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Lesson IV- How To Create Flawless Ads
Hey- it’s Michael!
Before we jump into Lesson IV, let’s take a moment to do a quick recap of what we’ve covered so far. This will help us cement the framework of your marketing strategy before we dive deep into “how to create flawless ads.”
Don’t worry about saving this now. In the final lesson you’ll receive a total recap of everything learned this week.
Lesson I- What Most Get Wrong About Marketing
- You must be proactive in spreading the message about your business
- Opinions mean nothing- get cold hard market data
Lesson II- How To Read Your Customer’s Mind
- People purchase to increase pleasure or decrease pain
- Creating an increasing pleasure & decreasing pain list helps us understand why customers buy
- It’s key to have a truly valuable product
- You need to define the demographics & psychographics for your ideal market
- You need a single mission statement for your business that is clear & concise
- Great refund policies removes fear of purchase
- Almost all missed sales are a direct result of not properly communicating the value of a product
Lesson III- How To Crush the Competition like Ants
- You need to understand the lifetime value of a customer
- The key to long-term success is running ads that make you profit later so that you can buy-out the ad-space from your competitors
- If you can’t wait to make profit later (not enough cash), then create a mini-product or service to break-even
- Up-sells, cross-sells, etc. can be used to increase average order value
You now know all about your product, your ideal customers, how your product helps them, and why people purchase from you.
You know the general marketing strategy of focusing on the lifetime value of a customer so that you can out-bid your competitors and dominate the ad-space online.
But now you need to learn how to create flawless ads. That’s what lesson IV is all about!
Lesson IV- How To Create Flawless Ads
I remember when I launched my first ad campaign. I was terrified, and spent forever re-designing the ad copy & image. I kept trying to make it “perfect” on the first go.
Here’s a little secret about ads: even the best digital marketers know that it’s impossible to be perfect, and many ads created will be total duds. That doesn’t stop them from launching the ads, and in fact their entire strategy is adjusted to match this marketing truth.
After this lesson you will feel confident to create ads that you know will convert leads into paying customers.
Here’s the gist of what we’re covering:
- Why Most Ads Fail (besides the lifetime value reason in the previous lesson)
- What Advertising Platform is Best For You?
- My Secret Advertising Process
Why Most Ads Fail
In the previous lesson we discussed one of the biggest reasons why ads fail, or businesses in general: it’s because their competitors buy-out the ad-space because they can wait longer to turn a profit on customers.
Let’s say that you have the funds to compete in the ad world whether it be Facebook, Google, or even print. Most likely you’ll fail.
I had a friend… Let’s call him Tim. This is a real story and Tim isn’t his name.
When I first started experimenting with making money off of Facebook Ads, he told me that he didn’t believe it would work- that the whole thing was a scam.
I didn’t believe him. Too many people were talking about digital marketing for such a thing to be a scam, and the straight fact is that Facebook survives only because marketers pay Facebook for their ad-space.
He thought that only large companies could compete on Facebook, but that also isn’t true. I don’t need to prove it- you can simply hop in one of the many Facebook Groups about digital marketing or E-com and find people making a living selling random things online or consulting for other businesses.
For almost a year I struggled, not making any big successes. In the previous lessons I described my failures surrounding my first E-com store.
Then one day something crazy happened: I made a working campaign! I was succeeding!
I was persistent in making this work and succeeding, and one day I finally “got it” after months of studying, trying to figure out how to do it.
To my friend’s surprise I went on to live abroad while continuing to create online ads. When I returned to America a couple years later for a short while, he was excited to meet me and potentially hire me for his own business.
For long I had thought he was a successful entrepreneur. He talked a big game, was in interviews, you know all the good stuff.
To my surprise he was not. His company was not profitable and in fact in deep S&@%.
I tried to help them out but they were too stubborn in their own ways of doing things that they couldn’t succeed. It takes more brain power to change & think deeply about your marketing campaign & lifetime value than it does to be stubborn- and they weren’t willing to invest even the energy.
He soon left his own company for his co-founder due to some other issues. I was still on their ad accounts and his personal one I helped him setup for a side-hustle he had going on.
We had a kind of falling out as I was quite disappointed in him. He had ironically hyped himself up so much yet wasn’t successful at all. He was a false marketer.
