More than 1.4 billion people use Facebook, and more than 900 million visit every day. That alone is reason enough to consider using Facebook ads as a valuable means to connect with your audience – they’re already there!
But how do you connect with them efficiently and promote your products and services without looking like you’re just trying to push sales onto them? There are a few golden rules to follow that will allow you to earn your audience’s trust, promote your products and services and build your ubiquitous email list.
Amy Porterfield knows a thing or two about growing businesses. Her vast knowledge and experience as both a content developer and marketer for some of the country’s top corporations has given her the wisdom to know what works and what doesn’t when trying to grow your audience and build your brand.
Rich: Entrepreneurs around the country – and very well the world – depend on Amy Porterfield to show them step by step how to increase revenue, drive more online traffic, grow their email and strengthen their connection with their target market.
Drawing on her years as a content developer and marketer for some of the country’s top corporations, along with her own experience of building a business from scratch, Amy provides priceless insights for a stress free approach to starting and growing your own online business.
She has an email list of over 150k subscribers, a devoted following on social media and a hit podcast. Amy shows that nice girls and guys don’t have to finish last when it comes to making a living and a life that you love. Amy, welcome to the show.
Amy: Well thanks so much for having me.
Rich: So Amy, I know that you do a lot of things but I also know that many people look to you for Facebook marketing advice,so I would be remiss not to at least throw in one Facebook question.
Now it’s no secret that Facebook’s regular algorithm changes cause entrepreneurs consternation – I like using big words like, “consternation” so I seem smarter – obviously, being one of the go to marketers on Facebook you must hear that a lot. What do you say to people who are ready to throw in the towel on Facebook?
Amy: I do hear that a lot, and what I always say is do not do it, don’t jump ship when you get frustrated with Facebook because – like you said – the algorithm changes all the time. So I always say, have you ever been in that situation where you crafted a really great post and it’s got great text and an image and you think it’s going to be a huge hit with your fans, you post it on your Facebook page and it’s like crickets. Nobody likes, comments or shares and it’s very frustrating.
However, the thing is, one of the most powerful things about Facebook is their ad platform. I really do believe even when you have a small budget that you can’t ignore the Facebook ad platform. That means that you can get out in front of your perfect, ideal audience and you will never feel like you’re spamming or promoting too much when you actually use Facebook to first build your email list.
So I always say give something away for free, build your email list with Facebook ads, and when you do that, keep posting on your Facebook page and really take care of the fans that you already attracted but don’t worry if there’s not tons of engagement all the time because your Facebook ads will make up for that in terms of helping you grow your list and really building an audience online in a different way. But you can’t jump ship on Facebook, it is still the most powerful platform out there.
Rich: Ok Amy, so you’re talking a lot about the advertising component of Facebook, and I’ve heard this from a lot of Facebook marketers that you really need to focus on advertising, so you talked a little bit about using it to build your email list, but what exactly are you promoting in these ads? Do you do it for every blog post, do you do it for every podcast and every webinar you’re doing it, or are you just doing it to try and sell online courses?
Amy: Ooh, this is such a good question. So the one thing that I always tell my students is rarely do you ever want to use Facebook ads to sell. You will often find me running Facebook ads to a webinar or a .pdf cheat sheet or some kind of free training I have going on, but you’ll rarely ever see me run an ad directly to a sales page. I’ll get to that in a moment because there are times when I’ll do that, but it’s very, very likely that it’s not going to happen often.
So here’s the deal when you run Facebook ads, what I want you to do is create some sort of free giveaway, a lead magnet. So whatever that means for your niche – even a discount code, a coupon, a cheat sheet, a blueprint, a guide – something really valuable, a quick win, something somebody can sign up for with their email in exchange for getting it for free. And they can dive into it and get a quick win, take action, learn something new, discover something from you, that’s what you want to do.
