Valerie Shoopman is a Facebook marketing expert and business strategist who has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses to use Facebook marketing to attract customers and make sales. Her clients include Nick Unsworth and John Lee Dumas for whom she recently ran highly successful Facebook ad campaigns that generated ROIs of 500% and 1,250% respectively! In this episode Valerie explains exactly how she does it.
Generating leads with Facebook
Valerie focuses on Facebook marketing and in particular using Facebook ads to generate leads and drive traffic to webinars during which clients give good free content on the webinar and then sell a product or service at the backend of the webinar.
What Valerie helps them do is get highly targeted traffic to the webinar as well as making sure that their landing pages, funnel and offer are all set up properly. As well as creating the Facebook ads Valerie adds tracking pixels (see below) so that clients can see exactly which ads are leading to converted sales and therefore which ads to keep running and fine tuning. In other words, Valerie optimizes the ROI (return on investment) on the client’s ad spend and maximizes sales.
A decade of online marketing expertise
From 2003 to 2007 Valerie did a lot of advertising using Google PPC. In addition to running her own affiliate ads Valerie worked for a non-profit school and was able to get a $10,000 a month Google grant to spend on ads. This allowed her to do a huge amount of testing to see what sort of ads and headlines worked best – knowledge that she has taken forward into her Facebook marketing business.
Facebook ads vs. Google ads?
In 2007 Valerie started using Facebook ads and now focuses on them exclusively. As she explains, Google ads ended up becoming very expensive. Comparing to Google ads to Facebook ads
- Facebook ads are cheaper – much lower cost per lead
- Facebook ads are much more highly targeted – “laser focused” as Valerie says
- Google ads require more research to get right
- Facebook gives you the opportunity to build relationships
An important difference between the two platforms is that with Google you can only target for keywords. This means you have to be very good at getting the right buying keywords (meaning more spent on research) or you’ll waste a lot of money. And even when you get them right there are so many people bidding that it’s still expensive.
Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to “laser focus” on very specific groups or audiences. It’s even possible to create “custom audiences”, which are audiences created from specific groups or pages on Facebook or from email lists. And although Facebook ads are getting more expensive as more people begin to use them they are still much cheaper than Google.
Facebook, because it is social, is also much better for nurturing relationships with new prospects who come into your marketing funnel through Facebook ads – something else that Google PPC ads don’t offer.
Valerie’s story of struggle
When she launched her business Valerie thought that since she had so many skills she would “do it all” – not just all the different social media platforms, but website building, sales pages, autoresponder set up, and so on. This approach was reflected in the company name: Meta Social Media.
The problem was no-one knew what she did – it was too confusing. And because it was difficult for people to explain what Valerie did they would say things like “Oh, I know Valerie, she does something online.” Because this was so vague not only were people not going to Valerie in the first place she wasn’t getting referrals. To add insult to injury, a lot of people couldn’t even remember the company name!
Meanwhile, for Valerie, her day-to-day business life was one of confusion in which she bounced from one type of activity to another. She felt like she was “being stretched thin” and was not able to “go deep” and become the expert in any one area.
A “tremendous transformation”
Valerie’s business coach Nick Unsworth (eventually) persuaded Valerie to pick the one area she enjoyed the most and focus on that. Valerie picked Facebook and the result was a “tremendous transformation”. Valerie was quickly able to become a true expert on Facebook marketing and Facebook ads.
In terms of her personal brand, everyone started equating Valerie with Facebook marketing and Facebook ads. Suddenly people knew what she stood for leading to more business and more referrals.
Now Valerie is the “Facebook ads expert” and she describes niching down this way as one of the best things she’s ever done. This is despite being scared to do it for a long time because she didn’t want to “leave out” the many other things that she could do.
The important lesson here is that just because you can do something it doesn’t mean you should!
If you offer too many things people 1) will struggle to remember or explain what you do, and 2) will never see you as an expert – you will always be seen as a “jack of all trades”. By focusing down you eliminate these problems and not only does it become easier to get clients, but you can charge more for your services. This is a key element to successfully positioning yourself.