One day I got a random notification that some ads were approved. I was like “WTF,” and got to checking my ad accounts ASAP because I didn’t authorize any changes. Turns out on his own ad account (which I was still on) he had launched some ads on Facebook.
They were f’in horrible. They disgusted me. In one instance he was paying $5 just to get one single page like…
Due to some other BS that had happened surrounding him & the company, I was not even angry enough to call him out. I was just done.
His ads of course were a complete failure, and he told the company (which he wasn’t even a part of anymore, but he was still friends with his ex-co-founder) that Facebook Ads “don’t work” and there was no need to hire me until they could “waste money” on ads.
There were two main mistakes my “friend” and the company made. They also made the mistake of not figuring out the lifetime value of a customer or taking any of my advice, but there are two new ones we haven’t discussed yet.
Persistence & Stubbornness
The first is that they were stubborn. I must admit the other co-founder of the company is a persistent guy, and I hope he succeeds one day as his product is truly valuable, but their problem is their stubbornness.
Persistence is amazing. In my story I told you that I struggled to succeed in digital marketing at first, but finally I did.
The thing is though I didn’t just keep trying the same things that didn’t work. When I spend $100 to make $0, I didn’t spend another $100 on the same campaign- I created a new one!
Stubbornness is when you aren’t willing to change the strategy to get results. People often mistake their stubbornness as persistence, when really they’re like mice running laps around their cage thinking they’re breaking out.
If you want to succeed in any marketing campaign, whether it be in print or online, you need to resolve in yourself that it is possibleand you can do it but ONLY if you can figure out the “right way” to do it.
One of my favorite books is called “The Science of Getting Rich,” and I love it for the content but also the clear title. While advertising is often a creative art, there is also a science to it.
It’s a bit more complicated than algebra at times, but if you’re persistent but not stubborn I can guarantee you that you will succeed in your marketing campaigns if your product is truly valuable.
My “friend” and the company were unwilling to adapt to the new methods proposed by me, yet they still tried to launch crappy Facebook Ads.
Resolving To Succeed
We aren’t at mistake #2 they made just yet- this sub-point made in mistake #1 is so important it deserves a headline.
You MUST write down that you WILL succeed NO MATTER WHAT! Do you get me??
Write it down RIGHT NOW. “I will continue trying until I succeed no matter what.”
The simple, plain fact is that you can succeed in business but it’s gonna take a little testing (more on that soon). Believe it or not you’re not gonna get it right the first time, most likely.
Those who succeed are persistent but not stubborn because they have resolved that it is indeed possible to succeed. They will not stop until succeed.
If you don’t believe that a certain type of marketing is possible (ie. digital, print, radio, etc.) then go find some people via Facebook Groups or business meet-ups that is actively succeeding in these areas and choose to believe that it’s possible- because it is.
Perfectionism vs. Testing
Now here’s the big key to this entire lesson. The second and more important mistake my “friend” and his company made were that they refused to test different types of ads.
Something I’ve learned in working with several clients is that even I, with years of experience, have no bloody idea what’s gonna work or not.
Okay, I’ve got a general idea, but when it comes down to the exact ad copy ot the exact ad image I am often surprised by how the market responds to the ads- it’s often different than my predictions, my friend’s opinions, and the client’s thoughts.
One of the worst things you can do is try to be “perfect.” You can’t. When you try to be perfect your ads are generally bad or you hold yourself back from truly creative insights.
When I first started launching ads I was trying to launch “the perfect ad” and profit instantly. I was too worried about my fragile ego being crushed if an ad didn’t succeed.
Now I expect most ads will fail, and have a clear process for maximizing gains despite this.
Let go of making the perfect ad. Instead you need to test several different types of ads to see what will work.
Now before I jump into my secret 3-step advertising process, I want to cover a big thing people always ask me first.
What Advertising Platform is Best For Me?
Google. TV. Facebook. Radio. Print. Reddit. Pinterest. Twitter. YouTube. The list goes on.
There are all kinds of ads you can create on all kinds of platforms. What’s best for you?
Answer: probably all of them, but pick one at a time. Here’s why.