And then from there, because now they’ve joined your email list to get this free giveaway that you’ve advertised in the Facebook ad, now that they’re on your email list you can start to build a relationship with them and promote your programs, products or services. So that truly is the best way to use Facebook ads. Now some people want to jump right to just running an ad to sell something. And when it’s ecommerce and it’s a low price product, sometimes that does work. The only time I see it work for digital programs and products and services is when you’re retargeting. So there’s a way to run ads and, let’s say somebody visited your sales page, you can run an ad to that person if they’re on Facebook because they’ve already been to your sales page and they already know what you’re about, so now you’re just bringing them back because we know people get distracted and they might not have ready your sales page or probably didn’t buy. So that’s the only time that I’ll retarget my ad traffic and promote my sales page. It’s very rare, though.
One other thing – and this is a strategy I love – is to create a blog post, a really epic blog post, something really juicy and valuable that people will want to share. And inside of that blog post make some opportunities for people to sign up for a free giveaway. And maybe in the middle of it and at the end something you’re going to give away related to the content in that blog post. Run an ad to the blog post and then from there they can decide if they want to opt in.
One thing you’re going to do is save a lot of money. We’ve seen it be really cheap to run an ad to a blog post even versus running an ad to an opt in page. So you likely will save some money and if people do opt in, that’s a really warm lead because they’ve already read your blog post and now they’re still interested enough to opt in. That’s a great way to build an email list.
Rich: Ok, that’s really interesting, and actually it’s funny because one of my later questions was all about I’ve noticed that on a lot of your recent blog posts you’re giving away some great information but then you’ve got this value ad that I assume is behind some sort of email registration. I want to know how that’s working for you. I assume well because you keep doing it. But before we get to that I have a different question.
You said that you get better ROI or maybe the prices were cheaper when you’re advertising to a blog post versus advertising to a sales page? Did I get that right? And why is that?
Amy: Or even an opt in page. So here’s the kind of thing that’s a little bit weird. I’m not exactly sure why that is. However, if I was going to make an educated guess I really do believe that Facebook is making a shift – and they’ve been doing this over the last year or so – where they want you to run ads to value add opportunities. So they want you to run ads and spend money with them of course, but they want to offer a great opportunity to their users.
So when you run an ad to content – I could literally be making this up – but based on all the experience that I’ve had with this it’s almost like Facebook is rewarding the marketer for sending somebody to really good content versus sending them to a page that says give me your name and email or a page that says “buy now”. So I’ve just seen that when you send it to free, valuable content that is not even behind an opt in, that it tends to be cheaper. And they haven’t come out and said this is the fact, but we’ve seen it over and over again.
Rich: Well that is really interesting, and it makes sense on the face of it in the fact that Facebook does not want to be seen as a place, a jumping off place, for mediocre content or just for ads that if you leave their site you’re going to get a valuable resource. Because the bottom line is, then you’re going to come back to Facebook and see it as a place where you can find great links.
So I agree with you. You may not have the proof but that does make sense.
Amy: Yeah, definitely. And Facebook is actually tracking. So let’s say that you have a post on Facebook – whether it be an ad or just an organic post – and somebody clicks a link in your post and they go outside of Facebook. Facebook is tracking how quickly they come back to Facebook. And if they spend a while on your site and don’t come back right away, that’s actually a good thing for you because they know that likely that person has found value on the other side of that link. So things like that actually really matter for you to pay less on your ad and for you just to get into the organic news feed without having to pay for it as well. So it’s interesting that I would never even have thought about that if I didn’t read about it more but it does matter.
Rich: So it sounds like if I want to get good results from Facebook I should advertise and drive them to a page where there’s malware that takes down their computer for at least 24 hours, so by the time they reboot and go back to Facebook…
Amy: Yes, I do that all the time.
Rich: You heard that here first from Amy Porterfield. So let’s get back to these blog posts where you have these value adds because it’s something actually that I’ve been lining up for flyte as well. What have you seen for results now – and maybe you can give us an example of a recent one – where you’ve got some great content in a blog and say, “Now download the cheat sheet for this here”?
Amy: So this actually has a few different layers to it. Where this started was with my podcast. So in January 2015 we decided to add more value to my podcast. I knew I was getting traction and I thought I don’t love to blog, it’s not my favorite thing to write articles and it doesn’t come easy for me, but podcasting is something I really enjoy and my audience has taken well to it as well. So I thought that will be my platform for free content, but I wanted to add a few different layers to it.
