The explosion of Facebook in the global sphere has made it that much easier and more ideal to use the social media platform to get the word out about your business. Facebook ads have become cornerstones in many a marketing strategy intended to maximize business growth. Steve Sims chats with Adrienne Richardson, a lead generation expert who manages more than $5 million in advertising dollars per year. Steve and Adrienne discuss mechanics and best practices for using Facebook ads for business growth. If you’re going to be on Facebook anyway, you might as well be making the best use of the tools at your disposal, so let Adrienne and Steve’s conversation enlighten you!
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Adrienne Richardson: Business Growth Expert
I’ve got Adrienne Richardson on the show. If you don’t know this girl, she’s sharp at Facebook messaging and everything around the world of Facebook Advertising. She nails down the difference between boosting advertising but also this world of the Wild Wild West that everyone is an instant expert. She tells you how to identify someone that can help you and what you need to do to get into the trenches so that you know what you’re talking about before you go and spend your money on someone else. It’s a beautiful show on how to do things. No self-promotion that’s why I love this girl. Please read it. Put it in action. If you are not advertising on Facebook, you need to be and these are going to be the reasons why. Enjoy the show.
Adrienne, welcome to the show.
Steve, thanks for having me.
It’s a pleasure. If anyone looks you up and they should, you are well-renowned at being good at the Facebook Advertising world. The first question that got to come in is with many social platforms coming out, there is LinkedIn getting stronger, the arrival of TikTok. Why should we care about Facebook anymore? I’ve heard that people are leaving it.
There are definitely people leaving Facebook, but Facebook is still the number one strongest ad platform on planet Earth. They have more information about people than any other source because of the number of people who interact, what they share, what they do, and the way that things are tracked. It’s an advertiser’s dream come true because there’s more information there than you can get from any other source. It’s more specific in terms of who you want to reach. There are a lot of advertising platforms, there are lots of social media platforms, but when it comes to specificity of being able to reach a specific person, there is nothing else that has anything that zeroes in as much as Facebook does.
I’ve been in rooms where there’s been an argument between people and these have been successful people, I will say. These have been top shelf entrepreneurs. The difference between Facebook Advertising and Facebook Boosting. Would you care to elaborate a little bit on what the differences are?
First of all, boosting an ad and running a Facebook Ad are both the same thing. It’s both a type of paid advertisement. What Facebook did is they created this boost option to make it easy for anybody that doesn’t know anything about Facebook advertising to turn one of their posts into an app. What a boosted post does is you’re boosting for engagement which means likes, comments, shares. Facebook takes that post and they serve it to people who are most likely to like, comment, or share. Facebook knows who the clickers are, who the converters are, who takes action, and who the stalkers are. Facebook knows that and when you boost your posts, you’re saying, “I want more people to see this. Not necessarily people who take action.” I will use a boosted post but I use it specifically.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’m going to run a Facebook Ad, where I can tell Facebook exactly where I want the ad to be shown, who I want it to be shown to, and what action I want those people to take, whether I want them to click or I want them to convert. The only time I ever use a boosted post is when I want more of my followers to see that post. As we know, since Facebook went public and they became this pay-to-play platform, most of the time when you post something on your business page, maybe 2% to 3% of your followers will see it. The only time I use the boosted post is when I want more of my followers to see what I posted. You can choose to boost it only to your followers and that’s the only time I use it. Otherwise, I’m going to want to have a lot more control over where that ad is shown, how it’s optimized, and the result that comes from it. When you want that, you want to do an ad, not a boosted post.
A lot of people are scared of doing Facebook Advertising. For the young entrepreneur out there with the younger mind and neither of those is age-related, is it terrifying to gain to the world of Facebook Advertising?Facebook is still the number one strongest advertising platform on Earth. Click To Tweet
Facebook Ads can feel a little bit like gambling. That’s why it’s scary for people. It’s like, “I’m going to go out there, I’m going to try something, and put my money out there. I may or may not make my money back.” That’s why people are scared of it because it’s an unknown, it’s unpredictable. They don’t know yet. I always recommend to people that whatever they’re going to be running ads to as much as they can, they should test it on their warm audience first. Their email list, followers, or whomever so they have proof of concept. They have proof that marketing funnel that they’re going to run traffic to converts and it’s never going to convert as well for cold traffic, as it will for warm traffic so people who know you and things like that.