Everything Works IF You Commit
Here’s an interesting story about me to help illustrate this point: I’ve lived in 3 different continents and many countries around the globe, and there’s one key thing I discovered to finding fulfillment in any of these places.
Wait, now what does me having lived abroad have to do with any of this? Hang tight, it’ll make sense.
I’ve lived in Omaha, Phoenix, Montreal (Canada), Sofia (Bulgaria), and Chaing Mai (Thailand). I’ve also spent at least a month in other cities such as Heidelberg (Germany) and Canggu (Bali, Indonesia).
Most people think that where you are determines your happiness, but I’ve learned something by having traveled so much: you can choose to be happy anywhere.
The places I was the happiest just so happened to be the places that I committed to staying in and making friends. Don’t get me wrong, certainly some countries are generally better than others- but in every city & country in the world I had exponentially more fun the longer I committed to staying there.
Some of my best memories abroad are in Sofia, Bulgaria where I lived almost a year. It also happens to be the place that I spent the most time at while abroad. Second place is Chiang Mai, where I’ve spent the second most time abroad. Third is Montreal, which had the third most time spent abroad.
Do you see the trend here??
When it came to me moving to new cities for adventures, I discovered that staying longer and “going deep” was better for happiness than spreading myself too thin between several countries and several shallow experiences.
Back to the ads now.
Pick a Platform & Commit!!!
A huge mistake most business owners make is they try too many ad platforms, spread their budget too thin, and then fail on all of them. Then they complain that marketing is a giant scam or something.
You can profit ABSURDLY on any one platform- Google, Facebook, TV, whatever it is, commit to mastery in it before moving onto another platform.
The general principles of focusing on lifetime value & testing ads (which you’ll learn in the next section) hold true for every single platform, but there is definitely a learning curve with the process of using that platform.
For example a TV ad looks vastly different than a YouTube video ad. Same for Facebook. The principle of calculating profit & lifetime value remain the same but the ad strategy is different.
Remember, you can profit on any platform. Just pick a platform you use, like, or want and commit to it until you max out revenue from that platform.
You can easily make 6+ figures revenue via Facebook. So why would you make $10k off Facebook then switch to Google? Simply scale up on Facebook first, until you hit the wall.
The wall is when you can’t possibly make anymore cash from a platform. It’s unlikely that you will hit such a point soon, even if you’ve got successful ads running elsewhere.
If you’re currently running ads somewhere, ask yourself if you’re maxed out on each platform.
It may feel good to make a little money from Google, a little from Facebook, etc. but I promise you you’ll do so much better if you max-out on one platform before moving to the next.
When you think about it it is a ridiculous notion to suggest diversification of advertising channels when you haven’t even mastered one.
The only exception to this would be if you’re hiring one person for Facebook, one for Google, etc. and both individuals are able to max out on the respective platforms. If you don’t have the budget to max out (which is in at least thousands of dollars per day in ad-spend or greater) then don’t diversify!
What If the Platform Disappears?
To this suggestion most people worry about “putting all your eggs in one basket.” That metaphor doesn’t apply here because you already know the principles of marketing that allow you to succeed long-term.
For me personally I choose to specialize in Facebook Ads. I’m sure I can run successful Google Ads, but I rather dive deep on Facebook than switch over to Google.
People like to act sneaky and say “well what if Facebook dies,” then I just say “I’ll move over to Reddit, or Google, or something.”
The act of committing to a platform allows you to learn other marketing strategies such as effective copy-writing that carry over to other platforms. Once you get exceptional at writing a Facebook Ad, you’ll be great in no time at writing Google Ads (minus a short adjustment period).
Also, I’d like to add one suggestion here: beware negative-hype media.
I’ve been providing clients with Facebook-related services for years now, and I swear every 2 months there’s a new “big scare” about “Facebook dying” or something ridiculous like that.
I snapped at a friend a month ago because he sent me a ridiculous sensational article about a change in Facebook Ads that “could destroy my career.”
Guess what? That change went through and everything is the same, and in fact better!
All this sensational talk is done by the low-level advertisers or wanna-be advertisers. My mentor is a multi-millionaire and doesn’t bat an eye at this stuff.
I’m giving you this warning now because a lot of business owners new to digital marketing get caught up in all the talk. Just put your head down and specialize in a platform. You will know long before when a platform will die, and if it does you’ll have developed skills that transfer over to other platforms, and more importantly your business will already be more successful and able to adapt.
If you start now trying to diversify before maxing out on one platform, you are spreading yourself too thin and will likely not succeed- or minimize your potential success.
My Secret Advertising Process
Now onto the juicy stuff.. My secret advertising process! On my website I wrote out an explanation using a case study for how I use it on Facebook Ads, but here I’m gonna share with you how it works generally on all platforms.
First, let’s take a breath and cover what we’ve already covered in this lesson. What you’ve learned is key to understanding my secret advertising process.
- Most ads fail due to people being stubborn and not willing to test or adapt to changes
- You must resolve to succeed with marketing
- Don’t be a perfectionist- you will write awful ads
- Pick an advertising platform and commit to it.. You can succeed in all
- Find others succeeding in that platform to help you believe
How To Create Flawless Ads
I want you to re-read that headline right there. Note how I didn’t say “100% of the time.” I’m not gonna lie to you, you’re gonna create some ads that are so bad your family would disown you.
But that’s okay- the best marketers create both the best AND the worst ads. The key is… they’re writing ads while everyone else is sitting around trying to create the perfect ad but not actually launching anything.
Step I: Testing
The first step to my secret advertising process is something most businesses miss and why I succeed while they fail.
First, you need to review your list of “increasing pleasures” and “decreasing pains” from your product or service. What are some of the reasons it’s valuable and why would people purchase?
When we know this then you can create an ad which communicates this value and why people should buy it.
Let’s use Facebook as an example, but you can take these principles and apply them to any advertising platform.
What I like to do is go crazy. I write several versions of the ad copy, several versions of the ad image or video, several headlines, etc.
Don’t hold back. Resolve to write at least 20 variations of your ad. Yeah, it’s a lot, but it’s key to creating a flawless ad.
In Facebook you can also choose how to target. This is called an “audience.” For example you can select various Facebook pages people follow, how old they are, or other psychographic information Facebook somehow knows.
I create several “audiences” as well. These are groups of people that will receive my ad.
Let’s say that I am selling a meditation course.
Audience 1 might be interested in meditation, audience 2 might actively follow meditation teachers, and audience 3 might be interested in similar niches such as yoga.
The reason we test different targeting options is because we don’t know yet which audience will convert best. You’ve already created a list of your demographic & psychographic information, so it’s important to segment differences to figure out who your true ideal customer is. It’s also important to stretch to related things in case that sells also.
Then I would create several variations of the ad copy & ad image. Let’s say I like 2 particular versions of the ad copy, and 2 particular versions of the image.
Suddenly I have 4 ads to test against 3 audiences.
I have ad copy 1 & image 1, ad copy 2 & image 1, ad copy 1 & image 2, ad copy 2 & image 2, and all of these ads will be tested against audience 1, 2, and 3.
How To Create Flawless Ads- Practical Advice
One of the biggest keys to creating successful ads is communicating the most amount possible in the least amount of time. Focus on using less words, and more imagery (ie. say “crush the competition like ants” rather than “win more customers over the competition).
To learn how to copy-write (which is essentially the text of the ad), check out the book “How To Write Copy That Sells.”
I’ve read a lot about creating great ads, and I must say that this single book will give you many of the powerful tools needed to succeed.
Another strategy that works is to check out your competitor’s ads. Google “how to view my competitor’s ads” to check out specifically how to view what ads other Facebook Pages are running.
You can re-hash their ads and test it against audiences until you find something that works for you.
Finally for videos, I can’t advise on that. That isn’t my forte. You will have to research your own ideas for videos specifically.
Key Idea: TEST TEST TEST!!!
The key idea for Step 1 is to test test test! I can’t make this clear enough!!
You may be able to predict some of the times which ad targeting option or ad copy or ad image is best, but I guarantee you you can’t predict 100% of the time.
Often my own ads surprise me. I’ll create several variations of ad copy to line up against a great image. When I get the results the next day my predictions are wrong.
The key point here which I can’t stress enough is that you need to be creative and test all kinds of different ads, images, videos, targeting, and placement, so on and so forth.
