Episode 113: Molly Pittman reveals her secrets to being a successful media buyer

Key Highlights: [00:01:47] How Molly got started learning ads as

Jody Milward

Key Highlights:

[00:01:47] How Molly got started learning ads as an intern at Digital Marketer

[00:03:23] Making the transition from 9-5 to freelancer to agency owner

[00:07:00] Are e-comm & info products really so different?

[00:10:07] Why your skillset as an ad manager’s is one of the most valuable skills to have

[00:13:26] What Molly’s agency uses to qualify the right clients

[00:29:10] Advice on how to protect boundaries and prevent burnout

Jody: [00:00:00] Hello everybody. Welcome to this episode of Online Confidential, where we really are going behind the scenes of ‘Secret Ad Manager’ business with our special guest today, Molly Pittman. Molly, welcome to the show!

Molly: Hey, Jody. Thanks for having me, dear. Excited to be here. Hi, to all you ads managers out there.

Jody: Yes, thank you so much. I know it’s been a juggle to get you on. You’re in your part of the world with all the dogs, and here I am, the sun’s just coming up on this [00:00:30] side of the world. Super excited to dive into all these things that are really relevant to us as ad managers and some things that we actually need to talk about a bit more often.

So before we kick into things. Give us a quick update and look back on everything about your journey, where you started out and where you are today.

Molly: So I never meant to get into all of this. It was not a goal and I never really wanted to be a marketer per se. And, hey, here we are, and I couldn’t be [00:01:00] happier and more grateful.

So, first lesson is let stuff happen in your life. It could turn out greater than you could have ever imagined. But about 11 years ago now, I grew up in Kentucky and I moved to Austin, Texas and took an internship that I found on Craigslist that was with a company called Digital Marketer which a lot of you guys have heard of, and I got that internship.

They hired I think, 12 interns at the time. They put us through this really [00:01:30] cool process over months where we got to learn, but they were also testing us. They would have us come up with fictitious business plans and marketing plans and present it back to the company and just really looking for new talent.

And I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the interns that received a full-time job. But I still didn’t really have a skillset at that point. So I first started learning organic social when, my dog is saying hi, when Facebook organic, not knocking organic, but [00:02:00] when it was even more powerful than it is today.

And that really got me in the platform. That got me excited about marketing, excited about Facebook, which quickly led to ads, wanting to spend money. And I remember going to my boss at the time, Ryan Deiss, and I said, ‘Hey, I think I want to get into Facebook ads management.’ And he said, ‘Great!’ The media Meyer had just left the company.

He said, here are access to a few courses, and here’s my Amex. Promise me you’ll do good with this [00:02:30] information and come back to me with more money than you spent, and he giggled about that. But, it did give me a goal to go after and that’s really where all this started.

I ran my first ads. They did okay. I think I did make a little bit of the money back. And from there, that’s really been been my thing. So I became the VP of Marketing at Digital Marketer, which also gave me more of a lens on how does marketing work in general? Not just the front end [00:03:00] acquisition part of the business, but the backend, the email, the promotions, the offers, everything that really makes up success.

I had a blast working there. I was so lucky to work with just amazingly smart people that I learned from every day. I also reached that point that a lot of us reach where I wanted freedom. I wanted to do my own thing. I had acquired this skillset that no one could take away from me, and that I could go apply in any way that I wanted out into the world.

[00:03:30] The first iteration of that was, I want to travel, I want to have fun. I don’t want to be in an office. So I just managed accounts for a few people. I did some consulting, but it was very much Molly, the freelancer. One person team doing my thing. I immediately desired more than that. I missed working with a team and my friend Ezra Firestone at the time, he said, ‘Molly, come up to New York and and visit.’

So I went up to visit and we conceptualized the first training [00:04:00] program that we ever put out together, which is Train My Traffic Person. And from there he and I really partnered and started working closer together on, which is a business that I’m part owner of now and that I’m the CEO of, and we’re an information training business agency.

We are here to help businesses with everything when it comes to digital marketing. So it’s been really fun to go from, Molly is the intern. Molly is the team [00:04:30] leader. Okay, now Molly is a freelancer doing my own thing. Okay, now I’m back to getting to lead a team, getting to be a part of something greater.

