Have you ever been duped into thinking that if you just put money into the Zuckerberg slot machine, that your inbox will be flooded with high-quality prospects begging you to take their money, ready to open their wallets for you? Whether you’re thinking about running Facebook ads to get more leads, are running them unsuccessfully, or feel like you’re a big loser because you’re not running them, then this episode is for you.
Hey, I am Tara Newman. this is The Bold Money Revolution Podcast and I am your host. I cannot wait to dig into this topic, it’s possible. Warning, warning, that I might get a bit ranty. This is one of those hot-button topics for me. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I like to take shots at Mr. Zuckerberg for sport, for sport, that is my sport. My husband CrossFits, I take shots at Zuckerberg, verbal shots, okay peeps, let’s be clear about that.
First of all, I raise my hand as someone who has felt like a big loser or, at least, like I’ve somehow been missing out on something because I haven’t run ads. Whether my clients run online businesses or brick-and-mortar businesses, the lure of paid advertising and paid lead gen is strong. We’re increasingly more conditioned to want things quickly and overnight which is what paid strategies like that promise.
We’re becoming increasingly less resilient as our beliefs around time, how long things will take, and the value of consistent action are being manipulated by social media platforms, by the internet, and by the tech bros. I am very anti-big tech but I’m not a Luddite. I use technology. I think we can use it intentionally and with discernment, and at the same time, I am wildly concerned for what it is doing to our brains.
Now, in my opening, I used words that I don’t normally use when I talk about sales, like wanting people begging us to take their money or opening their wallets for us. I was simply using terms that get thrown around in marketing all the time. I can’t stand when I see this type of stuff in people’s copy. But it’s not often the person who wrote it, it’s often not their fault because this is the culture that if we’re not careful, this is the culture that we’re colluding with and that we are working in.
I definitely wanted to just say, “Hey, these aren’t my words. I don’t believe this, clicks are people, follows are people, downloads are people, leads are people, and sales are people. You can’t escape that you’re in the people business even if you sell products. That’s another reason why sometimes I have a big issue with the social media marketing space, ads, and things like that because it removes humanity from the tactic. I just wanted to be really clear about where I stand.
Sometimes, a lot of times, almost all the time, the women that work with me in The Bold Profit Academy have this mindset that we need to shift around “I don’t want to be like them”, and pick your “them”, but for a lot of women who are in the online business space, it’s they don’t want to be like the internet marketers, they don’t want to be like these web celebs where they’re seeing people being referred to as clicks, follows, or downloads, and that feels icky to them. That is untrue. We can value people and still make sales.
As a matter of fact, the way that I believe in selling is from a place of empathy, understanding, and putting the person at the forefront of any strategy you have. I just wanted to be clear about that. This is just one way that the online business culture really hamstrings legitimate experts who blindly follow these tips and tactics that don’t serve them their clients or their businesses.
We all try them because we believe what we see online, we believe that they’re telling the truth, and we believe that they work. I think it is important that we try some of these tactics even if they don’t always feel good because we need to make sure, we need to have that lesson and collect that data. I just wanted to be as nuanced as I could be around that conversation.
I’m also going to say before I even get started in this, because I want you to understand my bias and I think it’s really important that you understand where I’m coming from as I share the content in this episode, because I do my best to take my responsibility as somebody who has a platform seriously, so I want to share my strong anti-Facebook ad bias.
I understand that there’s lots of other ads that you can run like Google and things like that, I haven’t gone down too much the rabbit hole of that and I always say I may change my mind, you may one day see me running Facebook ads, but it’s because we are collecting data and testing things, I really try and avoid this. I’ve been trying very hard to avoid this.
I want to thank everybody who listens to this podcast actually for allowing me to avoid it because when you share my content, when you leave me reviews, when you tell your friends to tune in, that allows me to not give Facebook my money, that allows me to grow organically, it’s one of the ways we grow organically. I also want you to do the same. I want you to be able to ask for referrals, to encourage people to share your work, and to put out content that is so good that you don’t need Zuckerberg, put out content that’s so good that you don’t need his slot machine.
Here’s my anti-Facebook bias.
I see it as gambling and I don’t like to take that much risk. I think this is important to understand what your risk tolerance is and what your risk capacity is around some of these tactics. It doesn’t fit with my risk profile to this point because we are self-funded in our businesses. We don’t have venture capital. We don’t have angel investors. We don’t have private equity.
We’re most likely not coming from a place where we’re independently wealthy, and so as women, we are funding our own businesses. That, to me, I take very seriously and I use my money very wisely. That has not been something that I have done to this point. I don’t believe my target audience is really buying things from ads services, let’s say services from ads, you might be buying a product from ads, but even that I don’t think is happening.
I don’t really think that my target audience is buying things from ads or are even paying that much attention to them. As a matter of fact, most of the people who I talk to about ads say that they just hide them and block them because they’re annoying and they’re done. They just don’t even like the whole concept.
I’ve seen studies and research that say 88% of ad clicks are fraudulent. Those percentages just don’t work for me to be honest. I think that may or may not tie into my risk tolerance but I take that with some thought and introspection.
Businesses that over-rely on Facebook ads to get more leads tend not to use unpaid growth strategies.
They don’t have SEO, relationship marketing, or regular inconsistent nurture content. I think that’s dangerous and harmful. At The Bold Leadership Revolution, in everything we teach, we are really big on unpaid growth strategies. Because at the point you are in your revenue, you need to lean heavily on unpaid growth strategies and really use your money more discerningly and wisely.
I abhor Mark Zuckerberg. I abhor everything he stands for. I think he is an absolutely god-awful, terrible leader. I follow his readouts from his quarterly earnings calls. I think he’s a moron in the way he speaks. As I’m sharing this, I’m going to pull up an article I read yesterday from The New York Times and I think this will just speak to it. I realize I’m spending a lot of time on my hatred for him, but unjust hatred but like really.
New York Times article, Mark Zuckerberg Prepares Meta Employees for a Tougher 2022. This was on July 1st, 2022, that it was written. He is basically saying that they are facing one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history. He’s putting them on notice that they are going to need to be prepared to do more work with fewer resources and that their performances would be graded more intensely than previously.
I’m not a fan for this level of how you run a business. I think performance is important. I’m not a big fan of grading people. I’ve been in organizations where this has been done. I don’t love that he’s already got the threat around be prepared to do more work with fewer resources. Something tells me that Facebook employees are already working pretty hard.
Then he goes on to say, “I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is OK with me. Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.” This is what he’s saying in an all hands meeting while dropping the news that they’re facing their worst downturn ever.
Instead of empathy and instead of understanding how people might be feeling, he’s pushing out threats. This is the culture that he’s supporting and I just cannot at all get behind that. I think it’s disgusting. I think we need to take a stand for the way these businesses and these companies treat people. I’m just really disappointed in how this readout came across. When I say that I absolutely abhor Mark Zuckerberg, that’s why.
This is why they’re facing their worst downturn, when the economy changes as it is now, the first thing big businesses cut is marketing and advertising.
They know they can make sales without that expense. The advertising is just the icing on the cake for them. If big businesses are cutting marketing and advertising and they know that they can make sales without that expense, we should be following suit.
We should look at that and go, “Oh, maybe they know something that we don’t know.” VCs, venture capitalists, these are the people who fund these types of businesses. VCs all over are fleeing from companies that rely on digital advertising due to the truckload of risk factors for that revenue right now. There’s a lot of risk factors. We’re seeing this at all these different intersections of businesses.
My team and I have been doing more and more consulting on email sales strategies and email deliverability, and we’re seeing the actual havoc that Facebook ads, launching, and other online business tactics have on your email deliverability.
If you want to make sales more easily, if you want to make sales that feel easy on your energy, that we can scale your sales process, you need email, period.
Should you never run ads? That’s not what I’m saying. First of all, I’m saying I default to not running ads. But should you never run ads? That’s not what I’m saying. Are all ad managers sh*t? Nope. Not what I’m saying either. It’s about knowing where paid advertising fits in your sales process and weighing the pros and cons, not just finding the articles that support your belief or desired outcome but to really think critically about whether or not this is the best financial investment.
Because Facebook ads are a financial investment just like any other financial investment and I want you to understand what you’re putting your money into when deciding whether or not you want to proceed. That’s what I’m saying.
But let’s explore the allure of why paid advertising or Facebook ads are so sexy. It’s because it gives you the illusion of control. If you run ads, you’re going to have more leads than you know what to do with, sales will be easy and immediate, which for a large part actually isn’t in your control. But that’s what we’re being told to think.
