(Paid Advertising)

Top 10 Books Writers Read

Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute
August 16, 2022
Top 10 Books Writers Read

Do business owners need to know the best books for writers? Yes, and it's not even for entertainment's sake. Familiarizing yourself with writers' must-read books is beneficial for your company. Allow me to explain... Advertising has cemented itself as one of the primary drivers of sales for any business in whatever industry, correct? It's a common practice for business owners to outsource or hire dedicated marketers to perform advertising duties. Here's the thing: not all advertising is created equal. In fact, a great ad writer can mean the difference between a successful marketing campaign and an abysmal one. However, only a handful of business owners are adept in the realm of advertising. It's when entrepreneurs immerse themselves into good writing that they can distinguish great ad writers from good ones. The best way to identify a great ad writer? Check what's on their bookshelf. Sure, you could Google "best books for writers" and come up with a hodgepodge of different titles. However, that would be missing the point, wouldn't it? What we're looking for are books that great ad writers HAVE read. These are the best of the best. The books that have influenced and shaped the thinking of some of advertising's brightest minds. So without further ado, let's explore the top 10 books that writers read.

Do You Read Books?

I believe that anyone who dares to call themselves an advertiser can write, and also read a handful of material. You know what they say, "as you read, so will you write." The problem is that everyone, including advertisers, drowns themselves so much on blog articles, Twitter feeds, and Facebook posts, nowadays. This causes them to write poorly, that is, using weak words, ugly viewpoints, and boring material. The key to invigorating and reinforcing an advertiser's writing skills is reading. No, not the news or articles related to their industry (although, both of those are valid). Instead, they should read novels, bestsellers, classics, and books on writing itself. By reading often, writers expose themselves to new worlds of grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, storytelling, and more. Since advertisers are storytellers themselves, they must hook their audience with their craft. Reading the best books for writers is the most pertinent way to make this possible. Alternatively, when business owners read the best books themselves, they become equipped with the art of writing. Entrepreneurs then become qualified to critique an ad and discern if an ad writer is good or great. Advertising is more than just writing a story. It's about composing a compelling, persuasive and captivating piece that puts readers in a trance. The catch? Their only way out is through sales. For this, you need to read the best books for writers. In a tough competitive space like the residential home service business, you need more than advertisers. The best way to win the industry is having a Master Strategist, like Ryan Chute of Wizard of Ads® to hand pick the perfect storyteller for your business. Book a call.

Books of Great Writing

Books of Great Writing

There are two types of books, according to Roy H. Williams:

  • Books that boast great storytelling. Those that employ marvelous narrative arcs and character developments.
  • Books that boast the best writing. Those that pack sentence construction, word selection and vivid description beyond compare.

Personally, I think both concepts hold insurmountable importance when it comes to advertising. It's the good story and plot sequences that get your imagination swimming in euphoric bliss for hours on end. While it's impeccable writing that helps you wield words to most effectively communicate your message to readers. Learning to harness both tools of the trade makes one a master wordsmith. With all that being said, here are 7 of the best books for writers. Treat them, as you would, the zenith of great writing. Each will teach you a valuable copywriting skill that all culminates into a mighty writing Excalibur to your advertising Arthur.

1. Travels with Charley

Author: John Steinbeck

Publication date: 1962

There’s an element of nobility in the motivation behind Travels with Charley. Realizing that Steinbeck has called himself an American only because he lives in the U. S. became his crippling dilemma. That’s when he set out on a cross-country journey with his poodle, Charley, to ‘reconnect’ with the Motherland.

His travelogue unveiled what would be some of the most vivid descriptions in writing history. The book unveils explicit mental images from his perspective that will delight you with his observations and realizations. Steinbeck coursed through sensitive matters like racism, unsustainable progress and the downward spiral of America.

While his other publications like East of Eden had a better story, Travels with Charley’s writing is like no other.

2. The Poetry of Robert Frost

Author: Robert Frost

Publication date: 1969

Robert Frost is one of the poets in America that produced some of the best poetry books of all time. The themes of his anthologized works frequently reference the natural world and humanity's frailty.