But something that, I have ownership in. Jody, there’s so many details and this whole episode could be about this crazy journey, but those are the high points.

Jody: Awesome. And what I love from that is that you started off with Digital Marketer as an intern and then it was like, ‘Hey, I’d like to do paid traffic.’

And I [00:05:00] mean, for people who are currently in jobs, that could be somewhere where they could start, they could approach whoever their boss is and say, ‘look, if we’re not doing ads, or I’d like to have a go at ads, and you can earn and learn while you’re running Facebook ads.

People can go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars going to college, and there’s no guarantee of anything at the end, and you’ve got to do all this training. Facebook ads, you can dive in and that’s where I say to guys, ‘you’ve got to be transparent and honest that you are starting out and you’re not just charging $2,000 and then you go, what do I do? What’s a [00:05:30] pixel?’

You’re starting out and then you get the results, you get experience, and then you scale up. So I love that freedom that it opens up. Now the freelancer journey there, because a lot of our guys are at that stage. Maybe that’s as far as they want to go.  They don’t want to have a team. They just want it to be them.

How did you find it then going from this team where you might say, do the copy, do this, do all these other things. You had those people, but then it was all you, and there wasn’t someone to look after the ads on weekends or when you wanted a [00:06:00] holiday. How did you find all that work?

Molly: It was tough. It wasn’t sustainable. It’s why I very quickly pivoted out of that model because I love working with people. To me, that is the beauty in all of this and to have other people to have your back. So, I think I would’ve completely burned out if I would’ve continued down that journey without any help.

So it was pretty short-lived for me, honestly, for the reasons that you mentioned.

Jody: Awesome. And we’re going to circle back to [00:06:30] that burnout one guys in just a sec, because that’s a big one. But you went from Digital Marketer where it was information publishing. You did the freelance stuff and then you’ve come over with Ezra, you’re at Boom! and Smart Marketer.

So there was information product and e-commerce. So as an ad manager, I haven’t driven into the world of e-commerce really at all. How have you found that transition? What niche do you think is best? What do you prefer?

Molly: That’s what was fun because Ezra comes from the e-commerce world.

I come from [00:07:00] the info world and that was always missing from one another’s content. I was great at teaching information, he was great at teaching e-commerce. So that’s a reason we partnered because it’s like, cool, we’re bringing both of these skill sets together. So I’ve learned a ton and just big picture from a media buyer standpoint, I would say that e-commerce is easier in the way that when you have a physical product, someone can understand that.

It’s like this is a pen. [00:07:30] This is a sparkling water. It is something you can hold and touch. So buying it over the internet, getting someone to buy a physical product is generally easier and can be done quicker without as much relationship building because you don’t have to paint that picture in such an elaborate way.

There’s trust there. If I don’t get this pen in the mail, I’m getting a refund. Information is a completely different game and I love that about e-comm. It makes a lot of things like offers [00:08:00] more simplified. A lot of what we’re doing in e-commerce is sending traffic directly to the product page to people who have never heard of us before and they’re buying, that doesn’t really exist as much in information.

Now with e-comm, there’s a lot more complexity. Inside of our e-commerce accounts. I would say there’s normally four to five times more in terms of the amount of campaigns, ad sets, creative, copy, just because you tend to have so many skus. There’s so much more [00:08:30] complexity to the business than you find in information.

I love e-commerce because it can be more direct response.  It’s easier to just say, ‘Hey, here’s this thing, do you want it?’ There’s also a lot more complexity, especially when it comes to things like profit margins, supply chain that we just don’t deal with as much in info. But to really look at it, [00:09:10] the biggest thing that surprised me Jody, is actually how similar they are.

People come to me and they say, oh, I don’t do e-comm, or I only do this, and I’m like, you’re probably doing 95% of what you would actually do on the other side. So that was the biggest surprise for me also was just how similar they are. And the businesses like our clients that are succeeding to the greatest capacity and scale right now, are mixing info and e-comm, and I think that’s a really sweet spot to be in right now, because you can utilize both strategies, both [00:09:30] business models to play off of one another.

So that’s my favorite right now.

