Great salespeople are magicians.
They generate revenue and build businesses out of nothing. At least it seems this way to most people.
Being proficient in sales is a skill like anything else that comes with building a company. The people who rock at sales have a lot of practice and have experienced tons of rejection.
Most people say they hate sales, either because they hate selling or being sold to. The truth is, no one likes sales. Good salespeople, however, know that they are not selling a product so much as the desired outcome. The product is merely a means to an end.
The other reality is that salespeople who love what they do have the pick of the litter. They believe in what they do and know that not everyone will become a client. They are not out to convince people to buy their product, but rather to find the right fit. “Some people will be better off if they use my product,” they think to themselves, “but not everyone.”
Great salespeople have powerful mindsets. They believe in what they do so much that there appears to be no shortage of clients. Because of this mindset, however, there is an abundance of clients for them, and they choose who is the best fit.
Your thoughts become your reality!
Today, I’m going to show you how I helped a client turn around their failing sales funnel, and drive a return of over 100x on their monthly revenue. Want to see how? Read on.
One of my clients was making $2,500 in monthly revenue when we first met and was trying to build their business. Their biggest issue? Not getting enough traffic to their site, which directly contributed to low sales. This case is pretty common – the number one problem for most businesses is obscurity. If no one knows you exist, it’s pretty hard to buy from you!
The client believed in the power of Facebook ads (if you don’t, you may want to think again..), and so reached out to me for help. Before getting started building a funnel, you need to know who you’re selling to. So we built out the right avatar of their customer, using research to not just understand the demographic, but their intent base audience (what would these customers read, watch, listen to, etc). Using these insights, we were able to build our first funnel which could drive top of funnel traffic, in the form of prospected leads and cold audiences.
We also determined another problem: Facebook needed more data to work off of in order to build our own custom audiences. The ads couldn’t be retargeted effectively enough.
For this client, everything came back to a lack of traffic. Once we addressed the problem, we got to work building a solution.
The journey was a slow and steady one when we started working together. We began by adding different audiences based solely on the avatars we created. As traffic came in, we created new audiences and added different layers of retargeting.
There were a lot of people who visited the site and did not end up buying anything, so retargeting allowed us to re-engage the customer base when they were further along the sales funnel.
As traffic started coming in from our retargeting, the bottom of the funnel kicked in. These included visitors who were close to purchasing a product, and had added an item or more to their online shopping cart, but ultimately decided to abandon ship.
We targeted these people through “Dynamic Product Ads”, which promoted the products these potential customers had left in their shopping carts. The idea here is that they would see the value of what they were going to purchase and change their minds. And it worked.
At this point, we had a small machine working. In a matter of months, we turned the monthly revenue from $2.5k to nearly $20k. The sales were coming in nicely.
Now, it was time to scale.
It’s worth noting that with Facebook ads, this is the hardest part. There are two ways to scale: Vertically, by increasing your budget, or Horizontally by targeting new audiences. Neither of these approaches are “better”, it totally depends on your scenario. In this case, we opted for a combo of both.
As Facebook obtained more data, we were able to scale Horizontally and make more audiences. The most effective one? Lookalike audiences. The audiences we created included targeted people who had visited my client’s website. From this data, we also created lookalike audiences, which consisted of ideal customers who had similar attributes to current and former customers. We now had a solid base of potential customers who we could target effectively.
To scale Vertically, we increased the budgets of well-performing ads and ad sets as well as now even created new Top of Funnel audiences. At the same time, we “social proofed” the ads, meaning we showed them to people who like the brand to get engagement, then show that same ad to that top of funnel/cold audience. Because of the high number of likes and comments, the ads didn’t look like first-time ads. They already had engagement, which leads people to believe the product is already in high demand.
We then mixed in a lot of reviews to our ads to continue lending credibility to my client’s products. The critical factor underlying this is trust, which has become super important for buyers, hence the impact of influencers. Because most of these reviews were from our existing audience, they did not look like spam or an ad. The ad reviews created a snowball effect that ultimately led to more sales for my client. In fact, most of our ads were based off their organic posts, so they didn’t even look like an ad at all!