What got his poems into the list of best books for writers is his technical mastery of words. Frost manages to communicate large often overpowering concepts in a few lines that any other writer couldn't.

Immersing in his works will teach you tools that every writer should have. This includes the wonders of metaphors, the power of rhythm, and the magic of using the right words. Unlike others, Frost's writing can truly hold my attention and make me visualize the image that his words paint.

You want ad writers who can give readers a vivid experience of working with your brand. Frost's poems are a testament to that.

3. One Summer: America, 1927 Bill Bryson

Author: Bill Bryson

Publication date: 2013

Advertising is more than blurting poetic narratives and compelling words on a page. An often overlooked non-negotiable aspect when you embrace the field of advertising is research. You can't promote something you don't fully understand and believe in. What gives your words power is the universal truth that warrants the claims.

This is one of the best books for writers in that regard. Bill Bryson authored One Summer: America, 1927 as a history book to revisit the events in that faithful year. Although peer-reviewed archives and documentaries dominate the historical scene, Bryson managed to fascinate your interest using a rather odd subject.

One piece of advice that Roy H. Williams offers writers is this.

"Take your inspiration from wherever you find it, no matter how ridiculous."

Bill Bryson is the embodiment of that advice, and he did it masterfully. Great research,

engaging narratives, and amazing phrasing, all in one.

4. The Old Man and the Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Publication date: 1952

The Old Man and the Sea is a short novella published by Hemingway in the latter years of his career. Truth be told it's a simple story with a non-overwhelming plot, but received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction award. The short book put Hemingway at the top of the writing hierarchy, so what gives?

Simple. No, literally, it's simple.

Ernest demonstrated in this book how seemingly simple observations can have the greatest impact when clearly stated. “There isn't symbolism either”, Hemingway said himself. It's just a short story about a fisherman, a boy, a marlin, and the ocean.

The best part is that because of its simplicity, it can be read and enjoyed by just about anyone. This is a great book for advertisers as it shows you don't need complicated concepts to concoct a great story.

In the advertising space, you will have to simplify ideas so everyone can understand. What good is an ad if only a select group of people can comprehend it? You want your ads to be effective and have a wide reach. This is why Ernest Hemingway's piece is one of the best books for writers.

5. Hawaii

Author: James Michener

Publication date: 1959

Disclaimer, the first 50 pages of the book will seem like one of the most boring content you'll ever read. It covers the specific details of the land and other geographical facts you should know about it. The following 50 pages? Another boring illustration of all the natives that discovered and penetrated Hawaii with little to no dialogue.

Here's the rub: The succeeding pages post the boring details will blow your mind. The story explodes, the dialogues flourish and the characters come to life. The 100-page setup becomes the stepping stone to a captivating story.

What Michener's Hawaii teaches writers is the ethereal value of patience and attention to detail. The sense of objective reality he displayed in the book is unrivaled. If your goal as a writer is clarity, you want Michener's (and also Hemingway's) voice pervading through your piece.

6. One Hundred Years of Solitude

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Publication date: 1967

If you're looking for the best books for writers about magical realism, this book is the one to get.

Don't get me wrong, magical realism is neither science fiction nor fantasy. Magical realism is a style of writing where magical, fantastic and unbelievable elements are infused into realistic or mundane settings. In other words, fantasy is treated as an everyday occurrence, in the most realistic kind of portrayal.

This is an important tool in advertising.

Especially, in an industry where you sell externally triggered grudge purchases like residential home services. Magical realism can be your saving grace.

How so?

You want customers to experience how magically your service can soothe their pleasure points or take their pain points away. In some cases, a drizzle of magical realism can pave the way to a sale.

7. Still Life with Woodpecker

Author: Tom Robbins

Publication date: 1980

Still Life with Woodpecker is a prime example of chaotic writing. It's not about being disorganized in your writing process or having a disoriented piece. It's about using your imagination and arsenal of crafty words to expand and enliven otherwise dull concepts.

You purposely create chaos that's meant to offend, entertain, delight, irritate, inform, inspire, and sadden. You compress outrageously unrelated ideas into one cohesive piece that enthralls the reader and makes them nod in agreement.

