To keep giving you relevant and timely content, we update our most popular posts. This article was last updated in February 2021.
We’ve talked about how even though launches are all the rage, they’re not profitable endeavors when you’re relatively new to business.
In that article, I follow up on a BIG MISTAKE I see too many people making, one that’s wasting both time and money as they build their businesses.
[Missed that post? Read it here.]
Truly, nothing gets under my skin faster than a business owner being told by their coach (or any online “expert”) to focus on this one thing. That’s why I’ve got to tell it to you straight today.
The Bad Advice You’re Getting
What is this time and money-wasting advice you’re getting?
“Facebook ads are the answer to traffic, clients, and sales.”
I know what you’re thinking, “But Jenny, I see you and tons of successful entrepreneurs doing Facebook ads. So why is it such a bad idea?”
I’m so glad you asked!
When you’re new to business (or even new-ish), you’re missing some of the key components required to be successful with Facebook ads. Things like:
- the exact language your clients are using
- an opt-in page you know works
- an opt-in offer you know your subscribers love
- autoresponders that turn subscribers into hot prospects
- a proven offer people actually want to buy
- a consult and follow-up process that turns prospects into paying clients
Until you have these pieces in place, and more importantly, know that they actually and consistently work, spending money on Facebook ads is like playing poker against a pro. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll lose all of your money.
Think about it this way: If you don’t know the exact language your clients are using, you can’t create ads that will make potential clients click.
Even if they do click the ad, you then need compelling copy on your opt-in page before you’ll get their email address.
Even if you get lucky there, you then need the right opt-in offer to show them you’re great at what you do plus the right autoresponders to get them curious about your services.
As an alternative to consults, you’d need a webinar or online training that compels people to register and get on your email list. And during that webinar, you need to be able to deliver a pitch that gets folks to buy your program.
The Problem with Facebook Ads
Don’t get me wrong.
Facebook ads still work.
But with the influx of advertisers on Facebook, it’s gotten harder to make Facebook ads work for you—especially when you’re just starting out.
- Facebook ads are more expensive now than they’ve ever been. That’s because there are now so many businesses who are willing to pay to get the attention of Facebook users.
- You have to know your market better than ever. Facebook users are seeing more ads than ever before. The competition is fierce for their attention, so you have to know what will grab their eyeballs and compel them to act.
With all that said, there is a time and place for Facebook ads in your marketing strategy.
If you meet the following criteria, then you’re in a good position to invest in FB ads:
1. You have a landing page for a freebie with a high opt-in rate.
2. The subscribers to that freebie convert into paying customers for your products or services.
3. Steps 1 and 2 happen consistently and predictably.
In other words, you need a full funnel that you know works without ads.
The funnel takes people from your free offer to a series of automated emails, to a sales page, to closing sales and enrolling clients.
Once that funnel’s working really well, consistently and reliably, then it’s absolutely worth it to invest in Facebook ads to bring more people into it.
Here’s an example:
When we open up enrollment for Make It Work Online®, we invest a significant amount of money on Facebook ads. That’s because after years of promoting MIWO, we already have a funnel that helps us reach ideal clients for MIWO and inspires them to enroll. In other words, the math works.
Bottom line: You need to know that everything you have in place is working—meaning you know you can reliably and consistently move people from not knowing a lick about you to actually paying you money—before you should spend a nickel on ads.
Facebook Ads Themselves Aren’t Bad, But…
The experts out there who are teaching you to use Facebook ads to build your brand new business aren’t wrong in a big-picture sense.
When you have those key pieces mentioned above in place and working, adding Facebook ads to your arsenal can be a huge benefit—especially if you have nailed down a predictable conversion rate (meaning for every dollar you spend, you know the bottom-line profit you’ll consistently make).
But until you reach that point, don’t waste your money!
Jumping ahead to advanced strategies like Facebook ads can make you feel like you’re doing smart things and thinking like a pro. But in truth, it’s wasting your time and your money. They’re not the steps you need to take right now to build your business.Click to Download7 Steps to Make It Work Online
What About Just Starting Small?
People have told me:
“You can spend very little on Facebook advertisement at first, to test how and if it works. By very little I mean $1 to $5. If that $5 doesn’t bring in any likes, traffic, and clients, then forget the whole thing, at least for now.”
I can see the appeal of spending spare change on Facebook ads. But the only challenge with spending just $1-5, or even $50, is that, statistically speaking, the data you’ll get won’t be informative or meaningful.
By “meaningful,” I mean reliable enough to draw conclusions about which ads and landing pages are converting, what your ROI is, and whether or not it’s worthwhile for you to keep using Facebook ads.
With an ad spend of just $5, you’ll get such little traffic that you can’t make any reliable conclusions from your results. Whether you see conversions or not, that doesn’t really tell you anything about the quality of your ads, your offer, or your landing page.
Most likely, whatever results you get are a fluke! You simply won’t know how well your funnel works unless you get more traffic.
What ad spend gets you enough traffic? The exact numbers are always changing, but to get meaningful data, you’ll need a minimum spend of $1000. And that’s just so you know whether your funnel converts.
When you’ve identified a working funnel, you’ll then need to keep paying for ads so you can test different parts of your funnel and drive your conversions up. Some industry leaders routinely spend $10,000 or more per month just to tweak and optimize their funnels.
In other words, it can take serious money just to make your Facebook ads profitable.Click to TweetBeware of bad advice about Facebook ads! It can take serious money just to make your Facebook ads profitable.
So if you shouldn’t focus on Facebook ads, what should you focus on?My Personal Recommendation for YouGet our comprehensive coaching program for online service providers!
What You Really Need to Do
You’ve got to master a strong business foundation and stick to a proven, business-building plan.
You first have to get clear on your target clients’ language.
As prospects get curious about your work, hone your consult and follow-up process until you’ve mastered it and turn every perfect potential client into a paying one.
Not until you’ve mastered all of these areas and have a steady stream of new clients working with you should you spend time and money on Facebook ads. And even then, if everything you’re doing is working, you don’t actually need ads!
Let me be clear:Click to TweetFacebook ads aren’t the answer to getting clients. Ads don’t work unless you already know how to get clients.
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
Based on what I covered here, what shifts might you need to make to your business-building strategy?
Have you ever implemented a strategy before your business was ready for it? What was the result?
Do you have other tips, comments, or suggestions for the community here?My Personal Recommendation for YouBuild a solid foundation for your online, service-based business!