Knowledge is powerful only if you apply it.
And right now, in this very moment, there is an almost-creepy-level database of detailed information about the people who could seriously benefit from your info products or info services.
You can access this data, this knowledge, quite literally today. And, if you apply it, it can change your business, your income, your reach, and your impact within days, weeks, or months.
You may be tempted to roll your eyes at my next few statements, I would have done the same a year ago.
Facebook has collected all the data/knowledge you need in order to sell to new people. Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) ads are your way to access and apply that knowledge.
You CAN use ads in ways that complement the way humans think, feel, and make decisions.
I show you how to do so below for free, and in way more depth inside of my course (called Promote Your Info Product Already) that’s a part of my only online program, Publish Your Thing.
Note: You don’t have to spend $1,000 per month for ads to be effective. They CAN help you make money even if your budget is small, and some of that money you make can be reinvested into reaching even more people or growing your business in different ways.
If you can accept what I’ve said above as a possibility, then this free lesson below is for you. If you’re rolling your eyes heavily, there are no hard feelings if you don't read this lesson.
The 4 Questions That Will Help You Use Facebook and Instagram Ads Like a Human (Who Wants to Make Money)
As you decide what types of ads to create, there’s a 4-question-and-answer process that you can go through to give you so much clarity it’s not even funny.
In order to introduce this framework, I want to first introduce you to Charlotte. We’ll use her as an example here. She’s one of the course characters from PYT that I frequently use to help teach concepts like these.
Meet Charlotte. She is an “online business manager” (kind of a mix between a virtual assistant, project manager, and someone who helps execute on social media and content marketing).
She served clients as an OBM for the first three years of her business, but over the last year has transitioned to consulting for people who want to create their own successful VA or OBM business.
Charlotte wants to start with info products or info services that allow her to interact closely with clients so she can learn even more about the people she is helping. She has decided to offer a 4-week group coaching program (she might expand to 8 weeks later), where she takes a small group of people through setting up their business and getting their first clients.
To note: Charlotte only has a basic information site for her business where she acts as an OBM for small business owners, she has no website or audience for this new brand where she's helping people become OBMs.
Also to note: When I say "no audience" I mean she literally has zero people who know she's offering this program, zero followers on Instagram, or Facebook, or anywhere for this brand.
Not to worry though--Charlotte is going to oh-so-smartly use Facebook and Instagram ads as one of the many ways she plans to connect with the right people and sell her group program to them.
Question #1: (In the viewpoint of your intended customer) Is what you're selling low cost, at a mid-range price, or a high-price item?
In Charlotte's case, she's nervous about releasing this group coaching program because she's never done anything like this before, so she is (probably) underpricing the program by selling it for $350 to the people who join her "beta" (test) round.
But, even though this price is low compared to what other people charge for similar products, to her intended customer (someone who is not currently making any money with their business and doesn't have a ton of wiggle room in their budget) this is a mid-range price point item.
Note: Charlotte could have chosen to serve a client who isn't making money with their business but has considerable disposable income, but that's not her focus right now. She wants to target people who are like she was when she left her post-college career at an advertising agency . . . semi-broke, determined, and not willing to work for other people with bogus rules and regulations.
Since Charlotte knows this item will be a mid-range price for her clients (meaning: it's not "expensive" or out of the question, but it's also not something they can't just buy without thinking about the investment for a while), she decides to not run ads directly to the sales page of her program for now*, but instead to run two types of ads: (1) an ad to a free article that people can read without opting in, but it has a bonus video training people can sign up for, and (2) an ad to that same video training on its own landing page that redirects people to the first of three videos and offers them a $12 workbook to follow along with the training and help people plan their OBM business.
Ad #1 Image
Just an example. Charlotte might choose to use a video version as well.
Ad #2 Image
Just an example. Charlotte might choose to use a video version as well.
*Charlotte (again, she's fictional) is a PYT student and has taken Promote Your Info Product Already, so she knows that as she begins to develop an audience through Facebook ads, she'll eventually have people who visit her landing pages, sign up for her freebies, and even land on her sales page and begin to consider the investment. She is aware of "retargeting ads" and wants to send ads to people who have signed up for her freebies and visited her program's sales page (as in: they're interested to some level in what she teaches) but haven't bought yet with a special bonus offer if they enroll in her program.