Jody: Awesome. And I love that. And one of the things as I was thinking about that,  I’ve seen a few people do that. They have a product here, an information product, and then they’ll launch like a supplement brand or something like that if it was in the health niche for example.

But what I love with Facebook ads, and when you learn to help these businesses and you get traffic, it opens up a whole new world for you as well, because now you have this [00:10:00] skill to be able to go right, I can drive traffic, I can do these things to make sales, and it’s like, what’s another opportunity for me?

So here I am as a service provider running Facebook ads, but do I want to do an e-commerce store? Do I want to do something like this? And you know how to drive traffic too. It’s such a great thing.

Molly: I love that perspective, and that’s something we always need to keep in mind no matter what you’re doing.

If you’re in a job, if you’re a freelancer, if you’re building your own business, yes, you are having the experience that you’re having and you’re gaining the benefit from [00:10:30] whatever it is that you’re doing. But what you’re also doing is gaining the experience to do whatever you want in the future. That was something Russ Henneberry, a good friend and mentor, we worked at Digital Marketer together.

He always reminds me of that. He’s like, ‘Molly, don’t be so short-sighted. Remember that you are also just further developing a skillset and God knows what you’re going to do with it later’ and I’ve applied it in so many different ways. Like yesterday, I was helping a local Mexican restaurant here in a small town in Kentucky get [00:11:00] out there.

I use what I learn in marketing to grow and build a dog rescue, and not to mention all the different business types. So just always keep that in mind y’all.

Jody: Yeah, love it. And because I think a lot of us can sort of devalue the information that we have because we’re so used to it. I say it’s like being a chef.

If you’re a great chef, you can do this amazing souffle, and you think, oh, it’s easy. Everyone can do it. And that’s what we can think about when we learn to run Facebook ads. Oh, I’ve got nothing to say. It comes to a point where maybe it’s easy, I don’t know if it ever really is easy.

Molly: That’s [00:11:30] true. No, it’s never easy, I don’t think. So my boyfriend’s a chef, really quick, and he takes for granted that he can just open the fridge and make something happen because he is so used to that. We are the same way. The skillset we have is one of the most valuable on planet Earth.

And even if you’ve just done it a little bit, it is still so much more than the rest of the general population. So yeah. I love that.

Jody: [00:12:00] I love how you were just talking to the Mexican restaurant in your local neighborhood, and it’s like those kind of things that you could just impart, for any of us, a bit of our knowledge, it could help them to get more people in the door and build their business, and the impact that that makes for them. Their family and hiring more people.

Like one of my team members just got a new car and a new house and it’s like, this kind of thing is possible because you’ve built a business, you hired people and all that kind of thing.

[00:12:30] It is just such an amazing thing to be able to do, such a privilege.

Molly: The ripple of effect is so much more than making money.

Jody: Absolutely. Okay, so now to make that money, we’ve got to work with clients. Really the success I believe, of us as Facebook ad managers, comes down to, I think working with the right clients. Because when you’re not working with the right clients, it affects you in so many ways. It can affect your mindset, [00:13:00] you get stressed, you think you’re no good at running Facebook ads.

Whereas in fact, and you mentioned it quickly before and it was the backend stuff of the offers and all those kinds of things. [00:13:26] So what do you use as a bit of a qualifying process to identify right clients to work with?

Molly: Great question, and this is something we are getting better at every day. This is also an experience play.

So for example, every Monday, I ask the team that I work with, ‘the clients that are going really [00:13:30] well right now. What do they all have in common?’ Let’s identify that because we want to add those data points to our list when we are looking for clients.

What are the clients that don’t work so well with us? What do they have in common? How can we avoid that? Or how can we tell people that they’re simply not ready?

So for us, it’s of course we ask the general questions when someone applies. What’s your revenue? What’s your ad spend? What channels are you using? For us, we are [00:14:00] mostly looking for someone that’s already gotten to a level of scale that identifies to us that they really have their stuff together.

The offers, the backend, because we aren’t really in a place to take someone who’s never run ads before in their business and just see if it works, and some of you are, and that’s totally fine. It’s, it’s okay to be the person that is of service to someone that’s just starting out. But for us, we know, okay, there’s got to be a level of spend that’s happening that shows us [00:14:30] statistical significance essentially, to say this business has enough going on, that it is worth us investing our time.