It was with these simple tweaks over time that my client’s business transformed. They started at a total monthly revenue of $2,500 per month, 6 months later that figure hit $100k, and then a year later they had reached $300,000 in revenue per month.
The process we went through together was intentional and step by step. I included my client in every part of the marketing so they understood that Facebook advertising isn’t just about “get rich quick” tactics. When done right and scaled patiently with a proven process, it could be a game changer. For the clients I worked with, that change came in the form of shipping out of their garage to move into a bigger office twice over, as they needed bigger and bigger spaces to fulfill demand. All in under a year.
JPORT Media is committed to this level of transparency, growth and success for all of its clients. Businesses now come to me to help them scale. So if you have a proven sales funnel and product that has sales, I want to help you scale and massively increase your revenue. Message me here on LinkedIn, or email me at email@example.com.
I prefer not to have a five-year plan.
In entrepreneurship today, this feels like a cardinal sin. People want to know exactly what you see for myself and my business, every year, for the next five.
But there is a big problem with plans: they are not reliable. Planning means thinking about the future, which for entrepreneurs is synonymous with worrying.
Being totally honest with you, I do not know what I will want five years from now, let alone in two or three years. Of course, I want success, but I am practicing being okay with not knowing at the same time.
To worry about the future causes suffering. What are we to do instead? We must build up our confidence in trusting our instinct by focusing on the present.
The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma
Entrepreneurship is filled with self-doubt; it requires a thick skin so that you can roll with the punches.
So doesn’t it make sense to have a plan to reassure yourself?
In my opinion, it doesn’t. And here’s why: your plan will change. When you fail to hit a milestone, your inner critic will consider you to be a failure.
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of soaring highs and terrible lows. Beating yourself up for missing an arbitrary deadline or plan is not just unnecessary, it’s unhealthy.
So what about the alternative, getting a regular job?
Jobs invite security and look like a solid plan on the surface. Working hard your whole career for the same company was a mantra that many generations could count on.
Large companies, however, are subject to market forces that they cannot control. You can lose your job without warning, and therefore this “plan” is not secure, but only gives the illusion of security.
So hyper-long term plans aren’t much use whether you’re an entrepreneur, or working for someone else. But there is a technique we can use instead. What is it?
Let’s find out.
Presence and Confidence
Everything starts with a story and knowing yours is essential. Being my boss was like an insatiable itch; from early on in my life and then career, I simply wanted to create.
I built a t-shirt company, True Rivalry, and was determined to succeed. I received a thousand more “no’s” than “yeses”. All it took was one “yes”, however, for the business to take off.
A big benefit to knowing my story comes in the form of confidence. I know what I’ve done to get to this point, which means I need not worry about the future. I can focus on today instead.
The key to success is to focus on the next twenty-four hours. I ask myself, “How can I do my best in this short time-frame?” The beautiful thing is that come tomorrow, I have the opportunity to do it all over again.
But here’s where it gets interesting. Repeating this process gives you more life experience. And focusing on short-term successes creates confidence far quicker than fulfilling a 5-year plan ever could.
Because of my experience failing and then succeeding with True Rivalry, and now building JPORT Media, I am growing more comfortable with not knowing the long game, or even needing to know. I built two businesses, and I know that I can land on my feet. You can sum up my philosophy like so: With more life experience comes the ability to trust your gut.
The great thing is, you’ve probably been developing this skill longer than you realize. You most likely have failed at something else previously, like a test or a high school sports game, and can draw on those experiences for strength. And I am sure that you can think of at least one person you know who is an entrepreneur, someone who relies on their intuition and instinct to make their decisions.
Trusting your gut allows not only flexibility but also for you to get your product to the market quickly. So many people have great ideas, yet much fewer follow through and make their ideas reality. Those who have cultivated their intuition know that not every idea will be a hit. But these people are relentless and at some point, do succeed.
Having goals with your business ideas is excellent. But worrying about the future will not allow you to be present. You will miss out on what is happening in the here and now, like the growth of your marriage or your family.
Here are my 3 key takeaways for you:
1 – Trust your gut more. You will be amazed at the flexibility that this creates for you and how you can move forward efficiently.
2 – Think more in the short-term than the long-term. We can plan all that we want, and life will still find ways to surprise us.
