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How to Start with Paid Advertising

How to Start with Paid Advertising

By Pat Flynn on

I’ve never run a paid advertisement for my own products.


Well, simply because I’ve never had any products of my own to sell.

One of my goals for 2017 is to shift the higher percentage of income coming from affiliate marketing (selling the products of others for a commission) to earnings generated from my own stuff. The primary driver for that shift will be my online courses.

I’ve launched a couple of online courses this year already, and with the reopening of those courses over the span of the next few months, it’s about time I finally add some fuel to the furnace and pay for advertisements, something many successful entrepreneurs say they wish they had done sooner.

I’ve run ads for non-product things before, such as boosted posts on Facebook, or ads to increase the number of fans on my business page, but I’ve never run ads as part of a campaign to assist in the selling of a product.

That’s about to change.

So, as always, whenever I dive into something new, the first thing I do is ask others who have done it before me for their own best practices and things to watch out for.

I’ve asked my close friends and colleagues for guidance already, but some of the best advice I’ve received so far has come from the SPI audience and fans, many of whom have way more experience than I have in this realm.

I proposed a simple question on Twitter not too long ago, and I’ve compiled the replies into categories so that myself, and others who are exploring paid advertising, can figure this out:

Lesson #1: It’s All About Targeting

This is an obvious approach when it comes to advertising. We’re not creating billboards for random drivers to possibly glance at on the road. We’re creating specific ads that target specific kinds of people. But there’s a lot more to it than just knowing the demographics of your potential audience:

Lesson #2: Start Small and Stay Focused

Starting small and staying focused is a strategy that works with everything we do, but it’s especially important in the world of advertising. Go too big too fast, and you’ll soon be too broke.

Lesson #3: Use Ads to Start the Relationship, Not Sell to a Stranger Right Away

Creating ads that direct people to a sales page is sort of like going to a party, meeting a bunch of new people, and immediately asking them to buy your product. It’s going to be a lot more challenging to convince and convert someone you hardly know, versus taking the approach of providing value first, and then asking for a transaction later.

Lesson #4: Test, Analyze, and Keep Testing

The big thing I learned is that you have to hone in on what works. Don’t just run a campaign, and if it fails, feel like it’s never going to work. There are a lot of variables, and the numbers are going to be your best friend along the way to help you discover what converts.

Other Key Takeaways

Retargeting seems to be a strong and powerful tool that enables you start a conversion in one place and keep it going somewhere else later for the conversion:

And finally, a great mindset approach to all of this from Ray Higdon:

I like that.

This is just the beginning, but I’m thankful for this short and sweet advice from the SPI audience. If you have anything to add while we dive deeper into advertisements, please add a comment below!

May is Advertising Month here on Smart Passive Income, so look out for some great guest posts and interviews from experts in the field, and subscribe to the podcast to make sure you don’t miss it.

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