[00:14:53] Because that’s the thing about service work is that you have something to lose too. You’ll always learn, but you do have something to lose, and that is the opportunity cost of taking the effort that you are putting forth and putting that towards a business that could be a better fit. So it’s hard to say no, but that is one of my favorite things to do right now because I know that I am preventing us from not wasting our time, but I know there’s someone else that we could better serve.

And for us, again, it really goes back to what does their business look like right now? Do they have enough products to sell? If you only have one product to sell we’re not going to be super useful. Our goal is to acquire as many customers as we can for you at break even. So you can sell them other stuff.

If you only have one product the economics of that are are tough. And along the same lines, [00:15:30] if you don’t have the promotions, the email flows, the follow up that is needed to make sure you’re constantly increasing that customer lifetime value the work that we do is just not going to be as valuable. So that’s the first thing that I think of.

And then of course there are other sub items, like, do I like this person? Do I trust this person? Is their energy warm and welcoming? The last thing I want is to bring on the coolest business in the world and then you’re working with a bunch of jerks. Then your team’s [00:16:00] upset and you aren’t happy.

So I mean, of course, one of the first things we’re always reading is, would I actually enjoy working with this person? And then another thing for us, does this person understand the industry enough to give us the benefit of the doubt so that they don’t get in their own way? Which is something I see big time.

So, a good example of this might be a client freaking out. ‘Yesterday the numbers were so bad! Oh my goodness. We need to turn it all off. I’m [00:16:30] panicking.’ But a more experienced person would know that’s how this works. We need to look at this in a week’s worth of data, two weeks worth of data.

So I’m also looking for a business experience in a way that will allow someone to see the bigger picture of what we’re doing and not hit that panic button, which again, is no fun for myself or the team.

Jody: Love that, Molly. Like you said, it’s that experience and we know it’s a rollercoaster thing.

It’s a great one day, not so great the next [00:17:00] day, and we need sort of ride it out. And that’s where working with someone who’s inexperienced or don’t have those correct expectations set up where it’s suddenly like, okay, I’ve got a new Amex, I’ve got this much, and I need to get results straight away. It’s not realistic and it’s a lot of pressure on you, a lot of pressure on them, and it generally does not work very well.

So having that experience, knowing that this is how long it takes, yes, we need to invest in getting the data back.

Molly: I think there’s opportunity for you all there too, [00:17:30] where it doesn’t mean that we say we can’t serve you, it just means that we might try to sell them coaching.

Jody: Exactly.

Molly: So that we can help them get that undone. Or maybe we sell them a course, I still want to serve them, and those are other ways for us to build on the journey. Look, what’s interesting when I think about what I’ve done is actually built the front end first.

The information, the coaching, the mentorships, the mastermind. Then we put the agency on the back end. So we had this whole journey of people that had learned, that [00:18:00] were stuck, went, learned, figured it out, and now they’re like, okay, I’m here, I’m ready to hand this over. So just remember, it doesn’t mean that you don’t serve those people, those people are just at a different step in the journey.

Jody: A hundred percent. That’s right. And that’s where I say you’ve got to get on two calls. First of all, you’re just going to talk to them and see where they’re at. And then you’re going to gauge pretty quick, are they ready for done-for-you?

No, so what can you offer them instead? A set up service, that coaching, a VIP day, whatever it is, there is [00:18:30] something else that you can offer them, rather than saying, well, you don’t fit for my done-for-you services. See you later. So don’t just think, oh, it’s done-for-you and I need to sign them up. And because there’s also that fear mentality of I don’t know where the next client’s coming from, so I need to sign them up.

That’s just going to be stressful. So offer them something that’s appropriate that you really can support and help them with and then like you say ascension. Once they’re getting these winning results they’re going to go, ‘Great, can you run them now?’

Molly: And a lot of those people will come back. You might not realize that, but people come back to me 7, 8, 9 years later [00:19:00] now, ‘Hey Molly, I learned from you a while ago. Look what I’ve done. I’m ready for this’.

So just remember, there’s a tail on a lot of this. It’s not so as day-to-day as we think.