If you can’t get it to work on warm, it’s not working for cold traffic. I always tell people they should test new stuff on their warm market first, see how it converts, and then take their time to create a strategy for how they’re going to run cold traffic. The other huge mistake that people make, and this is why many people will get poor results, is they don’t put the time and energy into planning their Facebook Ad strategy the same way they would if they were doing a TV commercial, a radio commercial, or a print advertisement. They’d hire a professional, they’d come up with a plan, they’d have all these things they’re going to do.
Facebook ads are accessible, which is what I love about them for any business owner. It also is a double-edged sword where now you have people just, “I’m going to throw something at the wall and see what sticks.” They get poor results and then they’re like, “Crap, this doesn’t work.” I would recommend that people get in there, but they get in there with a plan of something that they’ve tried already, they know it works, and then they’ve got the strategy for how they’re going to roll it out on Facebook so they can give their selves the best chance of success.
We’ve given some people some nuggets on Facebook, the difference between advertising and boosted posts. I want to focus now on you. You’re prominent within this world of Facebook Advertising. How long ago was it that you got into, and let’s be blunt, Facebook wasn’t around that long ago. What were you doing before the pre-Facebook world? What got you hooked on Facebook Advertising?
I’ll give you the condensed version because we all have a whole life story. I served in the United States Air Force for seven years as a paramedic straight out of high school and I wanted to be a doctor. I was going to be an emergency room physician, but I quickly realized that I suck at calculus and physics. I changed my major to Public Relations. I graduated with a degree in PR and worked at an advertising agency in Philadelphia out of college. There is where I learned everything about marketing, advertising, and PR. I worked with NASCAR, Palmer Chocolate, Subaru, clients like that, and got my feet wet learning about marketing and advertising. A couple of years after I started working at the agency in Philadelphia, I decided to start a family.
I got laid off and I had no idea what I was going to do with myself. One day, the State of New Jersey where I lived at that time said, “If you have an idea to start a business and you’re on unemployment, submit your idea to the state. If we like it, we’ll send you to a six-week class to teach you how to run a business.” That was the first time I ever even thought about starting a business. I wasn’t an entrepreneur my whole life. It wasn’t in my blood from birth but I was going to be a new mom and I came up with the idea to start a parenting magazine. I submitted it to the state. They accepted it. That was my first business as I started a print magazine called South Jersey MOM. It’s still in print now.
I sold it years ago and that was also the next step of the marketing and advertising world and continuing to hone my skills. A couple of years after I sold the magazine, I decided that I was going to start my own marketing agency. That was in 2013. When I started my agency, I was doing it all like, “I can write a press release for you. I can get you on the Today Show. I can write your email copy.” Anything that I knew how to do, I was trying to sell. I was able to get clients in the beginning because I had connections from when I owned my magazine. I went to my clients that were running ads and now offered them a different type of marketing but the truth was because I did everything, nobody knew what I did.
I didn’t get many referrals because I was a jack of all trades. One day, I discovered a pink-haired lady named Sandi Krakowski who was talking about basic Facebook Ads. I was like, “What is this?” I started learning about it to help grow my own business. I wanted to learn how to use Facebook Ads to get myself more clients. I don’t know what it was. I think it’s my background in marketing and advertising. It’s the way my brain works. Other natural gifts and skills that I had that when I brought all that together with Facebook, I started getting incredible results. I started offering that service to my clients. I spent a year fine-tuning my skill and learning different strategy, I decided I was going to stop offering all of the other services that I had and I was just going to do Facebook Ads.