In some cases, this is the best way to get your point across to an uninterested or closed-minded audience.

There's no clever way to box the chaos and beauty such as Robbins' writing. You have to read this publication to fully relish the experience of chaotic writing. Trust that it will expand an ad writer's horizon in advertising.

Been Read, Being Read, Will be Read

Been Read, Being Read, Will be Read

Confirmation bias is one of the most prominent features of an ad writer. It’s not that they’re not open to new perspectives and healthy clashing of ideas. Instead, reading about strong information that feeds an advertiser’s convictions only helps to prove their point. You don’t want an ad writer to be unbiased with regard to your business. Therefore, advertisers need to absorb information that reinforces their position. They need to digest ideas that strengthen their Share of Voice and Impact Quotient. Reading the best books for writers does just that. According to Roy H. Williams, the job of an ad writer can be summed up into three things:

  • Discover a persuasive or compelling perspective.
  • Develop a distinguished and memorable voice for the ad campaign.
  • Search for supporting evidence or information that unquestionably demonstrates why your business, products and services are the intelligent choices.

By fortifying your stance towards a business or a product, you prevent doubt in a reader’s mind. They will sense your unbending convictions and see them as credibility. Your advertising principles, practices and stance must remain the same. This ensures customers that there is consistency and cohesiveness in your ads that they’ve read, are reading and will read.

Fiction Books

We’ve covered the books of great writing, how about the ones that display the best storytelling? Writing ads strikes a balance between the right words and the right narrative. If you want to learn how to keep your reader engaged, a good story will help you in that regard. Here are 3 of the best storytelling books that ad writers and business owners should read.

8. The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Publication date: 2001

The Shadow of the Wind already builds on a unique and otherworldly plot. In fact, it only takes the first few pages to get one hooked on the story. Reminiscent of Inception, the book is about a book and the story is about a story. It’s hard to imagine how the sheer brilliance of the narrative and good writing will not get a reader invested.

One thing that sets The Shadow of the Wind 600 ft. above others is its uniqueness. In the world of advertising, a fresh angle is always appreciated. It’s like a new and reinforced net you cast to catch prospects you failed to fish in the past.

9. The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J. D. Salinger

Publication date: 1951

Who wouldn’t be familiar with Salinger’s classic, The Catcher in the Rye? The story revolved around a troubled teenager called Holden Caulfield. He narrated the entire story from the first-person perspective so accurately that readers will find themselves drawn to his personality. Every lingering thought. Each confused feeling.

Salinger mastered the art of crafting a voice so precisely that it echoed from the 50s to this date.

The importance of connecting to your customer’s feelings can never be overstated. Since every buying decision that a customer makes stems from the part of the brain that FEELS, you need emotions. You need to tug the right emotional triggers in your ads that nudge readers towards a sale.

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Publication date: 1951

Chbosky’s character, Charlie, has become one of the universal symbols of adolescence, thanks to this book. One of the most powerful weapons Chbosk, and by extension, perks, has used is relatability. You get to relive the sense of alienation and intrusive thoughts that a teen experiences.

The story revolves around Charlie, an introverted gifted teen who has a rich and consuming inner world. His experiences will move a reader, not in the sense that they’re groundbreaking. Rather, in the idea of their reality. Charlie and all the supporting characters are real people albeit fictional.

The story will move you and cast you deep into reverie.

Reality and relatability are potent marketing tools. When you make ads founded on relatable and real scenarios your customers face, they become more moving and effective.

Think of a commercial about a family trapped indoors due to heavy storms and typhoons. Now, insert a roofing company that repairs and strengthens their roof with the smiling and relieved family in view. That’s relatability.