Jody: Exactly. And when it comes to working with clients, like you mentioned it earlier, getting that first customer in at about, self-liquidating or about covering costs, because that’s again, where a lot of people who are maybe newer in business would come to an [00:19:30] ad manager, and possibly an ad manager who’s newer in business as well and doesn’t really understand that when they do just have one offer and it’s like a $37 or $497 or something like that, and there’s nothing else here on the back end, then that again is going to be a real struggle bus for us. Because there’s that expectation and those SLOs that were crazy during COVID times.

They did really well, all amazing. And then, we’ve balanced out [00:20:00] a bit. So they certainly can still be profitable, but like it is an SLO, a self-liquidating offer. So I love that you touched on that. If there’s one product and they don’t have these other things, then there needs to be other things to increase that lifetime value.

Molly: And I think it’s even deeper. I don’t even mean that you have to have all of these different products, but I think really what I meant too is you have to know your numbers. And I think that’s what sets us apart as an agency. One of the first things we knew is [00:20:30] we’re going to be really strong in data because most of these people, number one, don’t understand their numbers.

Their numbers are wrong or they’re inaccurate and they’re looking at the wrong stuff. So the first thing that we do is clean all of that up and we say, ‘Hey, did you know that a customer is worth X, Y, Z at month 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6?’ We’re not even talking lifetime value. We call it customer velocity because lifetime hasn’t happened yet.

That’s an unfair number. [00:21:00] So then we are able to have a discussion of, first off, you thought your CPA was this and it’s actually this. Secondly, here is how much money you make over time. What would you like your investment to be? Now that completely reframes, right. Now they’re willing to go three months before they realize the revenue because they would rather have the market share.

So I think a lot of it too is making sure, and if that’s not you, that’s fine. For me, this is my business partner, John [00:21:30] Grimshaw, that’s just so good with the data side. But if they can understand that part of it, then you’re golden. Now you’re helping them make huge strategic decisions in their business that are way more than media buying.

Jody: Fantastic. And that’s really what I find a lot of ad managers end up doing. Or is expected of them, is becoming a business coach and bringing all these other sort of things. They’ll come to us going, I’ve got this product I want to run ads, I’ve got a webinar I’m launching in two weeks.

All these kind of things. [00:22:00] But then like you say, it’s going in looking at these numbers, let’s have this big picture of things. And that really helps educate your client as well to go, oh, okay, and set some realistic expectations.

Molly: Yeah. Media buyers are never just media buyers. We can’t be, I mean, we can’t be.

That’s why I quickly ascended to more of a holistic marketing role. It is also the best way to learn the rest of it, because if you understand how they’re coming in, it’s easy to piece the rest of it together. So I love that you pointed that out because we’re [00:22:30] always more than media buyers. There’s always strategy involved.

Jody: That’s right, a hundred percent. Now that we’ve signed up these clients what happens if something, if someone slipped through, they’re perhaps not an ideal client, or campaigns just aren’t working despite everything that you’ve been trying to do. So tell me about that, the struggles or the things you go through with that, like both as a practical aspect of running ads and then also mindset.

Molly: Of course. I mean, the first thing is just overcommunicating, so it should never be [00:23:00] a surprise with a client. If they’re unhappy or if you’re not meeting the goals. Every Friday we send out a report and we know if we’re hitting the goals or not. Now the steps to fix that are what really matters and it’s about dissecting. I mean, look, most of what we do ad-wise doesn’t work.

The best thing you can be as a media buyer is someone that can get back up and keep trying. It doesn’t mean that the work you did was invaluable. It’s about taking what you learned from what just happened [00:23:30] and taking the next step.

I was on with a bunch of students earlier today, and I have a student that sells these really cool almonds. And he submitted this campaign to me. It wasn’t working. There weren’t good conversions, but his click through rate was amazing. His cost per click was really good. He was just having some issues on the page.

So he came to the call with like, ‘this isn’t working! Oh my goodness.’ And what you have to do first is remove yourself from the emotions of being a media buyer. It’s just not going to get you very far. You’re [00:24:00] going to fail. And if you feel bad about it that is a hurdle that will need to be jumped over.

Jody: Love it.