It was a scary decision to make because you’re telling people no who wants to give you money and hire you and you’re like, “I don’t do that anymore. Keep your money.” That was a scary transition for me but I believed that I love doing this. I can get people amazing results. I’m going to specialize in this and I’m going to trust that it’s all going to work out. That was the best decision I could have ever made because then I was able to, number one, continue to hone my skill. I wasn’t trying to be good at ten things. It’s like, “Let me get better and better at this one thing.” Number two, I became known for something. Now when people said, “Do you know somebody who does Facebook Ads?” They would think of me because that is what I became known for. It was a huge difference in growing my own company and also helping to make a difference for other people’s companies.
Here’s the natural cynic in me. We’ve got a new technology that hasn’t been around for five minutes. Facebook’s been around for a short period of time. There are few people that were born and Facebook is all they’ve ever seen. It’s a new technology and the downside with the internet making dumb people dumber is that everyone’s popping up in the planet going, “I’m an expert.” It’s making the forest busy with all the noise of these fake gurus and these fake experts. You’ve been quite accurate and open about it. Facebook Advertising is very much like gambling. I know for well that I’ve been involved in pushes on different advertising. I’ve thought, “This is a home run. Here’s $200, $500, and it’s been crickets.” I’ve had something go out there which I’ve done to maintain engagement and it’s gone nuts. It’s still very much of a hit and miss for me. If someone’s going to go out and select someone to do that Facebook Advertising, let’s run through what they should expect and what they should expect to pay to get someone of quality?
This is true and I’m glad that you brought this up like the coaching industry, everybody and their brothers are life coach now. It’s the same thing that’s happening in the digital marketing space. Everybody is a Facebook expert. It’s amazing and great in one way because the internet has opened up tons of opportunities for many people that did create businesses that would have never existed years ago. There are definitely pros and cons to it and there are a lot of people that are popping up saying, “I’m a Facebook Ad expert,” and they aren’t. The number one thing that I always tell people is that when you’re interviewing someone to choose who to hire as an expert, you want to find out how many clients they’ve had who have a similar model to what you’re trying to use.
What I mean by that is if you sell eCommerce, you sell products, you definitely should hire an agency that specializes in eCommerce because running ads for a webinar, for a coaching offer is different than running ads for an eCom product offer. A big mistake that I see people make is that they’ll have someone be like, “These people are successful,” but they have never had any success with your particular model. First of all, you need to find out, what do they specialize in? What success have they had with that particular model? If you want to run ads to a webinar, the goal at the end of that webinar is to get somebody to book a call with you. On that call, you want to sell them something for $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, that skill of being able to generate leads for a webinar funnel for a high ticket is different than if you want to run ads, you want to grow your list, and you’re going to offer a freebie that somebody opts in for. That is different.
First and foremost, make sure that the agency that you’re hiring has a lot of experience and expertise in the particular marketing funnel you’re going to use with your Facebook Ads. That’s important. Number two, you want to make sure that you hire someone that doesn’t just understand the frontend of Facebook. What I mean by that is you’ll hire someone who they’re like, “I can get you cheap clicks.” The thing is I’m not looking for cheap clicks. I’m looking for the end result. Let’s say my end result is to get calls booked for my company. “If you can get me cheap clicks, that does not help me at all if it doesn’t result in getting calls booked.” You want to make sure that when you’re interviewing someone from an agency and deciding whether to hire them is, do they follow and track the data for the entire marketing funnel? “Don’t tell me you’re getting me clicks for $0.50. That doesn’t help me at all. Tell me how my entire funnel is working.”
Meaning, which audiences are performing well? How is my landing page converting? What can I do to improve my landing page? What about the rest of the funnel? Most people who are not true experts cannot advise you or track data from the click to the sale. They don’t know how to do it. They don’t want to do it, and they won’t even offer that. If you’re going to hire an agency, know what your end goal is and what is the outcome you’re trying to get people to take from those ads. Hire someone who knows how to track the data all the way from the click, interpret the data, and can then advise you on how to improve it. If you can do those two things, find someone who is an expert in your marketing model, find someone who understands the data, can interpret it, and advise you, you will weed out 99% of agencies by doing those two things.