Ad Image #3
So, when Charlotte creates "retargeting ads" like these, she will be sending people straight to the sales page, but she will know that the ads are only going to people who are interested in her product topic and have some level of familiarity with Charlotte herself.
Bonus, follow-up question to Question #1: What product or service are your intended clients currently using in place of your info product/service?
Charlotte, again--since she's a PYT student, knows that this is an extremely important question. If she's able to determine what other "thing" people are using to help them with the overall goal Charlotte is trying to help with, then she knows better how to market to them, what to teach them for free (and for a price), how to word her ads, and more.
Charlotte thinks critically about serving her clients and about marketing in general (as recommended, illustrated, and reenforced throughout PYT) so she knows that people's "overall goal" is not necessarily to have a VA business, but to have lifestyle freedom and get away from their demanding/insane boss. But even if someone's goal really is to have a successful OBM business, then Charlotte knows there are many "things" people could be using in place of her offer.
Example "things" people might be using in place of Charlotte's group program:
- A book on starting a successful business
- Endless Google searches on working from home
- Marie Forleo's B-School
- Conversations with a somewhat business-savvy friend about how to make it on her own
- A free Facebook Group (run by someone else) about being a six-figure VA
- A one-time "clarity session" with a "business coach" on how to get "aligned" with their true purpose
In Promote Your Info Product (one of the 10 PYT courses), we dive deeper into how to use the knowledge above (and your answers to all of the questions on this page) to serve and target your customers, plus talk to them and show them things that are easy to understand and exciting to act on.
Question #2: What is the average promotion cycle time for a product like yours (with your intended clients)?
It's important to understand about how long, from your intended client's first moment of becoming aware of your product, it takes for them to decide to buy it.
This will give you an idea of whether you just want to run one ad directly to your product vs. an ad to a freebie, then an ad to another freebie, then an ad to a free strategy call, then finally pitch your product there . . . or something in between these two options.
Charlotte doesn't have experience selling a group program like the one she is selling, so she has to guestimate (verb) that it will take most people in her intended audience about 2 weeks from the moment they hear about her program to make the purchasing decision. She guesses that 2 weeks is about how long she would have taken to make the same decision if a similar program had been introduced to her while she was still at her soul-sucking corporate job.
That lets her know that she needs to design a Facebook/Instagram ads sequence, along with email/Messenger/other contact that gives people great information and epic reasons to buy for at least two weeks after they first are led to the program.
Charlotte is smart and will design at least a month or more of great info for her intended clients, and she will make sure to give herself at least 2 - 3 months before the start date of her program to try to build interest for it.
Having a realistic understanding of how long it takes her intended clients to make the purchasing decision will help Charlotte not get discouraged if people aren't buying the day she puts the sales page up.
Bonus, follow-up question to Question #2: How long will people use what you are selling them?
Charlotte knows her program is 4 weeks, so that may seem like the answer to the above question. But, Charlotte is aware that since she is giving handouts away with her program and letting people keep access to the weekly video calls, many people will refer back to the materials for 1 - 3 months after the program is over, and even then, maybe a year or so later as well.
Knowing that people are probably going to use her materials for a few months, Charlotte can frame the value of the product in a different way than just a "4-week program, yo."
Question #3: How sure are you that the people you are targeting will have an interest in the product you are selling?
As Charlotte is first starting out, she has no existing audience. She uses the guidance in PYT to help her target down to a logical "audience" on Facebook and Instagram for her ads, but since she's so new, she's not 100% sure that the targeting she's doing is to people who will want and need her program.
When she begins using Facebook ads, on a simple and clear level, she's building an "audience" of interested people by seeing who clicks on the ads and interacts with the landing pages/articles/bonuses she has set up.
For example, she can take an educated guess that most people who see this ad and sign up for the free video training, want some/more clients for their OBM business (whether it already exists or not).
Charlotte might therefore create a specific "tag" in her email software (such as ConvertKit, the software I use) for everyone who signed up for this video training, and she might also create a custom "audience" in Facebook of anyone who visited the signup page (see the image below) for the video training, and still a different audience for anyone who actually signed up for the training. Yes, that's all possible (and free) inside of the Facebook ads manager. You don't pay unless you're running an ad to target the audience.