3 – Don’t let the beauty of being alive right now be crushed by your worry about the future. Staying present will allow you to make the most of any situation. Difficulties are bound to arise. Why create anxiety about something that has not yet happened?
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the greats:
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”– Abraham Lincoln.
Laurel or Yanni? Star Wars or Star trek? Britney or Christina? Were Ross and Rachel really on a break? These famous debates will stand the course of time but in the marketing world it’s all about “SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or Facebooks ads” and where you should put your money.
It’s the battle between the old world of SEO/SEM marketers and those of the new age insisting all the money should be spend on Facebook ads.
But who is right? As a business owner trying to spend their money wisely, it’s an important question and a polarizing one nonetheless.
The answer really comes down to what we call “Purchase intent”.
From a logical perspective, we have to think what is our frame of mind when we Google something versus our mindset when we are on Facebook? For example, suppose you are out of town and looking for a great steakhouse – would you go on Facebook or Google? I personally believe that restaurants, barbers, coffee shops, etc. would do better with SEM than Facebook because they’re “search based” businesses versus “display based”. Actually, I’d probably insist on both.
But, can you be both a search based and display based business?
Look at the jewelry business as an example. SEM would work great if the person knew the specific wedding ring, engagement ring, necklace, bracelet, etc that they were looking for. Facebook ads would be a bit more generic but used to create the desire for the jeweller. That being said, Facebook is getting more sophisticated. Broad DPA’s (Dynamic Product Ads) use Schema now to find the right product to show the users. This competes with Google’s Shopping System.
Let’s look at the advantages of each a bit more clearly:
- High purchase intent (people are looking for the product to buy)
- Cheaper costs per purchase (due to the higher purchase intent)
- Search based (users looking for you).
- Hyper targeting (the ability to target is unmatched)
- Close Loop: It’s all in one place. You’re see the ad, you click through, you buy. All within the app. It’s native.
- User base frame of mind: If your ads are compelling you’ll do well because users go on Facebook to be entertained.
Ultimately, it comes down to the needs of the user (i.e. the purchase intent). If you are looking for a ROI and you are a search based company, you should invest in SEM (though, as discussed, Facebook is competing). If you are focused on branding and attention, Facebook has the clear advantage.
This debate will keep going as there are strong pros to each. My $0.02 is that Facebook is still underpriced and should be where most marketers, brands, companies, etc should be putting their money. I believe that if you can afford both, you should 100% be doing both.
But I ask you – what do you think and what have been your experiences?
I wanted to write this post to SIMPLY discuss how the Facebook ad auction works in a way that most people, and not just experienced marketers, can understand. Lets first break it down:
Facebook Algorithm: BEAR (Credit: Facebook)
The above is a picture from Facebook detailing how the ad auction works. It’s what’s know as “BEAR”.
First part is the Bid (B): It’s pretty straight forward – How much are you bidding in the auction (and versus competitors) to have your ad shown to the audience you’re targeting.
Estimated Action (EA): This is the part where Facebook predicts how likely is it that the people seeing your ad will take the action you’re optimizing for (ex. purchase, add to cart, watch your video, etc). After 8,000 impressions, Facebook has the data whether it’s prediction is correct or incorrect. In other words, whether your ad works or doesn’t.
What most people don’t know is that this also takes into account your ad account history, campaign history, Facebook page activity and history, etc. This is super important! The quality of your ad account, your Facebook page and how you’ve been running all those play a role in the auction.
R is for Relevance: This is the User Value part of the algorithm (see above picture). When Facebook first released the BEAR formula to the public, it was assumed by marketers that the “Relevance” part meant “Relevant Score” (a rating on your ads that you can see in Ads Manager). However, we now know that’s not the case.
What’s the difference? For starters, “Relevant Score” is calculated after the auction and after the ad has been served. It’s the result of the ad creative. Then it feeds back to the “Estimated Actions” part and helps Facebook optimize the ad. This is again is SUPER IMPORTANT.
“Relevance” is measured by post click experience. Is your website loading speed slow? Do you have a high bounce rate? Is the page you’re sending them to relevant to the ad and audience? Your website deeply affects how your ads will perform.
If you’re running ads, here are some tips to improve your “Relevance” factor:
- Make sure your page load speeds are high.