Let’s get down to cost. We had Dan Fleischman at Speakeasy of mine in Las Vegas and he was talking about the different platforms and things. He’s a brilliant guy within the world of social. Let’s say we’ve weeded through the bullshit advertising and we found people we do feel comfortable are good at what they say they are. We’ve understood the methodology behind it and they’re in the right arena. What price should we think about retaining someone? There’s the retaining of the person and then there’s the ad spend. These are two different things. A lot of people get them confused. Let’s go into the retaining of my expert and then the ad spend. What should they be expected to do as an entrepreneur?
You could sit down with 30 different ad people and all 30 of them would charge something different. It is such a vast array of how people charge. You have some people who charge a flat rate and somebody who is goodwill charges a flat rate somewhere around $2,500 to $4,000 a month. That is someone who’s good. Someone who is good and amazing is going to charge either a flat rate plus a percentage of ad spend or a flat plate rate plus a percentage of revenue. People who are good at what they’re doing know that adding an extra percentage on is necessary in order to give the client the attention that they need. What happens with people who have low prices is that they keep their prices low so that they can have tons and tons of clients. What happens is you get crappy results.
Someone who’s a specialist in something and they are good at what they do, they are going to charge a higher fee but they’re also only working with a handful of clients. They can get them way better results. Your price on the low end for someone who’s good is going to be around $2,500 to $4,000 a month flat rate. When you get into someone who’s great, you’re looking at $5,000 a month to $10,000 a month plus either as a percentage of ad spend or a percentage of revenue. What I want to say in regard to that is I don’t want that to scare people away from thinking that they can use Facebook Ads. They might be like, “I’m not at that point in my company yet where I can afford that.”
There are some different opinions about what I’m about to say, but I’m going to tell you why I believe it. I believe that most business owners should spend some amount of time learning Facebook Ads for themselves. A lot of people would disagree with me and say, “That’s not a good use of the business owner’s time. They should go and hire an expert, that someone who specializes in that.” I agree with that but if you don’t understand Facebook Ads at all and you hire an agency, you have no idea if they’re doing a good job and you cannot collaborate effectively with strategy. When you have no understanding of how it works whatsoever, you are at the mercy of what someone else tells you. You can’t give input, you can’t get the guidance, and you can’t manage. I always recommend that to people. It doesn’t mean they have to do the ads themselves forever, but I feel business owners should spend some time learning Facebook Ads and understanding how it works so that they can be an effective leader of that agency that they hire.Someone who's a specialist and is actually good at what they do is going to charge higher. Click To Tweet
That makes a lot of sense. You don’t suggest that they become experts in Facebook Advertising, you’re just suggesting they have a basic understanding, is that correct?
You don’t have to become a Facebook expert, but you could learn enough about Facebook Ads and get your hands dirty a little bit and learn enough about it that you can have an educated conversation with your agency. Participate in the strategy but also be able to check on them. Like any other employee in your company, you have a way to check on them if they’re doing a good job and if they’re effective. I think it’s important for you to have that accountability with your agency as well.
This is all making sense but we’re getting down to how much they should spend. We are bombarded by the Grant Cardones of the world and the Tai Lopez, where we hear the rumors of all these guys are spending $500,000 a month on advertising and they may be but that doesn’t mean that you need to be impactful within your business. For argument’s sake, they’re playing with it. What should they be thinking that budget should be to get their feet wet and start getting into game on the Facebook world?
You don’t have to be a Grant Cardone and spend $500,000 a month on ads in order to be able to benefit from Facebook Advertising. I spent five years working for a company called Clients On Demand and at that company, we taught people how to generate leads through a webinar funnel. I worked with over 3,000 people during the five years that I was there and 99% of people who came into that program did not have a huge advertising budget. Most of them had an advertising budget of around $3,000 a month and sometimes less. We showed and gave them a model that they could run traffic through that would generate calls for them for their company. What I want to say is, there’s no good answer about the budget like, “Spending this much.” What I can tell you is that if you’re selling something on Facebook that costs $500 or less, your chances of making a profit on it are small.