I thought the best way to serve you today is to do some myth-busting and give you some alternative perspectives.
These myths that I’ve collected, I think I’ve got four, they’re coming from conversations that I have with small business owners. Again, whether they are running a digital business in a virtual space or whether or not they have a physical location, I hear the same things. That’s how pervasive this marketing and this allure has been around paid advertising.
Myth number one. More leads equals more sales, equals more wealth, equals more worthy.
The online business culture has conflated leads, sales, and money with your worth and value as a human being. With the onset of personal branding and the way entrepreneurship has been marketed, it’s become and being sold as a part of your identity and it’s unfortunately leading to a lot of psychological harm.
Myth two. Unless the lead is random through an ad, hashtag, etc., it doesn’t count.
Word of mouth and referrals are evidence that you are doing it wrong. If I had this belief, I’d be in a state of defeat and deflation 90% of the time. We use absolutely no paid growth strategies right now. We are considering a few, not Facebook ads.
Right now and up into this point for the last eight months, we have had no real paid growth strategy. If I believed this, I’d feel like an absolute abject failure. Meanwhile, my business grows every year, we become more profitable, we’re able to employ and contract with more women experts and pay them more, and so this is just wholeheartedly untrue.
Myth number three. Everything has to be easy, passive, and automated, as in leads need to fall out of the sky like sugar plums or you’re just not winning at life ever.
That is how hyperbolic it is. Everything has to be easy, passive, and automated. Leads just need to be falling out of the sky and into your lap. I will tell you that is not true. We spend an inordinate amount of our work time on my team assessing, re-strategizing, testing, learning, evolving, tweaking our lead gen which is what we teach inside The Bold Profit Academy. Because as I mentioned just before, that works. That’s actually how it happens. That’s the truth.
If you are not spending time like that on your lead gen, if you’re not tweaking, testing, evolving, failing, or succeeding, then we need to really consider what’s going on there. This is not something that is at the snap of a fingers happens overnight.
Myth four, if it’s not happening fast, then you’re doing something wrong and you’re a failure.
That’s the whole point with ads is that it happens quickly overnight. It can put leads, whether they are qualified or not, whether you have any skill set or not to convert them to sales, it does put email addresses, not all of them real, on your email list overnight.
None of these myths are actually true. Here are some reminders about what is true.
You are not your net worth. You are not your revenue. You are not for sale. You don’t charge what you’re worth. You are a free human being that is separate from the entity of your business and the things that you sell and how you deliver your services.
Paid ads aren’t necessarily the best way to build a list and to make sales. There have been many stories in the online space—thanks to the vulnerability marketing tactics being taught—where you go behind the scenes as someone promotes the lessons they’ve learned from their most recent failure trying to run an online business model.
In the majority of these stories, the business owners have spent over 50% of their revenue on Facebook ads and then probably about 45% of their revenue on the team required to operate this Rube Goldberg contraption of a business leaving them close to nothing or, at the most, barely six figures to take home.
One such blog article shared these types of business expenses between ad costs, team, and expensive consultants. Something was niggling at me, something was at the back of my mind, and so what I did was I pulled up my husband’s P&L from his brick-and-mortar manufacturing business in a high-cost-of-living area. This online business owner’s expenses were running higher than my husband’s expenses in his brick-and-mortar manufacturing company.
In reality, they would have been better off running a simple one-on-one consulting coaching business and learning how to invest their cash in other cash-generating assets. But the reality is most of these stories come from people who have a lot of privilege and don’t really need their money to live on.
All these businesses are glorified and underpaid marketing assistants for Zuckerberg.
We have to ask ourselves who benefits when he takes all these businesses’ cash.
Have you looked at who Facebook supports politically? How much Zuckerberg spends on personal security for himself and his family.
The investment in R&D to make the internet more addictive, polarizing, and politically divisive. That’s what we’re paying for. Have you looked at their policies on what speech they allow and then who they override their own policies for and why? It’s cronyism at its worst. We have to really consider these things if we’re somebody who wants to run a values-based business, if we want to be in integrity with our ethics and how we want to navigate this landscape.
If you do invest in ads, that’s totally cool. I’m going to give you some tips like what you can do in lieu of running ads or before you run ads and then just know, just be like, okay, be honest, be intellectually honest and say, “I know that I’m supporting things that I don’t align with or agree with and I’m doing it for this reason,” and be clear and discerning.