Other Ways to Improve Your Writing

Other Ways to Improve Your Writing

Writing is a craft one masters through constant practice and feedback. The best books for writers will do their part in influencing and reinforcing the art of writing. Still, they aren’t the only ways an ad writer can improve in the field. There are other ways to better a person’s writing skills. Below are some examples of things you can do:

  • Participate or enroll in writer workshops
  • Attend pertinent writing seminars
  • Finish a writing skills course at a college (or online)
  • Listen to other people's stories, they may be relevant for your future crafts

The advertising landscape is changing. Technology has made it easier for people to connect with their target audiences. This also means that the competition is stiffer. Advertising today is more about building an emotional connection with your audience before you go in for the kill. As a business owner, you need to be able to identify a great ad writer from a good ad writer. This will help you create ads that will resonate with your target audience and help you achieve you make sales. The truth is, even with tons of resources, advertising is a monstrous learning curve. Unless you work with seasoned marketers with rich experience writing irresistible advertising, like Ryan Chute’s teams at Wizard of Ads®. Book a call.

(Marketing Strategy)
Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute

Helping small businesses become BIG brands with a holistic marketing strategy that speaks the same language across all sales and marketing channels.

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Frequently asked questions

Questions? We’ve got answers.

Who does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with healthy and growing Residential Home Service Contractors hungry to grow by multiples, like you.

You are ready, willing, and able to grow your business. You are open to change and are seeking a distinctive angle of approach to gain the time and attention of a too-busy public.

You know that lasting relationships take time, patience, and good energy to nurture and cultivate. We carefully enter into every arrangement with the intention of working with you for as long as you own your business. You prefer lasting partnerships.

You are already a solid operator. You have successfully grown your business and appreciate the impact the right brand story will have to get to the next level in your operation. You know a strong relational message takes time to gain momentum, but it’s worth the one-time short-term discomfort for the long-term gains.

Marketing cannot fix a failing business.

We accelerate what’s already happening in a business. If your business is on the rocks, marketing will only speed up the inevitable.  

You’re focused on lasting change that leads to exponential, profitable growth, not just sales at any cost. Intuitively, you know that communication that enhances every element of your customer's experience and your employee's culture is the key to your success.

How does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors charge?

Traditional marketing agencies are designed to capture the greatest amount of revenue from a client, regardless of results. Every last item is billed and expensed to the client. Typical agency fees can represent a whopping 55% of the entire advertising budget. That means a $5 million dollar advertising budget, you would spend $2.75 million on agency fees.

Think of Wizard of Ads® for Contractors as the Anti-Agency.

Our income is not tied to your advertising budget. Our income is exclusively tied to your growth. Our goal is to maximize your advertising impact with the lowest reasonable spend. This allows you to spend only what is necessary or to put extra horsepower into aggressively growing in your market.

The genius of this model is that it perfectly aligns our motivations as true partners for exponential profitable growth without the pain of being unaffordable. Ultimately, we are confident in taking the risk of being underpaid in the first few years because we know the results always speak for themselves.

Next, we do not accept commissions, referral fees, kickbacks, or other compensation from any service providers we recommend or engage for production work. Most agencies do. This includes the 15% agency commission for media buying. This approach is considerably different from the compensation plan employed by most advertising agencies, as it eliminates any potential conflicts of interest and allows us to focus our entire attention on helping you grow your business profitably as a true partner. For example, a $500,000 annual media buy would involve a $75,000 commission that we would have removed directly from your media providers' invoices.

This is the perfect pricing model for Residential Home Services.

By tying ourselves to gross revenue, we only have one motivation. Your motivation. We have no motivation to convince you to spend more money on marketing than what is necessary, and since we are a variable expense to sales, we NEVER become too expensive to have us on your team.

In almost every case, we end up lowering the amount of money you spend. We will stay within your planned marketing budget, including your media spend, production, and our Annual Fee. Add on the fact that you get any and all commissions back for media buys and various services provided by outside providers, and you will actually save money having us on your team.

Don’t forget, we have the largest buying power in North America for media buying, meaning for every dollar you spend buying media, we only spend 27 cents on average. This stretches your reach, impact, and frequency in a way no other agency (or yourself) can achieve on your own, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars, eventually millions, every single year.

Clients who heed our advice and embrace our Marketing Strategy quickly add $1 million in incremental revenue to their business, making your investment a smart bet and a bit of a no-brainer.  