Molly: Because you’re wasting energy, having that emotional reaction when you could just be figuring out how the heck to fix it. And it does take time and I still struggle with that. But with him, it was, okay, buddy, this is not a wash. This is us taking apart, the campaign is a ball, it’s a box right now. We’re opening it up, we’re looking inside, we’re figuring out which pieces of it [00:24:30] are not working. So we can come up with ways to fix it.

I know I make it sound easy, but that’s the process every time. It’s either, this is doing really well, I want it to do better is the same processes for this isn’t working, I want it to do better. It’s okay.

How is each piece performing? Where is the hole? Or where are all the holes that need to be plugged? And it usually goes back to the offer. That is a misconception that most [00:25:00] people have, is that they need to fix their ads. If you’re hitting very simple benchmarks with your ads, it’s usually the offer, and or the page, or the way that it is set up, or the way that it is positioned, that’s actually your issue.

And for us, I would much rather work on bumping the page conversion rate up than fooling an ads manager. We just had a client spending $30,000 to $40,000 a day to this one page, this one offer. Instead of going into [00:25:30] that page and tweaking and running split tests on that page, we just built a completely different page.

It sold the same product, but in a completely different way. Could not be a different style page, Jody.

Jody: Wow.

Molly: If we would’ve just tweaked on that original page, maybe we would’ve done 3%, 5%, 10% better, which is all good, but I’m trying to pull big levers here. The new page converts 30% better than the old page!

So now we were able to scale from $20,000  [00:26:00] to $30,000 a day to $50,000 a day because our CPA dropped by 30% overnight because the page converted so much better. We didn’t have to change much with the ads, but of the budget. So just remember the power of the offer in the page and a lot of the optimization, because you can control that.

You can’t control as much of what’s going on in ads manager.

Jody: And we’re working with that third party. While we do our [00:26:30] targeting and everything like that, who knows who Facebook is actually going to be serving it to? So we’ve got to get it all dialed in as much as we can. And then, like you said, change what we can.

So, I love that you’ve pointed that out, because again, so many ad managers are going, oh, it’s not working. The ads aren’t working. Whereas it is something else, and I love that you did that. Let’s just do another page rather than going to a tweak, let’s change the button color to this and all that kind of stuff.

I love that. And spending $30,000 to $40,000 a day, I mean, [00:27:00] when you got started as an intern, it was probably like, well, that’s my whole income for the year. So did you ever think that you would be here spending, and that’s just one account, spending $30,000 or $40,000 a day. If you talk to people who aren’t in this industry, they go ‘What?!’

Molly: Yeah. I think with all of our clients we’re like a little over $150,000 a day right now, and I don’t manage all of that. We have an amazing team of people that are way better at this than I am, but no, I never imagined it. And it [00:27:30] feels comfortable now, but yeah, hat was not even in my ether.

Jody: This is crazy numbers, but it’s like this is the opportunity. And so when you did your internship, just to step back in, did you have a marketing background at all?

Molly: I knew I liked business. I was the kid that was setting up the lemonade stand and I’ve always just been really competitive and wanted independence and wanted to be able to have that freedom. So I think that’s really where the drive comes [00:28:00] from, and I think that marketing and online business is just the current application of that. It’s just kind of what I fell into with that sort of drive or underlying need and desire that I had.

Jody: Awesome. I think that’s a thing a lot of us all feel that as well. It’s like walking to the beat of our own drum.

Molly: Yeah. But no, I didn’t ever think I would be in marketing or online marketing specifically. I just knew that I wanted to do something where I wasn’t in a box. I knew I was [00:28:30] not a a nine to fiver.

Jody: Same.

Molly: I was free spirit.

Jody: Exactly. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Now let’s quick talk about mindset and burnout. So you’re working with these clients, even when campaigns are going good, you can just feel like, oh man, I’m just chained to the the computer. I’ve always got to be checking on these things.

Or when things aren’t going well and you’ve got clients coming at you. And you’re going, oh, I’ve got to fend them off, and protecting your mindset [00:29:00] and also then feeling like, I think a lot of us as service providers and freelancers really wear our hearts on our sleeves and we really want to get the best results we can for our clients.

