Avoid The Advertising Vultures

Post image for Avoid The Advertising Vultures

by Tom Watson on June 6, 2010

When you are new to the business world it will not be long before the advertising vultures show up. These folks make their living off your inexperience.

You normally meet them at networking functions, however telemarketing is another weapon for them.

In the early stages of your career it is difficult to spot them. They seem so nice and intently interested in your new business. They will enthusiastically encourage you.

At this point you are feeling pretty good about yourself, you have what you perceive as a seasoned business person telling you that you are on your way to financial immortality with your new business. Now don’t get me wrong, a pat on the back and encouragement is a good thing. I have no complaints there.

Just be wary of their motives.

As with just about any situation in life, there are people who like to prey on the weak or inexperienced. They will use their knowledge to fool you into thinking that their services may be of use to you. Now many times they will be offering a legitimate service that may, at some point, be of use to you. The key phrase is “at some point”. That “some point” is normally not within the first six months (or year in many cases).

I am by no means against getting the word out that you are in business. You do need to promote your service in ways that work for you. The idea here is to be aware that when you are new, you are more easily taken advantage of. Proceed with caution at all times.

You can learn from my encounters with these folks. For the most part I fared well and held onto my money, however I got suckered into some and unfortunately it cost me a bundle.

Some of the vultures I encountered are detailed below:

  • Cable TV Vulture. This individual was trying to convince me that Cable TV advertising was a good idea. The “couple grand” production cost would be well spent and would provide a great return on my money. I don’t doubt cable advertising works. I just don’t think it should be on your priority list for a start up budget. This person knew I was on a budget but persisted anyway for some time. I did not pony up any money thankfully.
  • Misc Print Vultures. Advertising agents for print publications I have never heard of loved calling me! I must have been on some list because I was quite popular for some reason. These folks want you to commit your hard earned money to place ads in their magazines, bulletins or newspapers. I did not fall into this trap. Note: I have done quite a bit of local ads in specific neighborhood newspapers (but not early on in my career, and its was done on my terms).
  • Website Vultures. Beware of this crew. They promote getting a expensive website so you could be “found” online. I bought into this one hook, line and sinker. You do need a website, make no doubt about it, just not a several thousand dollar one. I look back at this decision with some regret as I “really got suckered into their sales pitch”.
  • Yellow Pages Vultures. The sales reps make it seem like this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They will tell you your business needs to be in there or you will miss out! At one time it was important, but not so much anymore. The Internet has changed the landscape quite a bit. I did dabble in this but only for a very small ad. It did bring in business, unfortunately not enough to cover the cost of the ad placement.
  • Valpak/Coupon Mailer Vultures. Everyone gets hit up by this group. I did sign up for a limited period. I believe it was for about 4 months. Total waste of money for me. I’m glad I only signed up for a limited time.

Many of these advertising vultures will produce charts and graphs of all the reasons you should jump on board “right away”. They will tell you the price is “going up” any day now. If you act now you will be “locked in” at the current price. Do not fall for these common sales tactics. Proceed with caution at all times.

To summarize.

  1. Be skeptical.
  2. Consider their motivations.
  3. Don’t fall in love with a sales pitch.
  4. Don’t rush into anything.
  5. It’s your money, spend it wisely without risking more than you can afford to lose.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: