I’ve been hearing a lot of flak about Facebook ads recently.
“Facebook ads is expensive! It’s crowded! It’s not working!” and yada, yada, yada.
I understand why people say that, but from my experience, it’s still possible to run successful Facebook ads, and you don’t have to break the bank to do it.
Now, you may not be getting cold-as-ice leads and strangers to buy what you’re selling through ads with this tactic, but with some organic outreach paired with a small-budget Facebook ads strategy, you may be able to turn that itsy bitsy budget to a more substantial ROI.
I used this strategy myself in growing my business when sales were slow and money was tight.
1. Niche down
When I started out, I was offering a million different marketing services all at once, from social media management, writing, email and everything else. Business was not always great, and I always felt spread too thin. Plus, I wasn’t standing out in the market because I was too generic, trying to be everything to everyone.
As someone who works for myself, I sometimes never know when the next paycheck will come in. I would gain traction, then lose it, then gain it again only to suffer some random medical issue, then get traction again, then lose momentum. It was a roller coaster. (There was a dicey period where I was even on food stamps.)
I felt like I was a freakin’ failure.
But the more I talked to others about it, I realized I wasn’t alone, and many people who start their own businesses experience this whiplash of a journey just like I was.
One of the most common advice floating out there in freelancer-dom is “find your niche.”
I didn’t believe it at first. But then, with nothing else to lose, I followed their advice. I specialized.
I stopped being all things to all people, and became the exact right thing for one kind of person. I ditched all the Twitter management services and website design projects to focus only took on Facebook and Instagram ads for creative businesses and knowledge workers.
As soon as I did that, guess what happened?
Business and marketing coaches took notice.
2. Reach out
I had been networking and participating in Facebook groups where my ideal audience were hanging out. I’ve been hanging out and answering questions that were naturally occurring in those communities.
The leaders of those groups realized I had a specialty that was not in their wheelhouse. That created an opportunity for me to reach out to them and offer my knowledge to their communities. All of them said yes.
So I did multiple things: I appeared on their podcasts, co-hosted webinars, wrote guest blog posts and offered free invitations through their email lists. I provided a hell of a lot of value for their audiences and made those leaders look even better. I made sure I had some kind of way people could sign up for my own email list, offering them a free webinar or training in exchange for their email.
This is where the cheapo ads kick in.
3. Bring them back in
I made sure I installed my Facebook pixel properly before I got any of their traffic to my site. (I walk my students through exactly how to do this.) That way, if anyone clicks on one of my links, or Googles my name after the podcast appearance and finds my site, then I can run an ad to any of those visitors again with a Facebook retargeting ad, which asked them to book a free 30-minute consulting call.
This catches the folks who were mildly curious at first but just didn’t book a call at that time, for whatever reason. It’s a good extra touch point to remind them of who you are and what you offer.
From those calls, coupled with the leads I got straight from the webinars and podcasts, I converted about 95% of the people who hopped on a call with me to my bigger consulting packages.
So you can see, even if you’re a bit broke-ass-broke, you can still find a way to grow your business using Facebook ads on a budget.
It may take a little more effort, but you’re getting the bang for your buck for every ad you place, right during a time when you need to count every penny.
Suzanne Yada is a Facebook and Instagram advertising specialist for creative entrepreneurs and knowledge workers. Get your free ads strategy training here.