- Be active on your Facebook Page and engage your fans.
- If you have a high bounce rate, fix it immediately!
- Make sure your ads are relevant to your audience. For example, running ads for dog products to dog lovers is not as effective as running them to dog owners (more likely to buy). You can also try to mention your target audience in the ad creative. So, if you’re targeting “dog owners who live in Texas” you should maybe use something about Texas in the ad and copy.
As you can see, it’s not ONLY about the ads and inside the ads manager. Facebook is trying to make sure the User Experience (UX) is a great one therefore penalizing ads that don’t give its users a good and positive experience… even OFF the platform.
Hope that helps and please feel free to reach out to me: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
With GDPR being talked about so much, I thought I’d give a quick breakdown as to what this means and how it affects your business.
(Note: even if you’re a marketing agency, you can be held responsible for marketing done using data that is not GDPR compliant)
Let’s begin by answering “what is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?”
It’s a European law taking effect on May 25, 2018 which essentially says that we are all global digital citizens and we should all own our individual data. Meaning, if you or I visit a site, we should have full control of the data they collect from us. Sounds simple and makes sense, right?
There’s three main points to GDPR that I’d like to focus on:
1) We, individually, should KNOW the company has our data and what sorts of data they have on us. This means that when you go to a website, you should know they are collecting your data. Even further, GDPR laws say that you should have to give the consent to do so BEFORE they collect.
WHAT THIS MEANS: The opt-in is crucial and is the main problematic part to all of this. If you have a Pixel on your site, I or any visitor, need to give permission before the pixel fires. If you’re using ecomm platforms like Shopify, that’s impossible. By the time they visit the site, your pixel already fired. Same with almost every other website or platform in the world. There seems to be ONE solution and it’s an ugly one: A landing page with no pixel before they get to your website which has an opt-in. If the user accepts, they go to your site and the pixel tracks them. Can you imagine a landing/opt-in page before every website you ever go to?
Formula 1 main website GDPR opt in.
2) You should be able to ACCESS the data they’re collecting and have the right to CHANGE or DELETE it. For example, if you order a green hat for $19.99, you should have the right to ACCESS that info and have it CHANGED to a blue hat for $4.99 or DELETE that info all-together. Even if you visit a news or media site, you should have the right to change any data they have (age, sex, location, etc) or delete it.
WHAT THIS MEANS: Right now, there’s a major problem – How is that even possible? Does this mean every customer or website visitor has the right to call every business and ask for it? If so, how does a company even comply?
Going even further, from a marketing/marketer standpoint, it’s a lot more complicated. Suppose you run Facebook ads and you make an audience of Website Visitors in the last 30 days. If an individual complains they want you to delete their data, you would also have to remove it from the Facebook audience as well. you’d also have to remove it from any Lookalike Audience made too!
3) You have the right to know WHAT THEY’RE USING YOUR DATA FOR and FOR HOW LONG.
Most people are just assuming that GDPR affects only the European Union but it’s just simply not the case. Let’s use the NFL (National Football League) as an example. They have visitors come to their site from across the world. They have 3 options:
– Comply with GDPR,
– Restrict access from anyone in the EU or
– Not care and say “we are an American entity that does not abide by European law”.
Since we’ve explained earlier that to be fully compliant by the letter of the law is virtually impossible, that eliminates option 1. Restricting access just doesn’t seem in their best interests so that leaves doing nothing. But what if the EU now says “OK, if that’s the case, we will block all business (ex merch sales) and television rights to our countries”. That’s a HUGE loss of revenue.
As you can see, GDPR is a massive law that affects not just EU citizens but all of us worldwide! Any shop that has an EU visitor (even just 1), or any website period for that matter, needs to be compliant. The problem is, as I’ve pointed out, it’s nearly impossible to be 100% compliant. This opens up the gates for massive lawsuits and class actions since the penalties can be as harsh as up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover!
So, while the aim is to give digital rights back to its citizens and as data collectors we are responsible to do all this, it’s not practical nor even doable.
GDPR is coming (whether you are ready or not) and businesses and marketers need to be compliant by May 25, 2018. Even if you’re a non-EU company, GDPR is likely going to impact your business and, without a doubt, your marketing.