The answer to Question #3 is important because Charlotte may choose to design and structure her ads a certain way at the "top of the funnel" when she's targeting a totally "cold" audience on Facebook (people who don't know her but have interests and habits that indicate they might be interested in running a VA business), but then design her content and ads a different way for people who she's pretty sure are interested in running a VA business.
Bonus, follow-up question to Question #3: Do you need more info or more segmenting to help you know whom to target with what?
If you're like Charlotte, with no audience but a lot of knowledge that you can effectively teach and share with the people who want it, then it might be important to you to segment/create audiences that show a mild level of interest and ones that show a high level of interest in your topic. If you are unlike Charlotte and actually have a pre-existing audience, you still might want to ask questions or deliver free resources meant to understand who is interested in what by seeing what they click on, sign up for, and act on.
One smart thing Charlotte is doing (that she learned how to do in PYT in the Promote Your Info Product Already course) is testing out a small product on people as soon as they sign up for her free video series.
So, people go from signing up for the completely free 3-part video training Charlotte made:
To landing on a "thank you" page and being offered an eBook that's normally $24, for only $12:
People who purchase her eBook/workbook can be tagged in her email list in a special way. Charlotte knows these are people who are motivated to learn about starting a VA business and are okay with spending money to learn how.
P.S. Charlotte is also hopefully making back some or all of her ads budget with the sales of her eBook. That in essence makes all this "audience building" that she's doing, free. Cool, right?
How can you begin to segment the people already in your audience and/or segment new audience members as you connect with them? This will help you save money on ads.
Question #4: Is a person's desire to buy your product heavily connected to who you are (as in, it's kinda person-specific) or is it almost completely about the information and they don't even need to know who you are?
Think about the way you used to (or still do) buy books at the book store. Sure, maybe your favorite author/celebrity wrote a book and you went to the store just to get it, but if you're like me, you spend time browsing around the store in the section you want help in (gardening, general self-help, business, travel, etc.) and you find a book that has a topic/approach you like . . . and you buy it. You may not even remember the name of the author by the time you get to the register, and you probably don't know their life story . . . nor do you care at that moment.
With what you're selling (tutorials, a book, a service, a signature online workshop, etc.), is it a person-specific thing? Does that play into their decision a noticeable amount? Or is it really, truly, about the info?
For example: When I was learning Photoshop, I didn't care who was teaching it, I just wanted to figure out how to use it for my needs. P.S. I learned Photoshop back when there weren't hundreds of online courses I could purchase . . . I had to test things out and read books. But if I had been learning during the age of online courses, I would purchase based on topic, not based on who was teaching.
Charlotte realizes that whereas people are in search of truly helpful, quality information on her topic, the fact that the program is delivered as a group coaching situation over 4 weeks, means people will want to have at least a small amount of comfort with Charlotte.
Because of this Charlotte includes some of her backstory in her free resources, articles, and Facebook ads . . . and she also uses video of herself and images of herself in her ads and on her landing pages.
People become more comfortable with her and the idea of learning from her for a month the more they see her.
Bonus, follow-up question to Question #4: If your product is at least a little bit person-specific, does your audience have a high level of trust with you? If not, what can you do to increase that?
Charlotte knows her audience is just beginning to know her, so they have minimal trust when they first click on an ad. By showing her face, retargeting people with more of her free content, and by overdelivering in quality on free and paid items, Charlotte knows she can increase their trust levels.
She might try:
- Inviting people to a free 20-minute planning session
- Creating an email list "welcome series" that introduces Charlotte and her story to people over 5 separate emails that build on each other
For her audience, she knows to avoid:
- Giving them offers that only last an hour >> "Join me in the next hour to save $100 or else you pay full price!"
- Pricing the product such that her ideal audience would be stretching their budget too thin to join
So, what do you think? Will these questions and examples help you formulate your Facebook ads strategy?
Do you want to learn more about creating an online business that allows you to teach and help people through an info service or info business? Publish Your Thing is an epic 10-course online school just for that. You will learn HOW to do what we talked abut here today and so much more.