There is no longer any guesswork, hope, or fear that our marketing strategies are going to work. If our client’s are able to abandon any limiting beliefs about marketing, deliver operational excellence, and play the long game, our marketing strategy will accelerate their profitable growth.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors pricing model is based solely on the topline revenue of your company. It consists of an Upfront Fee and an Annual Fee. These fees are inclusive of scheduled travel, services, and all other expenditures as outlined in the Consulting Agreement.

The Upfront Fee covers the intensive Uncovery Process, the first year’s Media Buy, the Creative Process, and the Market Research while the Annual Fee goes toward implementation, ongoing creative and consulting, and next year's media buy. You get a team of 3.5 people, with direct access to a top tier Creative Lead and Media Buyer, and on-demand access to me as your Master Strategist. You will also have a full-time Account Manager keeping everything on track.

While the upfront does have an initial pinch, it is easy to amortize the investment over the many years we will be working together to grow your business. Wizard of Ads® retain clients for 10 years, on average. The sale of the business is the number one reason for termination. We actively terminate the bottom 1% of clients who are unwilling or unable to follow our strategies.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors believes that all rewards should be directly correlated to the success of our clients. This means that the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors only receives a raise when the company achieves growth. For example, if your gross sales for the year have increased by 25%, the Annual Fee you pay us in the following year will also be increased by 25%. Likewise, if your gross sales decrease, our Annual Fee will decrease by the same percentage during the following year.

This is an exceptionally easy and fair way to track and reward success. This model was developed by Wizard of Ads® over 35 years ago and has served us well because it serves our clients well.

As a rule of thumb, we take the risk of working for considerably less than our actual value in the first few years as we help accelerate growth. This means you need to be willing to pay us exceptionally well when you start doing even better.

When should I engage The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors?

There are four key revenue stages for engagement with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors.

  1. Under $3.6 million in revenue
  2. Between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue
  3. Between $10 and $20 million in revenue
  4. Over $20 million in revenue

Under $3.6 million in revenue is an investment in your brand. This will serve you well in establishing your brand story early on and help you with your name, logo, and truck wrap design. It's easier to create pictures from a story than it is to make a story based on pre-drawn pictures. You'll be glad you did. Everyone on a fast path to growth is.

Most clients start with Wizard of Ads® for Contractors between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue. They have often seen a natural ceiling with their leads for demand service and are looking for ways to push past the ceiling. This can only be done with a properly executed brand strategy, specifically in mass media with a sticky story.

Between $10 and $20 million in revenue, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors has some natural economies of scale. This is a sweet spot where Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can offer some added value in getting the ball rolling.

Over $20 million in revenue is actually the lowest cost point of entry as a percentage of revenue, but not the cheapest time to start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors. Leveraging all economies of scale aside, we have been left out of the upside along the way, so engaging when over $20 million in revenue means we have to mend a lot of fences damaged along the way. This is also where clients see significant savings in their media buys and production costs.

There are also three market sizes to consider.

  • Primary Markets are the top 50 cities in America.
  • Secondary Markets are the smaller cities in America.
  • Tertiary Markets are the more rural trade areas in America.

When considering an engagement with The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, consider what size market you are in. For example, a $3.6 million company in a Primary Market will struggle to get the necessary reach needed to make a splash. You either have to be more patient than a larger company or spend more money to accelerate your reach.

Alternatively, a $5 million company in a Secondary Market will look like a pretty darn big fish in a medium-sized pond.

A $20 Million company in a Primary Market will feel like a $50 million company using our strategies to potential customers.

The key to remember is that the earlier you start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, the lower the investment to get started. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

Are production costs included in your fees?

The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors Creative Lead will create the ad copy, cast the voice actors, source the production house, direct the performance, pick the music bed, manage all the edits, and provide you with the completed ad for final approval before sending to air on your behalf. This is included in our fees.

You pay for the production house, actors, royalty-free music, and jingles directly to avoid any potential for markups, commissions, or management fees.

We have many friends in the industry that give our clients good deals due to the large volume of work we provide them. We will introduce you to them.

