For the Man or Woman Experienced in Advertising
ADVERTISING IDEAS—Human nature is the same the world over, What appeals to the man in the city likewise attracts the man in the country. Study the multitudinous city activities and you will find hundreds of ways to make money only, of course, with the restricted population in small communities, you must be content with smaller profits.
Here are a number of suggestions:
1. Go to the laundry that caters to your community. Offer to supply the laundry with free shirt cardboards; if the laundry will in turn permit you to print a number of paid advertisements on the shirt cardboards. Rule off the cardboard into eight or ten sections and sell it to your local dealers who are interested in reaching the better type of buyer—the kind that do not do their own washing.
It will be much easier, of course, to make a satisfactory deal with the laundry if you will include a free center advertisement of the laundry itself.
The "ads" procured should more than pay for the cost of the cardboard and the printing and leave you a good profit.
2. This same idea could be carried out with paper napkins. Supply your local restaurants and soda stands with free napkins and sell the advertising space to one or a number of advertisers interested in reaching the restaurant and soda patronage. Your local movie house is a good prospect as a potential advertiser for such an idea. You might offer the advertising space each week to a different business, or if it does not pay to run only one ad, include as many as will on your napkin.
3. This same idea can be carried out with the usual paper bag that your grocer uses. Supply him with free bags; get advertisers.
4. Go over your local newspaper, and take down a list of all business and professional men who are running daily or weekly "ads." Then take your classified telephone or city directory, and by the process of elimination make out a list of the rest of the business and professional men who do not advertise. Then follow them up. Show them that it pays to advertise—that they cannot afford to let their competitors do all the advertising. In this way you will be able to sell to a good percentage of those you approach. Your profit is in the commissions which the newspaper will pay you.
5. Undertake to obtain a full page "ad" for your local paper and make 15 or 20 per cent commission weekly in this way. Get twenty-four merchants and professional men of your town to run a small "ad" or business card on one of the pages of the paper for 24 weeks. Each issue should carry a picture and a short write-up of the president, manager, or owner of each one of the firms or professionals advertising together with the "ad."
This personal write-up will prove very tempting, and you will have little difficulty in getting 24 advertisers.
It is advisable to prepare all of the copy before approaching your prospect. Your newspaper will cooperate with you. Armed with an adequate dummy, containing the picture, the write-up, and the prospective ads you will succeed 100 per cent in getting their signature on the dotted line.
6. Approach the business manager of your local newspaper, and enter into an agreement or contract with him offering to sell a full-page of advertising each week in his paper.
Either buy the space yourself at a fixed price or arrange to be paid in the form of 20 per cent commission.
Then have the publisher's printer prepare a page "dummy" for you. In the center of the page print announcements of church services.
Then go out and sell the space around the sides to your local business houses pointing out to them the importance of buildup good will among the readers of newspapers who are mostly church-going people interested in boosting their church.
If this idea is already in use in your own town, try it in surrounding towns, or even carry out this idea in more than one town, depending on the amount of time you want to spend in this activity.
ADVERTISING COUNSEL—If you have ability in writing good business letters or if you have had some experience in advertising work you can win for yourself the position of the town advertising counsel.
Call on the merchants and professional men in your community and offer to advise them in their sales, promotion, and collection letters. Ask them to permit you to examine their promotional, letters and literature. Then point out the defects, and volunteer to prepare new letters for them, which they may accept or refuse. In this way you will in time be called upon by a great many merchants for assistance and guidance in such matters. You should of course, sell yourself to them by frequent calls, and by mailing them from time to time some literature advertising your own merits as an advertising counsel.
An Outline of Advertising, by G. B. Hotchkiss. The Macmillan Co. New York City. 1933.
Manual of Modern Advertising, Kenneth Goode. Greenberg, Publishers, Inc. New York City. 1933.
The Business of Advertising, Ernest E. Calkins. D. Appleton & Co., New York.
COMPILE MAIL ORDER LISTS—Every small town in the United States offers an opportunity to an enterprising individual to make money out of compiling lists of prospective mail order buyers for the many mail order houses.
There are a number of firms who deal exclusively in names and addresses. They have lists comprising millions of names and addresses, which are sold at prices ranging from one to 10 cents each.
These firms would undoubtedly be interested in buying any classified lists which you might compile.
The best source for names are the newspapers. These list births, marriages, deaths, social events, etc.
After you have compiled a list of representative names, say of 100 births in your town during the month, or 100 prospective brides, or 100 well-to-do residents, car owners, poultry raisers or what not, offer these lists to the list dealers whose names are listed at the end of this chapter.
It might prove more profitable, however, if you were to make many copies of each list, and sell each one to 10 or 12 firms.
Birth lists should be offered to advertisers of infant foods, infant clothing, books on the care of children, etc.
Lists of well-to-do residents will interest bond houses; lists of brides interest furniture houses; names of poultry raisers will attract firms advertising poultry foods.