Let’s say that you were going to run traffic to an info product and you were going to sell it for $37. Your chances of making a profit on that are small. If you can self-liquidate on that ad spend or lose a little bit, but you have a system in place where you move those buyers into other programs or services or things that you offer, then there’s a huge upside for profitability. If you’re selling something high ticket, let’s say you’re selling something $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 or above, your chances for profitability are high if you’re doing well. Let me give you an example because the budget is such a hard question to answer. It’s broad and different for everybody. Let’s say that we are running ads to a webinar. The goal at the end of that webinar is to get somebody to book a call.
When you’re on the call with them, that person is going to buy a coaching package from you for $5,000. If you close 1 out of 5 people that you talk to in a $5,000 sale, you can afford to spend quite a bit to acquire that client. If you’re running ads to a webinar funnel, you’re going to spend anywhere from $75 to $300 to get a call booked. If you’re only spending $100 a day on ads and it costs you $300 to get a call booked, you’re only going to get a call booked once every three days. I tell people to use a budget that they feel good about using for testing that even if they didn’t make money back, it allowed them to learn and dial-in a marketing funnel that will produce leads for them long-term.
First of all, decide what amount of money that is. Once you’re running ads through a funnel and you can track the data and see when I spent X amount of dollars, I make Y amount of dollars, then you can more specifically decide a budget. You can be like, “It costs me $100 to get a call booked and I want three calls booked a day. That means I need to spend $300 a day. I’m not ready to spend $300 a day, but I’m willing to spend $150 and then after I make a couple of sales, I’m going to reinvest some of that money from the sales into my ad spend to get me to where I want to be.” Budget becomes something that you can predict and be specific and strategic about, but only after you have enough data and information on how that marketing funnel is converting.
In the beginning, if you don’t know those answers, the budget that you choose has to be whatever you are comfortable enough saying, “I’m willing to invest this in advertising knowing that I may or may not make money back, but it is a part of the process for me to find a marketing funnel that will get me to the goal that I’m trying to achieve.” You probably hate that answer but I can’t say spend $30 or $50 a day. I can tell you though that I have had clients that came through the program that I worked for five years where they were spending $50 to $100 a day. They were able to generate leads for their company where they’re selling a high-ticket offer. I share that because I want everybody to know that you don’t have to have a huge budget, but you do have to be willing to put a starter on your budget aside for marketing that you’re going to invest every month.
I am glad that you mentioned the $50 to $100 because a lot of people come along. They think, “If I’m going to spend $2,500 to $4,000 to employ someone or to retain someone, then my marketing budget is going to be $10,000 and you’ve dispelled that,” which is good. If you’re spending $50 a day, employing someone at $2,500 a month to manage that then that’s not the smartest thing on the planet. I’m referring to Dan Fleischman when he said get your feet wet with $50 to $100 and you’ve amplified that completely. Get used to it whether you boost or advertise, you have to do something.
Anybody that’s out there in the digital world and is not as I call spending a couple of cups of coffee a day on marketing shouldn’t be in this world. We will happily go into Starbucks and come out and would have spent $8. If you do that over seven days, you’re well over your budget. Even at that level. What is a good source for the newbie out there going, “I’ve got to get into this?” What’s a good source to understand the basics of Facebook Advertising so they can go and get their feet wet before they employ experts like yourself?
The best thing that I would recommend is Facebook has a free program called Facebook Blueprint that teaches you how to set up ads and run ads. First of all, I would tell people to start in being able to understand it and learn the ways of it. It’s totally free. The second thing is you have companies like DigitalMarketer that teach basic Facebook ads. That’s a great place to start as well. It’s a low cost. It’s $37 or $47 a month or something like that but it allows you to get your feet wet, learn about Facebook Ads, and all that good stuff. I have something that’s coming out, but it’s more for people that have already had experience with Facebook Ads and now they want to get even better. It’s not for the newbie who’s never run an ad before but the DigitalMarketer and Facebook Blueprint is a good place for new people to start.