How long before a brand-forward strategy starts working?

In approximately three months of activation, we’ll just be getting live on air. In six months (3 months on air), you’ll be getting anecdotal feedback from people that you are being heard, but there will be no direct line to revenue.

After 6 months on the air, you’ll think you made the biggest mistake of your life signing up for this branding nonsense. After 9 months on the air (12 months in) you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 12 full months on the air, you’ll know why you did this branding thing. Two years from now, we'll be clinking champagne flutes as you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

How long before we’re live?

The general guideline is 70-120 days, depending on the level of production needed and if there is a name change to your business.

This includes an onsite visit, a deep dive into research, and getting things created, negotiated, approved, produced, and live on the air.

  • Uncovery - 15-30 days based on travel. 1-2 days onsite.
  • Research - 30-60 days based on the scope of work.
  • Creative and Media Buy Process - 45 to 60 days
  • Offline Production - 15 days for radio. 30 - 60 days for television.
  • Online Production (if switching) - 60 days

This means planning for roughly 90 to 120 days in the proper development and production of a completely unique Marketing Strategy before anything hits the airwaves.

Are you exclusive?

Creatively, yes. During the term of this Agreement, all Creative Partners assigned to your Account shall not engage, directly or indirectly, as an employee, officer, manager, partner, consultant, agent, owner, or in any other capacity, in any competition of the client, including any company engaged in marketing consulting.

For clarity, the Creative Partner is defined as the individual Wizard of Ads® Partners who is responsible for creating your creative strategy and ongoing creative copy. Competition is defined as companies that engage in the same industry and business units (e.g., HVAC, Plumbing, etc.) as you. The market area is defined as the area where the marketing message naturally reaches through DMA or 60 miles from the city center of the client's service area(s).

Naturally, we exclude any potential future competition in markets where you are not currently active at the date of signing.

We do not limit Media Buyers in any market. Media Buyers get better deals for larger volumes, making it beneficial for the client to have the Media Buyer available to do as many buys as possible to secure the best deals on the client’s behalf.

Do you do digital marketing?

In rare circumstances, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will provide specific digital marketing solutions. Wizard of Ads® has very specific Partners that provide digital services that serve Residential Home Services effectively. Under no circumstances will digital marketing services be offered without Wizard of Ads® for Contractors' core solution.

It is most likely that Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will work with your existing digital partners and suppliers. If you do not have a reliable digital provider, we would be happy to introduce you to a number of great providers that play nice with Wizards.

Do you do jingles?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can assist you in getting a jingle for your business. Like any other tactical element of a marketing strategy, we do not produce a jingle for the sake of a jingle.

If you do not have a story or a strategic reason to have a jingle...or an ad campaign to tie it to, do not waste your hard-earned money on a jingle. You are wasting your time and money.

When you do build a single unified marketing strategy that incorporates a jingle for a specific (often scientific) reason, we have a Jingle Wizard who has studied the art and science of jingle design.

He will score you an original, royalty-free jingle, including professional singers, musicians, and producers. He will not knock off a generic jingle from a publicly available music bed that sounds like everyone else's jingle.

Your jingle will serve a very specific reason and produce a very specific result. Have you guessed how much we love jingles yet?

Who owns the copyrights?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors owns your copyright for two very specific reasons. We also provide a fair use clause in all contracts to ensure you are in no way limited to the access of your creative works, whether you are working with us or not.

The first reason we own your copyright is to ensure that we do not have to go up against our own creative works in other markets we serve. This means you are not allowed to lend, give, borrow, tweak, rent, lease, or sell your creative works to any other company at any time.

The second reason we own your copyright is that we can establish a one-time value for your creative works in the event that someone steals the content. Upon selling you the copyrights, you can go after the perpetrator for theft and make a considerable bounty in a slam dunk case.

Here is how Wizard of Ads® word the fair use of your copyright for as long as your business is in operation:

All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. Wizard of Ads® for Contractors hereby irrevocably grants you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
How do I measure brand results?

