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Business Report #7

How to Become a Successful Advertising Broker

Many people are enticed to become part of the publishing industry because the idea of running ads, receiving orders, taking out 50% as their commission and not doing any actual publishing is simple, easy and sounds like fun. Now, this is all well and good but if this is all you do, you are only fulfilling 50% of your duties. Here is the correct procedure you should follow as an Advertising Broker for any publication:

1. Make sure the ads you are running to sell advertising space looks professional. If not, have them re-typeset. (Typesetters advertise in every mail order publication and are easy to find.) I cannot stress enough how important this is. Even if the publisher supplies you with junky ads imprinted with your name have them redesigned so you not only stand out from the crowd but draw more customers and more income.

2. Keep a notebook of all the publishers you are brokering for. Keep records of their advertising rates, your commission and the amount you are to send. This notebook will help you keep on top of things as well as helping you keep track of the proper commissions you are to keep. Every publisher normally has a different set of requirements and when you are bartering for 10 or 15 publications, things can become confusing very easily.

3. When an advertising order comes in, you should immediately notify the customer that their order was received. Also tell them which publications their ad will appear in (as well as the issue numbers if known.) Then, end your letter with a thank you and ask them to order from you again. Enclose a re-order sheet so the customer can easily place another ad with you next month so you can generate a commission. (Not acknowledging an order and not sending a re-order form will cause the customer to send their order to the publisher instead of you and you will miss out on your commission.

4. It also may be helpful to give the customer the publisher's name and address so they can contact them directly if they don't receive a checking copy. This takes extra work off your shoulders and saves you a long-distance call to check on an order you mailed to a publisher 30 or more days ago. However, make it plain that future advertising orders should come directly to you.

5. If you are sending a lot of ads to a publisher (more than 10), you can do the publisher a big favor by sending them typed labels of all your advertising customers' names and addresses so they will be sure to send them a checking copy. (Note: We all know the scenario of when an advertisement is sent and there is one address on the ad but a distributor actually placed the ad and has a different address. In this case, both parties need to receive a checking copy of the publication.)

Being an Advertising Broker has its financial advantages. The trick is to get a wide range of publications to do ad brokering for. You can't make money just being a broker for one or two publishers you need as many as you can get. (Hint: But make absolutely positive that the publication is solid and has been in business for awhile. If not, the publisher could go out of business, keep the money you sent them for your customer's ad orders and you will be stuck. Then you'll be labeled a scam artist through no fault of your own.)

Advertising Brokers also do well by combining several publications into one huge ad package. (Example: 250,000 circulation in 15 different publications for one certain price.)

So keep building your business and communicate with your customers. They will provide you with repeat business and your bank account will grow larger and larger just from using a little common business sense and tact.