Scan the list of advertisers in the various magazines and you will find hundreds of advertisers who are good prospective buyers for your lists. These ads will also suggest added uses of your compilations.
Very often mail order houses will be interested in general lists of small town dwellers or home owners.
The following is a list of some of the leading firms that deal in mail order names:
Boyd's Dispatch, New York City.
INCOME FROM BULLETIN BOARDS—If your railroad depot, bus terminal, leading hotel lobby or restaurant does not already contain a bulletin board of general information for the convenience of both residents and tourists, you have an opportunity to go into the advertising business on a small scale.
This business in principle is no different from the general outdoor advertising business which runs into millions of dollars in this country.
The procedure is easy. Rent the most desirable space in town—preferably at a section where pedestrian traffic is heaviest—and then sell advertising space to hotels, stores, churches, cafeterias, theatres, and all others to whose advantage it is to be listed on such an advertising board, that can be seen by the largest number of interested passersby.
With this bulletin board as a beginning, you can soon begin to rent board space at other strategic points, at cross roads, fences, and even barn roofs that border on the leading highways in your community, and in turn rent the advertising space to local as well as national advertisers.
OPERATING A CLIPPING BUREAU—In the larger cities clipping bureaus are reaping a veritable fortune supplying celebrities, men of affairs and commercial houses with clippings about themselves which appear in the metropolitan newspapers.
Small towns and suburbs have their own celebrities, and although of minor importance, yet as conceited and as egotistical as any of our Napoleons of finance.
So why not start a clipping bureau in your own town or county and cash in during a few spare hours on man's vanity and the curiosity of commercial concerns?
It requires but a few cents capital. Anyone with the usual grade education can operate it. Here is the procedure:
If possible, rent a typewriter, although this is not absolutely essential. Then print some attractive circulars with the following wording:
"An interesting news article concerning you appeared in. . . . . . . . . . . . .recently. A clipping of the article will be sent to you upon receipt of 25 cents.
To obtain these clippings subscribe to all the newspapers in your county, or perhaps you can arrange to buy them for an insignificant sum from your own editor who receives them as exchange copies. Many editors will be glad to give you all of the exchange copies gratis after he has had a chance to examine them. Very often you can pick up unsold newspapers at the price of waste paper from your newsdealer.
Go over all of these papers carefully, select the important news ideas about he individuals who live in your own or neighboring town, cut it with a scissors, and then notify him as above suggested.
PUBLISH A TOWN COOK BOOK—Almost every woman in practically every town has a reputation for either baking the best pies or cakes or cooking some particular savory dish, envied by the other women of the community.
This fact suggests an opportunity to some energetic individual who can visualize the profitable returns in the publishing of a Community Cook Book.
The best way to accomplish such an undertaking is to call on every woman in town. Tell her that you are to publish a home town cook book, and invite her to contribute her favorite recipe. After you have collected the various recipes, go after local advertising, charging from $5 to $10 an ad depending on the size and the cost of the book.
The next step is to have the book printed. Then send out a crew of high school boys and girls to sell the cook book to each home. Every woman whose recipe is printed will want to buy a copy. If the cost of the printing of the book is $150 for 1,000 copies, and you sell about 1,000 copies at 35 cents per copy, paying the student salesmen even as much as 10 cents a copy, leaving you a profit of $100 for about a month's work.
MONEY FROM A CHURCH DIRECTORY—For reasons of vanity, if for no other reason the pastor of almost any church would be glad to cooperate with you in the publishing of a church directory listing the names and addresses of the entire membership of his church. The directory, of course, to be delivered free of charge to each member.
Having the pastor's cooperation, and possibly a committee of church members to assist you, it should prove an easy task to sell advertising space to business and professional people who are at all times anxious to reach hundreds of church members at a very reasonable advertising cost.
The income from the paid advertising should, of course, exceed printing, binding, and delivery costs, to allow you profit for your efforts.
Very often the church will cooperate with you, even to the extent of sending out a committee to solicit advertising if the major part of the profit is to be used for some special church fund, paying you a 25 per cent commission for your work.
PUBLISH A COMMUNITY YEAR BOOK—Every city, town and village offers this possibility. If you find that your town does not publish a year book, get busy at once and start preparing one for the press.
The community book should contain such information as its history, scenic wonders, business activities, etc.
A typical table of contents would run about like this:
Get a copy of a community year book at a neighboring town and you will get a more comprehensive idea what an effective book should be like.
Economy must be the first principle in putting out the book. Borrow or rent cuts from your Chamber of Commerce, manufacturers, and from your town printer or newspaper. Give the book publicity weeks in advance, by discussing it with the editor, of your local newspaper. Go after paid advertising and subscriptions.
When the page proofs of the year book are ready, you can send out notices to such individuals as are listed in the year book informing them that page (give number of page) of the Smithville Year Book contains information or mention of their names and accomplishment. Enclose an order blank and invite a subscription.
No town is too small to support a book of this type; if your town has one go to the next community.
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.