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Fishing For Ideas Seeking inspiration for lively ad copy? Try hitting the newsstand.

By Jerry Fisher

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I recently received a frustrated e-mail from a youngentrepreneur whose plight may be similar to yours. He said he andhis partners were banging their heads against the wall trying tocome up with an arresting headline to use on a flier for theirsales training program. Nothing seemed to "sing" forthem, and he wondered if I could supply the magic words.

Unfortunately, I was too swamped at the time to offer hands-onhelp. But I wanted to at least help him help himself, believing inthe essential truth of that proverb, "Give someone a fish, andyou feed them for a day; teach them to fish, and you feedthem for a lifetime." So I e-mailed back this thought:"Whenever I'm struggling for an advertising headline, I gofishing for it in a special pool--the pool of publications relatedto my client's enterprise (software, photography, health and soon). There, I scope out cover headlines, story headlines and someof the text as well. Almost without fail, I come upon sets of wordsthat have the potential, with a little editing, to become ahard-hitting advertising headline. I copy them down, let themmarinate in my head overnight and look at them the next day.Invariably, some solid headline candidates come out ofit."

A good case in point is one of my current clients--CavanaughGray, a finance and marketing senior at the University of Illinoisin Chicago and a budding entrepreneur, who wrote recently. Grayruns a seminar program geared toward teaching young, aspiringentrepreneurs--those in seventh to 12th grades--how to get an earlystart on small-business success. To promote his enterprise, hesays, "I have done my best to put together a brochure thatdepicts what the program has to offer; however, I still feel thereare a lot of things missing." Let's talk about what thoseelements might be.

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