There are a number of interesting ways to measure results. Some people like to get unique identifying telephone numbers, or create branded URLs that redirect to landing pages or the website. However, much of this is a waste of time and energy as it never tells the true story of the brand journey and how it affected the decision-making process.

Other indicators of brand effectiveness include tracking new customers, reactivated customers, or running a brand equity survey to get a sense of your share of mind. Digitally you will see direct search increase, which cannot be affected by anything digital, as well as branded keyword inquiries increase. You’ll, of course, need to get your digital people to add these to your campaigns if you hope to see an increase in conversions.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors tracks the simplest of indicators. Top line revenue. When your branding takes effect, and the company responds in kind from the phone call or form fill-on, top-line revenue will increase. Efficacy is plotted on a T12, and total lead volume from all sources is tracked.

12 things you should know before signing up.
  1. Quality relationships take time. Branding is a long-term strategy. That’s why most contractors do it wrong, or not at all. There is always a lag between the start of the new campaign and the time it takes your customers to connect the dots. You MUST BE READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to endure this lag period. In our experience, the lag is typically 6 to 9 months, depending on how competitive the marketplace is, your company’s reputation, your budget in relation to reach, and the eight uncontrollable environmental factors. During this time, we will be helping you implement a transition plan to ease the pain. The good news is that this lag only happens once.
  2. Decisions by Committee. We completely reject the notion of decisions by committee. We work with a single, courageous decision-maker. We welcome decision influencers, but we only look to the Owner for the final decision. All decision-makers and influencers must be involved in the Uncovery and Marketing Strategy Presentation if they want to offer input in the future. It is critical that we have a 100% fully approved plan that can be defended and championed by all leaders in the organization.  
  3. Proven Strategy. That means we are not the low-cost provider. With nearly 200 home service clients and a book of strategic devices, tools, and tactics, this isn’t a guessing game for us. We know what to do to make your externally triggered grudge purchase appealing to your potential buyers. If you can deliver the goods, we can continue building relationships. If you are uncomfortable with the idea that you are paying us less now so that you can pay us considerably more once revenues allow, please do not commit. We intend to be your true partners, in sickness and in long as you own your business.
  4. Automatic Payments. Everything is on automatic payments. If you struggle with managing cash flow, figure that out in your business first. We accept all major credit cards and ACH payments.
  5. We Cause Problems. If you don’t have a capacity issue now, I promise you will in about 9 months. Let’s deal with recruitment out of the gate as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.
  6. We Own the Copyrights. All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. We irrevocably grant you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
  7. Brand Building. We will be steering you to limit the use of discounts, rebates, coupons, and sales to attract clients. We know this feels counterintuitive to many, and we will clarify our reasoning. Rest assured, we have considerable experience in creating similar offers that are not damaging to your profitability, your brand’s integrity, and your preferable long-term client relations.
  8. Creative Authority. We must have creative authority over the words. You can accept copy as written or reject it outright, but you cannot modify the words yourself. If you do not like something as written, we are happy to discuss it and make the necessary change to maintain the integrity and intention of the words chosen. Alternatively, we will scrap the concept and create new copy that you are happy to get behind 100%.
  9. Proprietary Algorithm. The media buy must be structured in a very specific way, including running a full 52-week schedule. It is based on brain chemistry, not P&Ls. Once we have committed to the buy, it’s important to avoid adjustments unless they are calculated additions.
  10. Knucklehead Factor. You should expect knuckleheads. For example, when you start running ads that are certain to get attention, you need the courage to continue running those ads, even when you receive complaints. We celebrate complaints. It means we’ve made people feel.
  11. Digital Weasels. In about three months from the time your advertising campaign hits the airways, your digital marketers will show you a marked increase in direct and organic traffic. Some Digital Marketers will mistakenly claim this success as their own. Done properly, you can continue to spend less and less on digital lead generation by increasing your branded keyword online presence.
  12. Annual Marketing Meetings. Travel permitting, we prefer to hold Annual Marketing Meetings (AMMs) outside your city. Years of experience have taught us that we get better results when decision-makers are outside their sphere of influence, away from the day-to-day distractions of the office.

Ready to transform your world?

(do it - you
deserve this)