If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you tell yourself? I’d tell myself to run ads.
You see, most of us grow up in the world being conditioned to think like a consumer.
We have all these negative associations with ads… they crop up in all the wrong places disturbing our favourite TV shows or our daily scrolls through the socials.
So we grow disliking ads. There are even whole industries created around this e.g. Netflix allows you to watch shows without ads for a monthly subscription fee.
But this becomes a problem when you start your business and still hold that “consumer mindset” instead of a “producer mindset”.
And after trying a bunch of different organic strategies, I’ve come to the conclusion that running ads to get clients is the single most profitable skill you can invest in yourself
So I have asked a bunch of coach entrepreneurs about what’s stopping them from running ads and here, I will share some of their biggest limiting beliefs.
These are limiting beliefs that I once had too. And if I didn’t, I would have made more money now.
So I hope that this article will help you identify any limiting beliefs that stop you from getting more clients for your business and scaling it.
What’s intriguing is that many of you see ads as something risky, you are afraid of wasting your time and money. But I believe that the risk and cost of NOT running ads is even higher especially in 2021. I will explain that in a bit.
1. I don’t run ads because I don’t know how to run ads.
You definitely don’t want to run ads without having any knowledge about it. That’s a sure way to waste a lot of money and time.
But the good news is that running ads for your business is like learning how to ride a bicycle. Once you get it, it’s a skill that you can keep for life.
For example, it took me a couple of months to learn and make Facebook advertising work for me. But once I wanted to start running ads on YouTube, it took me only about 2 weeks to get it running and getting clients. While the platforms have their differences and nuances, advertising is a transferable skill. So even if the existing platforms disappear and new platforms come by, you can use your advertising skills for life.
Also, take note that organic reach is getting lower and lower. Most popular advertising platforms provide services to their users for free e.g. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Drive, Gmail etc. So the main revenue stream for these platforms is getting businesses to pay for ads.
That’s why advertising platforms lower organic reach to force businesses to run ads. You can complain about it, you can say it’s unfair.
But the hard truth is that if you don’t learn how to run ads profitably now, it’s going to get even harder in the future to grow your online business.
It may sound harsh, but if you think about it, you are already a few steps ahead if you are reading this article. Many others who are not adaptable will fall out of this game.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” Leon C. Megginson
2. It’s too time-consuming to learn how to run ads. I don’t want to waste money and time.
Here are all the things my business partner and I have done to acquire clients without ads in our first business.
1. Used my business partner’s Instagram account with 70,000+ followers. He made content almost every day to grow that account (that’s a LOT of time and energy put into growing that account)
Estimated Time Spent: at least 365 hours (underestimated for sure)
Estimated return on investment: ~$30,000
2. Cold messaging 500 people on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn
Estimated Time Spent: 60hrs
Estimated return on investment: ~$4,500
3. Paid about 10 Instagram accounts for shoutouts – they helped to gain followers but didn’t help to convert those followers into customers
Estimated Time Spent: 40hrs
Estimated return on investment: 0
4. Posted helpful information in Facebook groups, made friends, started conversations, initiated sales calls.
Estimated Time Spent: 40hrs
Estimated return on investment: $1,500
5. Partnered with other “industry leaders” for affiliate marketing
Estimated Time Spent: 60hrs
Estimated return on investment: $80,000*
(Note: only ONE industry leader’s account worked and his warm audience was FULLY exhausted within 2 months and this was NOT a repeatable process)
No. 5 was the most profitable venture compared to the time invested, but it was really because of luck – my business partner knew the right person. We tried replicating the same process for other industry leaders, but it didn’t work.
So yes, organic methods do work. I never deny that. But I’ve been on both sides. I’ve done it all. And what I can say for sure is that you spend WAY LESS time creating ad campaigns and the return on investment is HIGHER, MORE RELIABLE AND MORE CONSISTENT.
“For organic methods, it’s like a shot in the dark. Whereas for ads, you can stack more variables in favour of your desired outcome.” – Me, Shushanik 😉
Here are all the things you can control in ads that you can’t control for organic outreach.
- Demographics of your market: age, gender, marital status, income, education and employment
- Location (target areas where people can afford your product or service)
- Intent for purchase for a product or service similar to yours
- Specific devices and operating systems that they use
- Languages that they speak
- And many more
And when you find the perfect product-market fit and you know the right strategies to make your ads work, spending money and time on ads becomes an investment, not an expense. It’s not luck, it’s a skill.
Additionally, instead of creating many different pieces of content to target your one unchangeable* audience, you can create one great creative to show it to an unlimited* number of people.
*The terms “unchangeable” and “unlimited” are used as relative terms to compare and contrast organic and paid ad strategies. For organic strategies, your content’s “shelf life” is about 48hrs, whereas for paid ads, the “shelf life” can last for months and years. That’s because you can show your paid ad content to new audiences who have never seen it before.
So here’s my question to you, what’s more time consuming? Organic strategies or paid advertising?
3. I don’t have a big budget and with my next to no knowledge of Facebook, Instagram or YouTube ads, I can easily waste it.
As mentioned earlier, you definitely want to go into ads with some knowledge. You don’t need to know EVERYTHING, but you need to know the fundamentals if you don’t want to waste your money and time
And you don’t need a big budget to start running ads. You can start as small as $20/day.
Does that mean you can make fortunes on a $20/day budget?
But I mentioned earlier, learning how to run ads is like learning how to run a bicycle. And if you don’t get on a bicycle, if you don’t try to balance yourself and practise riding it, you will never learn how to ride it no matter how many articles you read, videos you watch or courses you take.
So when you have a small budget (and even if you have a big budget), here’s the one mindset shift that’s going to make a huge difference whether you will succeed or fail.
Instead of thinking that “I am spending this money on ads”, think of it as “I am buying data to make better decisions in my client acquisition strategy”.
Let’s look at this ad data so I can show you what I mean by that. Look and analyse the data for the next 30-60 seconds.
Tell me, what conclusion can you draw from this data? Let’s assume that all the ads are targeting the same market except we are using different images and ad copies.
The most obvious insight I get from this data is that Image 14 outperforms Image 2 – the cost per lead for Image 14 is significantly lower than Image 2.
So if I have to make more ads, which image do you think I will use?
Definitely, Image 14, right?
So this is what I mean by “buying data”.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment to run ads. Start now. The sooner you start, the earlier you will see returns for your ad spend.
Advertising isn’t just throwing things out there and hoping for the best. Many people see advertising as an art, but it’s also a science.
It’s something measurable, trackable and reliable, especially with the digital tools that we have today.
And if you were confused and couldn’t get any insight from the data I shared, please don’t get more stressed out. YOU CAN LEARN how advertising works, it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. Kinda like learning how to ride a bike.
So don’t let any of these limiting beliefs stop you from running ads. These limiting beliefs are there for to stop the other people, not YOU.
You will save so much time running ads than cold calling, growing an Instagram or YouTube channel etc. And you will make MORE money in your business when you run ads.
So here’s a case study showing you How We Spent $9,657.90 on Ads To Generate $114,696.60 For Our Online Coaching Business.
I know that sounds “too good to be true” but it’s based on real results. And I can’t promise that you will get the same results. But what I can promise is that I will show you exactly how I have used ads to acquire clients at profit without JVs, trading more time for money, creating more products or posting every single day on social media.