So what we started to do was with every podcast we have a free giveaway, and it’s usually in the form of a cheat sheet or a checklist or a video or something to add value to what I teach in the podcast. And so every, single podcast has something to give away. And because of that we also know that a lot of my audience likes to just read a blog post versus listen to a podcast, and I’ve got a good mix in there. So we started to make every show note be more like a blog post.
So now when you go to my blog you actually think you’re reading a blog post, but there’s always an opportunity to listen to a podcast as well. So in that blogpost we always have an opportunity to opt in and get something of great value for free, so there’s usually a bar where you click and it takes you to a popup box where you can opt in, and then from there we email you with the free giveaway.
But when we started to run ads to this we noticed that we’re paying a lot less for this than we are ads to an opt in page for a webinar. And in addition to that, my business has dramatically changed this year and I really do believe it’s because we offer free value every single week, including something to opt in for. So it’s not only grown our email list, but it’s built this really great relationship between me and my audience because I’m giving more than I ever have before. So there’s a lot of cool things that it has helped my business immensely.
Rich: Very cool. So you were talking about this a little bit, you’ve got all this great, free content, then you’ve got this free but behind a registration wall content as well. And then obviously you do very well with your online courses when you’re selling a course. So you have at least those 3 tiers; free, registration based and paid content. And obviously one leads to the next leads to the next.
This is something I’ve always struggled with, how do you decide what’s the free, what’s the premium and what’s the paid content when you’re putting together your packages?
Amy: Ok, so that’s a great question because sometimes it feels a little bit blurry for me. I’ve always believed in giving your best stuff you have away for free. And that’s hard sometimes. So I do have this little mindset rule of mine that when I’m giving away free content, if it almost feels too good to give away for free, I know I’m on to something good because I want it to be a little uncomfortable for me so I know I can knock the socks off of whoever gets it for free. So there is that fine line that I’m always walking with that, but here’s how I decide.
First I decide on my paid content, what is it that I’m actually selling. And for me it’s very few things. I have a Facebook 101 program, I have a program called The Profit Lab that I only launch twice a year and it’s my bread and butter program where it’s everything I love to teach in terms of Facebook ads and list building and selling through email marketing and it’s a whole system. And then I do some affiliate marketing. That’s all I have. And I’ll add to that, I’m working on a webinar program this year, so I have a small suite of products.
But I tell you that because once I know what I’m selling, then I know what I’m comfortable with in terms of giving away for free. Let’s pretend we’re talking about the Profit Lab program – hypothetically – so this program teaches 7 steps to grow your email list and sell more of your programs, products and services. Because there are 7 steps in that, what I do in my free content is I outline the 7 steps. I want people to understand how they can get through those 7 steps to create a process, but they’ll never really be able to dive in deep and see huge results unless they actually figure it out themselves or do it with me.
So my free content is lets understand the big picture and really get on the same page as to how valuable this content can be, and now when we’re on the same page and you understand what you need now let me show you how inside my paid programs. So it’s kind of a “what” and a “how” situation I use.
Rich: Alright, so I was on your website and I noticed that when I went to your blog at the top of the “Popular Articles” section is an article called, Blogging For SEO, and that article is written by me.
Amy: Isn’t that interesting?
Rich: I don’t have a question, I just wanted to brag.
Amy: It’s so funny, I saw that too just recently and I don’t even talk about SEO. So the fact that it’s such a popular post, we may have to have you come back on and talk a little bit more about it.
Rich: I’m waiting for my invitation from your podcast, but whatever, we’ll let it go. Ok, so let’s circle back for a minute to Facebook. I know that a lot of people are either getting started or have plateaued in terms of getting engagement on Facebook. Outside of advertising – for people who are just getting started – what are you recommending these days as a way for people to get in front of their ideal customers? And if this goes beyond Facebook to some other platform, that’s totally cool, too.