Let’s talk about what you can do in lieu of running Facebook ads or before you run Facebook ads.
We want to focus on what is the solution in this ever-changing volatile big tech landscape. Listen, none of the tools and tactics you use are going to be immune to big tech. SEO is Google, you’ve got stuff happening on your websites, you’ve got algorithms in the inbox, you’ve got on every platform and every channel so you’re never really going to escape this but you can insulate yourself depending on what tactics you choose.
One. There are so many ways to generate leads. You already have leads. What you don’t have is a consistent enjoyable way to convert them to a sale.
What I hear the most from people who are at a revenue plateau is they can convert very warm leads who are in close proximity to them. They already know, like, and trust you. You’re likely not sure why, other than you being you, why they’re buying. Mastering converting your warm leads with less proximity to you is the first step in converting more of the leads you already have which means you have to do the research and relationship building to understand your target market.
Now, this takes some time but it is exactly what we teach in The Bold Profit Academy and we have given you ways to accelerate this, accelerate finding your invisible leads is what I call them. We want you going after the low-lying fruit because we want you working less hard for the sales you are making. The only way to do that is to become a sales ninja, be observant, learn how to spot opportunity, identify buying signals, and those are all the things that we teach you inside The Bold Profit Academy.
Two. Stop talking to everyone.
Stop hyperventilating about niching down and the ridiculous debates on social media that say you must niche down or never niche down. The reality is that if you’re an expert running a service-based business, you need to focus on
(a) having premium offers that reflects the actual transformation it provides within your specialty,
(b) speaking to how your market is underserved by the mainstream messaging, and
(c) where are their needs unmet, meaning they have something important they want to accomplish but they haven’t found a satisfactory solution.
We spend all of one of our quarterly curriculums focusing on this and why people buy so you can create a differentiated strategy. These are the people who aren’t being served by the hyped-up mainstream solutions. This is what we call a differentiated strategy so you can communicate your value and position your offer better.
Three. Facebook ads are likely screwing up your email deliverability.
When we have our clients and members of The Bold Profit Academy go through and talk about email strategy, email sales, it’s not uncommon to see their deliverability rates are in the toilet as well as their open rates. We can hear from our clients that if they’re running Facebook ads, they’re overwhelmed with what they call junk leads or non-engagers.
This hurts your deliverability because it signals to email service providers that your emails are junk, and at best, they’re junk and at worst, they’re spam. This is how you wind up in the promo folder with nobody seeing your emails. If you want to run a sustainable business that is easy on your energy, you need to have a functioning email strategy even if you’re selling B2B, and your sales will go up when people actually see your emails, when they actually land in the inbox.
Focus on how do you get those emails into the inbox. If you’re not sure, reach out. We do support people with this. We support you in The Bold Profit Academy going through your deliverability. Those are the three things that I would want to see you doing in lieu of running ads or before you run ads.
The reason why it’s easier to run ads is that this requires you to up your skill set.
It’s going to require you to build relationships, it’s going to require you to partner with other business owners who are adjacent to you in marketing activities, like maybe pitching podcasts or joint ventures. These are the things that a lot of women just don’t feel confident around.
These are the things that we focus on supporting women in The Bold Profit Academy because the reality is most people aren’t doing them. We want our women to have the most competitive strategies the things that most people aren’t doing, going in the opposite direction of the herd and herd thinking.
The takeaway with our current economy, it’s time to start thinking differently about how you’re building out your growth strategies; building relationships, unpaid lead generation, consultative and relational selling will get you paid like the expert you are which is excellent news for the majority of you who care about your clients, who want to help people, and are frustrated because you don’t feel like you know how to market your business and are tired of seeing those with less skills and experience outpace your success because they’re doing better at the marketing game.
Here’s the thing, we don’t actually know that they are outpacing your success. I know it looks like they are but there’s a really good chance they’re not. Believe it or not, it’s your time, it’s your time to create a business that is fulfilling, gives you flexibility, and starts to set you up for long-term financial freedom and stability. We want you to join The Bold Profit Academy.
We are currently in our Q3 curriculum which is all about designing your sales process and talking about lead generation. You’re also going to come in and do your 30-day onboarding where you will most likely make back the initial investment into the program within the first 30 to 60 days. If this sounds like something you want to get on board with, head on over to theboldleadershiprevolution.com/academy.