The reason my “friend” and his company couldn’t succeed with online ads is because they weren’t willing to be persistent in testing several different kinds of ads. He didn’t create many variations of an ad- he created one and hoped for the best.
Step II: Reviewing the Data
What I do for Facebook Ads specifically is put a very small budget behind each ad and then I measure which ad does the best, delete the rest, and keep the good one.
Because I’m willing to test all kinds of different variations I discover ads that are exceptional. For one client I got them leads at $1.69 per lead which is insane in their niche.
I also created ads for that client which got 0 results, but rather than acting arrogant as if I knew everything before I launched the ads I let the market decide which ads are best.
Again, it’s not like I put thousands of dollars behind every single advertisement. Instead I simply put a very small ad budget behind each ad, tested them, and then reviewed the results. I kept what worked and deleted what didn’t.
No matter what advertising platform you use there is always a way to test this.
You should test literally everything- ad copy, images, videos, placement, landing pages, welcome Emails, sign up forms, etc.
It’s like Kendrick Lamar’s song “Humble.” You have to “be humble.” Let the market tell you what works, and then modify appropriately.
Practice Makes Perfect- No Magic Bullets Here
I’m gonna give it to you straight. Making ads can be a huge pain sometimes. Especially when you check all the ads only to discover nothing worked.
That’s where we go back to persistence & resolving to succeed, as to discuss earlier.
I can’t tell you how to write one specific flawless ad. What I can do is give you the tools that will allow you to eventually create flawless ads.
That tool is the realization that most of your ads will suck, and so you should test all kinds of ad variations with a very small budget until you figure out what works.
Once you figure out what works take note of that. Create similar ads in the future. These will likely work as well!
The more you practice at this the better you will get. Again check out the book “How To Write Copy That Sells” to specifically learn copy-writing. Every page is golden.
For understanding other advertising platforms it’s important to dive deep on one. Purchase a “Udemy” course on it (Google Udemy “your platform” ads). Find people who are running successful ads.
As long as you remain humble and don’t put thousands of dollars behind an ad that hasn’t been tested, you’ll be fine. Constantly test new ads with a small budget and if the preliminary results are great then you delete the other ads and up the budget on the working ad.
Summary of How To Create Flawless Ads
Congratulations! You now know how to create flawless ads- remember that it takes time and practice and I never said you wouldn’t create a bad ad here or there. You will- that’s okay. The key is that you know how to test so you’ll find out what works fast.
Let’s recap what we’ve learned in this lesson:
- Most ads fail due to a lack of testing- people are too stubborn in their way of thinking
- Persistence is key… Never give up!
- Resolve to succeed because you can
- Don’t be a perfectionist, you WILL create awful ads- that’s okay
- Don’t spread yourself too thin; pick one advertising platform and commit to mastery, only add another once you’ve capped out your revenue
- Avoid sensationalist articles about your advertising platform “dying” or “changing…” 99% of that is useless hype
- Test, test, test on everything. Create countless variations with a small ad budget. Review the data, keep what works, delete what doesn’t, then PROFIT
- Using the testing mindset combined with the lifetime value of a customer strategy you can dominate ads and crush your competitors like ants!
- Read: “How To Write Copy that Sells” or Google Udemy [advertising platform] ads to find good courses on your specific desired ad platform
Tomorrow we are adding onto this lesson. Lesson V is “Solving the Marketing Puzzle,” and if you combine that with all that you’ve learned you’ll become unstoppable.
For now it’s important you truly understand the knowledge dropped on you, so please complete this homework as soon as you can. Remember to hit “reply” so that I can personally review it and correct any misunderstandings you may have!
- Why do most ads fail?
- Why should you resolve to succeed?
- What should you do if you don’t believe a marketing platform will work for you?
- Are you a perfectionist?
- Why should you commit to one marketing platform until you max out?
- Why should you avoid sensationalist articles about your marketing platform “dying?”
- You should T___, T___, T___ everything- why?
- How do you intend to use this lesson for your own business?
- How does this strategy combine with the previous lesson of understanding the lifetime value of a customer?
- What ad platform will you use, and how do you intend to learn more about it?
If you can understand all that I’ve sent you already, you’re in for some gold tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s Lesson: Solving the Marketing Puzzle
See you tomorrow!
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