Something Valerie sees a lot of people do when they run ad campaigns is to make a similar mistake and “try to appeal to everyone” instead of niching down. The result is that they end up appealing to no one and so either lose money or have mediocre results.
The importance of congruency
It’s critical for all the elements of your campaign to be congruent – the ad, the landing page and the webinar or sales page. For maximum effect each campaign should focus on a particular target audience and the branding, messaging and “look and feel” should be consistent at each stage of the process. This may mean you need to run multiple campaigns – one for each demographic you are trying to attract. The more you understand your target groups the better you will be able to use language that resonates with them.
Living the lifestyle
Valerie came from a corporate background where everything was dictated by her employer. Today she is passionate about the opportunities that technology makes possible – allowing us to create time freedom, financial freedom and flexibility and at the same time really make a difference in people’s lives. Valerie doesn’t take on that many clients any more, but when she does those clients must 1) be people who Valerie likes, and 2) be doing something that aligns with her values.
For a long time Valerie was missing “the confidence piece.” To put it another way she felt “why would people look to me?” For the past year this is something Valerie has worked hard on – both on the mental, physical and health elements. This holistic approach has “skyrocketed” Valerie’s confidence. As she puts it “I don’t know how else to explain it other than I am a totally different person than I was 12 months ago.”
I strongly believe that “inner game” is even more important than “outer game”. You can have all the tools (knowledge) in the world and still not be successful if you don’t have the confidence to push forward and make things happen (being in business can be tough!). On the other hand, if you get your mindset right you’ll find ways to overcome whatever obstacles you meet. Valerie’s story is a great example of how taking a holistic approach can improve your confidence.
An added bonus is as you become more confident people will pick up on that confidence and be much more inclined to listen to you. In other words, the more confident you are the more of a leader you become – setting up a positive feedback loop.
The 3 components of a Facebook ad campaign:
(To hear Valerie give the complete explanation of how to set your campaign up the right way go to 22’42”)
- Your offer
- Your landing page
- Your Facebook ad
These are the 3 main components of a Facebook ad campaign. If any one of those parts is off or not congruent your conversion will suffer. For this reason, Valerie likes to start with the offer itself and get that right first. Then she works backwards finishing with the ad.
When creating your offer ask yourself what the offer is, what problem it’s going to solve and who the target audience is. As you do this always keep your target audience in mind and ask “what’s in it for them?”
When creating your ad remember that images are critical – if you can pick an image that will convey the right emotions your campaign will be much more successful.
Mobile vs. desktop ads
If you don’t specify then Facebook will send you ads to both mobile and desktop, however, there can be huge differences between how well the two convert. Unfortunately, there is no set rule as to which will work best so the only way to know for sure is to track.
(For the complete explanation of what tracking pixels are, why they’re so important and how to use them go to 31’37”)
To track properly you must be clear on your goals – for example, is your campaign about list building or is your priority sales made on a webinar? Once you’re clear on this you can use tracking pixels to see which traffic is converting best and what ROI it is giving you.
BTW, adding tracking pixels may sound complicated, but it you can copy and paste you can do this! (And it will transform the success of your Facebook ad campaigns.) Valerie explains how and where you need to put them when setting up your campaign. LeadPages (affiliate link) which both Valerie and I use even has a little box where you can just paste in the code – super easy!
Wow! – Getting a 1,250% ROI for John Lee Dumas and a 500% ROI for Nick Unsworth!!!
(Starts at 38’30”) Valerie ran John’s Facebook ads when he launched Podcasters’ Paradise. For $1,600 in ad spend spread over two webinars Valerie helped John generate 27 sales of a $997 product. Of those 27 sales 20 could definitely be tracked back to the Facebook ad spend.
Who wouldn’t spend $1,600 to make $20,000 back?!
Valerie runs the Facebook ads for Nick Unsworth host of the “Life on Fire” video podcast. Recently, with a $5,000 ad spend they were able to close 25 sales (every one of the available places) of a $997 training.
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