Amy: Ok, so it first starts out with a mindset shift. And this is something that I have learned the hard way, so I don’t think that this comes easy for most of us. But consistency is truly king. And I had heard people talk about being more consistent since the day I started my business way back when and I just have always struggled with it, so this is why I want to bring it up.
The people I admire the most that are getting amazing results in online marketing are those that every, single week have a podcast that comes out, or every, single week has a new blog or a newsletter or something that’s happening weekly. They’re staying in touch with their audience, they’re constantly creating free, valuable content and they just don’t miss a beat. And I notice especially with Facebook if you’re consistent every, single day – even if it’s just one post a day – way back in 2010 when I taught this I’d say post 3-5 times a day. Today you do not need to do that, especially with how the platform has changed and all the different social media sites that you’re competing with. But at least showing up once a day posting something of great value and then also getting involved in the conversation is going to make a huge difference.
So if you’re struggling to see engagement, you need to ask yourself how often am I showing up there, what am I posting, am I sure it’s what my audience wants and am I getting into the conversation.
One of the things I love to do on Facebook is go to Insights. So let’s say you are on your Facebook page, at the top you’ll see Insights, and right there when you click it on that very first page if you click on “post” and scroll down and check out say the last 3 months, which were your most popular posts and what did people respond to the most. For me it’s usually quotes, they like the quotes about business and building an online platform. But the second thing that usually shows up for me are the personal things, like for my anniversary my husband and I bought beach cruisers and I posted pictures and everybody wanted to talk about them. It’s crazy, but the more personal you are, the faster you’ll grow your platform on any social media site.
Have you had that experience, Rich, when you share the personal stuff?
Rich: I absolutely have, but this may be the difference between where you are in your life and where I am in my life – which is obviously much older than you – which is the idea that Amy Porterfield is the brand. Where for me I have two brands, but neither of them are really Rich Brooks. I mean, there’s @TheRichBrooks.
I’m sure we have a mix of listeners on this show so some people are like you where they have their brand profile page and they have their business page, but they’re basically similar names. And then you’ve got people like me who I’m Rich Brooks, but then I’m also representing flyte new media or Agents Of Change, so from that regard sometimes I struggle with how personal should I get on a flyte new media page or how personal should I get on the Agents Of Change page.
So if you were promoting Amy Porterfield’s business page, how might you inject personality into either of those two brands?
Amy: This is so important to talk about because I totally get the distinction because it’s so easy for me to talk about personal stuff because it’s me. If it was a business though, it’s still very, very possible. And here’s one example I want you guys to look at – not right now, stay with us – but Paleo Treats. Paleo Treats is actually a San Diego based business, and what I noticed recently is that they are going behind the scenes and reposting pictures from their audience to get them involved. They do a really good job on Instagram most of all. But they have a really great, thriving Facebook page as well. But they go behind the scenes, they introduce their team, they talk about products, they take people on the road with them wherever they’re going, so they don’t necessarily highlight people as they do experiences and just things that are going on with them.
And also, they’re a really personal business. My assistant wanted to send me some Paleo Treats – it’s these little desserts that they make – and they don’t hand deliver, but my assistant is very pushy so she decided to get on their website and ask if they would come to my house on a Sunday to deliver some treats for me as a big surprise. Anyway, the owner of the business showed up at my house on a Sunday to deliver this big box of treats. I don’t think this is her normal thing, however, I took a picture of it, she found the picture and she put it on her website. They just like to interact with their audience as much as possible and I think every business can find a way to do something like that. So there is a way to make it more personal and you don’t have to make it about the people, per se.
Rich: Well you don’t need to make it about your own people, but in this case make it about your audience. And of course that goes back to the “make your customer the hero,” which is always great advice anyway.
Alright, so a couple things I heard you say was you can really put the focus on your customer base and help them tell/share their stories. The other thing is just that you can kind of go behind the scenes a little bit and share some of the things that go into making it. So one of the things we might do for Agents Of Change is take some pictures about the different things we’re doing as far as the conference goes, so conference planning and anything like that that shows not how the sausage is being made but how the champagne is being made. It would be a good way of injecting some personality into your brand on Facebook or any other platform.
