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:
For those of you who run paid ads to your business, what’s the #1 piece of advice you have to offer to someone who is brand new to it? (1/2)
— Pat Flynn (@PatFlynn) March 21, 2017
How to Start with Paid Advertising
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:
@PatFlynn Knowing your target audience is SO key. Being able to target them with non-obvious demographics is the key to cheap ads. (1/2)
— ??Brendan Hufford (@BrendanHufford) March 21, 2017
@PatFlynn Target your ads really well. Targeting is everything. Don't mind if you see your reach decreasing. The more targeted, the better.
— Louie Luc (@BuzzNitrous) March 21, 2017
@PatFlynn Your ad must match you landing page. Also 2) targeting is so important. Research who your “ideal customer” would be b4 wasting $$
— Alexander Yolevski (@yolevski) March 21, 2017
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.
@PatFlynn Go micro. Single keyword ad groups in search, single audience ads on FB, etc. You truly test what keywords/ad copy/images work.
— Brian Thomas Clark (@briantclark) March 21, 2017
@PatFlynn diversification kills your ROI. Focus on 1 channel and make it work. From there, start experimenting with other channels.
— Mikkel Sciegienny (@mikkels89) March 21, 2017
@PatFlynn start small, test, measure, adjust, grow, and keep repeating
— Mouyyad Abdulhadi (@MouyyadA) March 21, 2017
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.
@PatFlynn Don't go for the sell on your first ad. Warm up the audience, then warm 'em up again, then again. After they're on fire, sell!
— Josh Martin (@JoshMartin_TV) March 23, 2017
@PatFlynn 1000% Lead with VALUE & give value in advance before asking for an opt-in. Works wonders & you stand out.
— Phil Graham (@philgrahambiz) March 22, 2017
.@PatFlynn Don't drive cold traffic straight to purchase offer. Run some engagement only campaigns 1st, then retarget engagers to next step.
— Laura Petersen (@LaptopLaura) March 22, 2017
@PatFlynn just follow Digital Marketer's example… lead magnet, trip wire, then core offer.
— Chris Huntley (@mrchrishuntley) March 21, 2017
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.
@PatFlynn split test and analyze a lot upfront. Make small changes so you know what's working. Repeat until conv rate makes $.
— Casey Ayars (@caseyayars) March 21, 2017
@PatFlynn Never set and forget. Constantly adjust to get your audience and see what's working against what isn't. C.A.R create,adjust,review
— Bryce Dovenbarger (@rebelliouscolon) March 21, 2017
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:
@PatFlynn start remarkeitng first and creating a lookalike from current audience/customers. More cost effective.
— Scott Flear (@ScottFlear) March 21, 2017
@PatFlynn Start with Google ads (highly targeted), then retarget those visitors on FB with a lead magnet for exceptional conversion rates.
— Blogging Degree (@BloggingDegree) March 22, 2017
And finally, a great mindset approach to all of this from Ray Higdon:
@PatFlynn understand the point is to create the ability to spend more
— Ray Higdon (SWFL) (@rayhigdon) March 21, 2017
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.
Woot! Here we go!