover your ass) busywork.

Forecasting using direct marketing models will be key to future prosperity. Direct marketing says to test small before a big roll out. Dry-testing a product or service before committing to product development is smart marketing.

Splitting your marketing efforts to cover both high end and low end products also seems a smart way to go.

Here are some things that have timeless appeal. Use them in your marketing efforts:

1. Something new.
2. Something curious.
3. Something improved.
4. Something using the word YOU.
5. Something promising more time.
6. And more sex appeal.
7. Something with a guarantee.
8. Something with testimonials.
9. Something with a limited time offer.
10. Something that solves more than one problem.
11. Something that adds value to their lives.
12. Something endorsed by a higher authority.
13. Something that has proof.
14. Something exclusive.
15. Something that’s easy.

Rothbard was right. Entrepreneurs are in the business of forecasting. You must ask… Will my effort pay off and by how much? Will the opportunity costs, exceed my known costs of doing what I’m doing now. Or doing nothing. When entrepreneurs see nothing but mountains of headaches on the road ahead… They tend to take a different road.

Or as David Avrick once said to me, when I discussed with him a certain business opportunity, “Too much risk, too little reward.”

What business are you in?

May 17, 2019

The Wrong Pricing Strategy Can Kill Your Business. 

Filed under: Copywriting Tips — linwoodaustin @ 10:46 pm

The Wrong Pricing Strategy Can Kill Your Business.
I’m not about to tell you the inside scoop in this platform. I will tell ya, if you give me a call. No obligation, but if we hit it off, maybe we can do something together.
But the right price can mean the difference in HUGE profits or MISSED MARGINS.
I’ve been at this long enough to learn that PRICE is it’s own version of a deep marketing message.
Too low a price, and you appear cheap–for a reason. Too high a price and they just won’t talk to you.
Labor involved? What is the right price to the customer?
Reselling products you picked up from a vendor? What margins are right?
Never mind what other folks are charging, YOU MUST determine for your own purposes what you must charge.
Some businesses “feel” they must give the lowest bid, only to learn that they must wait 90 days for payment. What? That means they “must” bid low AND be the banker????
Call me if you want to yak about profits, margins, and a good pricing strategy for you and your company.

How much money can you make from a very good “TESTIMONIAL”????

Filed under: Copywriting Tips — linwoodaustin @ 8:32 pm

LET’S face it, far too many business owners are kinda lazy when it comes to gathering up testimonials.

I can help you.

I can create some clever, fresh, honest sounding testimonials, and shoot them over to you, you can put it in front of your clients, and get them to put their JOHN HANCOCK on it.

You know, the right kind of testimonials could be the difference between a buying YES or a maybe NO, when it comes to getting new customers in the door.

I’m not talking about lazy testimonials. I’m talking real, “before and after” FEEEEELING testimonials.

Emotion packed.

If you’re selling high ticket items, you need this.

If you’re selling B2B, you need this.

If you’re selling a hard-to-move product you need this.

Stop what you’re doing and let’s connect about this matter. It could mean an additional boat load of money in your bank account when all is said and done.

I’m going to pour another cup of coffee, and by the time I get back, you’d better reach out to me concerning this, or, you might put it off and forget about it and go through another year without PROFIT BOOSTING TESTIMONIALS that could jazz up your marketing.

Reach out.

Linwood Austin


May 16, 2019

WARNING: There are some outfits out there selling generic marketing messages you can slap into your emails,

Filed under: Copywriting Tips — linwoodaustin @ 12:45 pm

WARNING: There are some outfits out there selling generic marketing messages you can slap into your emails, Linkedin messages, direct mail, etc. I’m telling you generic messages that say nothing are a big fat waste of a SELLING OPPORTUNITY.
Years ago, I saw a Cadillac ad in a magazine, that said nothing, something like “Cadillac, the best that a man can expect.” That’s bullshit, if you really want to sell your car. What the hell?
“Johnny’s outhouses, the best a man can expect”.
“Bob’s footwear, the best a man can expect.”
If you use that crap, the only customers you’ll get are those who were gonna buy it today anyway. You didn’t SELL them on YOU. You didn’t SELL them on NOW. You didn’t steal customers away from your competitor.
You will never get more SELL out of your ad than the amount of SALESMANSHIP you put into your ad.
Your messages must have passion, timing, benefits, reasons why, a call to action, proof of benefits, guarantees, testimonials, news, curiosity, story appeal, and a massage THAT DOES NOT ALSO SELL FOR YOUR COMPETITOR, like EXCLUSIVE and ONLY features.
Why in the hell would you rely on a lazy, generic massage, when Christmas bonuses are at stake? You want to SELL your product or service right?
Selling is bit of art, mixed with a whopping dose of science.

Game to talk?

Call me: 801-895-9598


READ THIS if you’re worried about how your web site will rank in the search engine after Mr. Google’s changes.

Filed under: Copywriting Tips — linwoodaustin @ 12:40 pm

OK, since Google recently changed the game, regarding search traffic… let’s say only 2 people a day now find your website…. let’s say 200 people a day use to find it… but now, SEO is screwy and only 2 people a day show up.

And let’s say, last month before the Google monkey wrench, of the 200 people a day who visited your site, ONE PERSON BOUGHT.

200 VISITORS = one buyer.

But now… with only 2 visitors a day, it’s going to take you 100 days to make the same kind of money you were making in just one day… before all this rigmarole (sp?) imposed on you by Google’s search rankings.


You either quickly figure out what the hell Google is up to, so you can get traffic back up… OR… you improve the PROFESSIONAL SALESMANSHIP on your web pages, so that… 1 out of 2 people become a buyer every day.

I would say that I could help you with either direction but that would be too obvious.

Instead, why don’t you call up Mr. Google and ask him what the hell he’s up to? And if Mr. Google is not at his desk, leave a message. And if you get tired of waiting for a return phone call, then, I might suggest you call me.

I can write the copy for your web pages. My SEO guy can apply the secret sauce to get your rankings back up.

Easy Peasy.



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