Amy: It’s true, and this is going to sound a little silly but stay open minded with me, let’s say you’re planning an event like Rich talked about and on that day you know you have a million things on your list to get ready for and you run to Starbucks to get some Starbucks for your team, you take a picture of the Starbucks with everyone’s names on their cups and then your caption is all about “we’ve got to get fueled up today because we have x, y and z to work on”. So it’s these little things that are everyday life but you find a way to bring it back to what you all are working on in your business. Although it seems silly, people will respond to it in a really positive way. So find little ways to talk about what you’re doing but in a really human way.
Rich: I like that. I’m totally going to use that, although I’m going to find some local, Maine coffee house to use instead of Starbucks.
Amy: You do that.
Rich: So quick question, if Facebook closed its doors today, Amy, what platform would you jump to or would you jump to any?
Amy: I would, I love Instagram. I think Instagram is so much fun and it’s easy and I’ve had some great conversations with people. It’s still small enough that I can interact with people on a more personal level, so I have to say I’m a huge fan. Do you love Instagram?
Rich: I do. And it’s funny, we talked before we got started recording about Sue B. Zimmerman – who is actually going to be at Agents Of Change this year – talking about Instagram.
Amy: That’s going to be awesome.
Rich: And she and I were talking last year and she’s very focused on the marketing side of things, as she should be. But for me, I got on Instagram just because I love sharing photos. Now I’m kind of at that point where it’s like, ok, now we’ve got an INstagram account for flyte, we’ve got an Instagram account for Agents Of Change. I haven’t done a whole lot with them, in fact, I’ve basically outsourced that to my team because I want more views in terms of perspective and things to share. I love the platform, I just haven’t personally done it from a marketing standpoint, I just love sharing pictures of things that I run into.
Amy: I hear you, I haven’t done a lot of marketing either, I just enjoy it and like that personal side of things. And in some ways that still can be marketing if we do it the right way. I think you and I have to get onboard and start getting more strategic.
Rich: Alright, let’s do that.
Amy: Let’s do it.
Rich: Ok, so I was going to ask you to give me one Facebook resource – besides your own – that you think you couldn’t live without so we could share it with our audience. But I’m going to expand that since we’ve basically only talked about Facebook in passing in many ways today. What is one resource that you just could not live without when it comes to marketing your own business?
Amy: Do I have to do one? Let me do two.
Rich: You can do two, well, let’s do three because I assume one was Agents Of Change.
Rich: Give me two other ones that aren’t about you or me.
Amy: Ok, so one is LeadPages. I don’t know, you probably expected me to say that. LeadPages is my favorite tool of choice to build my business because I can use it with social media, I use it with Facebook ads to drive traffic like I mentioned. So to me, LeadPages hands down is one of the best tools out there.
Another one, though, more directly related to social media is Edgar. And Edgar is my social sharing scheduling tool. But why I love it more than any other scheduling tool out there is that it creates a library, so I can continue to use the content that I find over and over again. Whereas social media changes so quickly that in your newsfeed you see one thing one second and another thing the next, that you can actually put your content back out there again a few days later. So the library feature and queuing up your content with Edgar is fantastic.
Rich: That’s cool. Is that by Lisa Roeder’s group?
Amy: Laura Roeder. You were super close.
Rich: I was pretty close. Alright, well that’s awesome. Those are two great resources. And let’s end with your own personal resources. Amy, where can we find out more about you online?
Amy: You can go to amyporterfield.com and I’ve got all my blog posts and podcasts and webinars, everything is in there. So thanks so much for asking.
Rich: Alright Amy, thank you as always for coming by and sharing your best stuff.
Amy: So glad to be here, have a great day.
- Find out more about Amy and check out her blog and podcast at her website.
- Join Amy on Facebook and Instagram and stay up to date on all the cool info and resources she has to offer.
- Amy mentioned a couple of her favorite resources and tools she couldn’t live without:
- Rich Brooks is the head honcho at flyte new media. He fancies himself a witty tweeter, follow him on Twitter and feel free to disagree with him.
- Have you gotten your tickets yet for the Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference? What are you waiting for? There’s still time to get your tickets now!