Isn’t that Ryan Deiss? He’s a phenomenal guy. I spoke with him in the War Room with Roland Frasier and Perry. We’ve given good reasons for people to be doing this and you’ve been great because you’ve been giving generic advice and I appreciate that. If someone’s on this and like, “I need that girl. I need to chat with her,” how do they get ahold of you?
The best way for people to get in touch with me is they can either go to my website which is WeArePowerplay.com. It’s a one-page because I’m completely rebranding. If they go there, they won’t see a comprehensive site yet but they can also email me. My email is Info@AdrienneRichardson.com. I personally answer my emails so people email me, they can go to my website, they can also look me up on Facebook, I’m Adrienne Richardson. Any of those ways work for me.
You specialize in Facebook Advertising but you came from a background of webinar advertising. Do you still help with people advertising for their webinars and create a flow?
I spent five years with a company called Clients On Demand where they teach people how to use webinar funnels to generate high ticket sales. I was the coach there that taught everybody how to do their own ads but then also generated all of the leads for the company itself. That period of time was highly focused on webinar ads specifically which are different than any other ads. I have a lot of experience in that way. I’ve also done ads for live events, challenges, email growth, and launches and things. The bulk of my experience is in webinar ads.
For the readers, you might want to go back in the library because I had Jason Fladlien as an earlier show. The guy is quite simply specialized in webinars and did well for me and teaches people how to do it. If you look at a different style of advertising, the webinar is a good catch because they get to see you rather than an advert. Adrienne, you’ve been wonderful. You’ve given us your links of how do people get ahold of you. You said that there was something that you were changing your website to. A new chapter. Do you want to spill the beans on that and give us a preview?
My website is my name, AdrienneRichardson.com. For two years, I closed my agency for a little while and worked exclusively with the company that I mentioned. For several years, I did both. I ran my agency and I helped them but the company was growing so fast, I couldn’t do it all. I put my stuff to the side. In October of 2019, I parted ways with that company and went back to running my own agency. It felt like a good time for this rebirth and renewing. I had it totally who I am as a person now, who I am as a leader, and how much I’ve grown. I’m rebranding to WeArePowerplay.com website and Brand of Powerplayers. That’ll be launching soon and I’m excited about it. It’s an updated version of who I’ve become, developed, grown, and a reflection of the growth in my skillset and all of that good stuff.
Do you still think you’re not an entrepreneur?Facebook has a free program called Facebook Blueprint that teaches you how to set up and run ads. Click To Tweet
What’s funny is that I never in my life thought about starting a business but one of the things that I love doing now that I’ve discovered is a skill of mine I didn’t know I had is I can figure out how to monetize anything. People will come to me and say they have a problem and I’m like, “Here’s how we could turn that into a business.” It’s dangerous and my husband laughs at me all the time but I have it in me in some way, shape, or form that I can figure it out and I have found that is a natural gift of mine. Although I never saw myself that way, I do see myself that way now.
You’re one of the diseased ones. You’re one of us. Welcome to Hogwarts. Adrienne, you’ve been an absolute pleasure to chat with. I want to say thank you. I’m glad you went down this loop. Thank you for the show because it gave us information. We don’t allow the people to come on and advertise themselves and you did nothing but sharing information that can benefit everyone else. I want to say thank you for being the person you are for that.
Thank you for having me. I loved it.
Thanks. Speak again.
There you have it. That was another episode of The Art of Making Things Happen with me, Steve Sims. I hope you enjoyed the episode. If you want to come and hang out with me with some of my friends, you should come into one of our Speakeasies. How do you do this? You head over to SteveDSims.com. Look up Next Event, click Get Involved. We’ll find out where your problems are, where to find out how we can help you, and we’ll give you a tremendous event. Hopefully, see you at Speakeasy one day in the future. All the best.
- Adrienne Richardson
- South Jersey MOM
- Sandi Krakowski
- Clients On Demand
- Facebook Blueprint
- War Room
- Adrienne Richardson – Facebook
About Adrienne Richardson
Adrienne Richardson, a traffic and scaling expert, helps businesses generate 7 and 8 figures by creating and implementing strategic marketing plans that scale Facebook and Instagram ads in a profitable, predictable way.