Facebook advertising is often a consistent source of confusion and frustration, especially for those wishing to get new clients from it and grow their business.
However Ben Simkin, an esteemed Australian entrepreneur, successfully cracked the code surrounding Facebook ads. This resulted in generating over $1 billion in sales from Facebook ads alone.
I recently interviewed Ben, and found some interesting insights into how he achieved such an astounding result.
How did you initially get started in Facebook advertising?
To start with, I was doing marketing for a few clients which involved renting email lists and sending out offers for them. It was going really well and was achieving great results but it wasn't that scalable. When Facebook announced their new advertising platform I realised straight away that this had potential to be huge, so I jumped right in without hesitation.
There were no courses or programs at this time, and no mentors to offer guidance and advice. It was purely trial and error which ended up costing me tens of thousands of dollars. I saw this as paying for the education though, so I was alright with it.
So if you were losing a lot of money, what made you keep going?
I essentially just said this to myself: 'if I can crack this code, it will be worth millions of dollars'. That's what kept me going as I knew it would happen eventually.
Yes, I was initially losing money, but I was still seeing success. One week I would do very well and get a lot of leads and sales, but the next week I would see very little and basically go backwards.
Because of the successes I was seeing, I knew it had huge potential. I call it trial and error simply because I didn't quite know how to harness the potential at this point.
What types of business do Facebook ads work best for?
Over the years, I have worked with a wide variety of different industries, services and products. This has given me a huge amount of experience with many types of businesses.
I can tell you that as long as there is a demand for it, Facebook ads will work very well regardless of whether you are targeting businesses or consumers.
We've sold pretty much everything from recipe books and yoga retreats, to business consulting and investments. Products and services have ranged from a mere $27 all the way up to $500,000, with Facebook ads working well across the board.
What is the first step that business owners can learn from your journey?
Well besides the cliché 'never give up' philosophy, from a specific Facebook point of view you need to have a very clear image of who your target market is. Before you even think about sitting down to create a Facebook ad, you need to have this image instilled in your head in a three-dimensional way.
By this, I mean you need to know their age, gender and location. But you also need to know everything from what they like reading to where they like to hang out on the weekend.
What keeps them up at night? What would they think about your product?
Getting this three-dimensional concept of your target audience is the crucial first step.
What happens next?
Ask yourself a couple of key questions: 'what am I going to put in front of my target audience to make them take the action I want them to take?', 'what is that action?'
It could be something as simple as a phone call, or do you want them to come to your showroom? Pre-book an appointment?
Often, all you need them to do is take that first initial step. It is from there that you can successfully lead them through your entire sales process.
Your approach will highly depend on the product or service you are offering. We sold thousands of recipe books for a client online, and to successfully do this we needed to craft the perfect online process, or sales funnel, to get people to buy.
In this instance, we got them to take the first action by distinctly showing the benefits of buying the recipe book. But before we did that, we needed to figure out the right people to target. Who is most likely to want to buy this book?
This is how the two crucial steps fit together, and how I used them to achieve success.
How have Facebook ads changed since they first began?
Facebook ads have come such a long way since the very first ads started. For example, they didn't have news feed ads when it was first launched, and, from the recent announcements at F8, it is clear that they are now making things a lot more sophisticated. This gives advertisers remarkable opportunities to present their business and services to a laser targeted audience.
Facebook are consistently in tune with what's needed and are delivering great technology. Without question, I see it as the most powerful advertising medium on the planet at the moment, and I'm sure it will be for many years to come.
I'm really excited about the direction it's taking, as its potential for us to continue generating large volumes of sales and leads is endless.
Attract, Sell and Serve with Your Superpowers