So we will work, till midnight to 1:00 AM. I’ll see in our Slack channel for our ad managers, someone in Florida messaging me and I’m going it’s 1:00 AM there. Why are you up?!

So, let’s talk mindset. What do you do? How do you protect boundaries? Prevent burnout?

Molly: Oh, it’s hard. Jody, I found a [00:29:30] study that this is one of the most stressful jobs in the world, like above, even being a brain surgeon.

And I think it’s for reasons that all of us know. It never turns off, you are spending other people’s money, which is inherently scary and can come with a lot of responsibility. And especially with client work, the work you did three months ago is not always remembered.

The client’s always wanting better, better, better. Win, win, win. [00:30:00] There isn’t a lot of just being okay with how it is, and so that can be very tiring. So the first thing is just acceptance. We had a workshop last week internally that Ezra led and it’s about work-life balance. And of course he talked about other topics and boundaries and things of how to structure your life to feel good.

But the main thing was accepting that you were going to drop the ball. And I think that’s a such a cool thing to accept that you are never going to be able [00:30:30] to do everything that you want to do for a client’s account, and that’s okay. And once you accept that, then you can start to prioritize other things.

We know we’re not going to be perfect, and not that we want to screw up. But specifically, our senior media buyer, Dennis asked, he said, ‘how do I get more freedom?’

And Ezra said, ‘being okay, dropping the ball, working on what you know is the highest priority within the timeframe that you have given, within the box that you have given.[00:31:00] And after that is over, being okay knowing that you did the best that you did and that you can move on to the rest of your day.’

I think it sounds simple, but that’s key. If you can tell yourself it’s okay because I don’t need to teach you guys time blocking or prioritization, it’s not really about that.

Those skills, that information is out there, it’s truly about you believing that it is okay. Because if you don’t then it doesn’t matter whether you’re in front of the computer or not, [00:31:30] your mind will still be solving the problem, even if it is subconscious.

So it seems simple, but Jody, that’s the biggest thing that has helped me, is just surrendering it, being okay, telling myself, I did the best job that I can be, and now I’m going into another part of my day, or my week or my month. It makes a big difference.

Jody: I was also just thinking of how we were talking earlier about opportunity costs as well. If you [00:32:00] don’t have those boundaries, if you aren’t saying, I’m just doing as much as I can in this, and you quickly mentioned there, time allocated, because otherwise if things aren’t working well, or regardless, we could just end up, because our computers often are at home, and we’ll just spend all this time, and then what’s that opportunity cost of not actually going out with the family and recharging and being reinvigorated and energized, turning your brain off, or working with a different client.

Molly: Exactly, your health, [00:32:30] and a lot of imposter syndrome comes from you because you don’t actually feel good because you’re not doing what we’re talking about.

So you don’t even feel worthy of the success that you’ve been grinding so hard for. How sad is that? That happens to all of us. Work will take up the room that you give it. You could work 24 hours a day, all day, every day. There is that many possibilities of what could be done in the world that we do, but you choose not to, and that is [00:33:00] your choice and the biggest promise you need to keep to yourself.

Or the rest of the things we just listed. Your relationships, everything else outside of work will just not feel as good as it could. And why are we doing it if we don’t have those things?

Jody: And like you were saying we want that freedom and we want that independence but we end up being chained to the computer and our clients. So it’s gone in the complete opposite direction. We can create our own destiny here. We can create our own business, [00:33:30] it is our business. So we’ve got to, no one else is going to define those boundaries for us, it takes discipline, that’s for sure.

I know my little four o’clock thing says exercise and I’ll just keep working. It takes discipline to walk away. Detach. Refresh, fill your tank and come back recharged with things.

Molly: I was going to say, this cannot be the only thing in your life that is fulfilling to you [00:34:00] outside of your family of course.

Something that’s helped me is, I have a dog rescue and so I get fulfillment out of that. That I simply couldn’t get from buying ads or anything to do with business. And that really helps because it gives more meaning in my life. Because remember, even if you are away from the computer, if your mind is still on work, you’re still cheating yourself.

You’re still not where you should be, which is present in the moment that is in front of you. [00:34:30] So it is your job to find other things in life that are fulfilling to you, that will captivate your mind in the way that marketing does, and I think filling your time with those types of activities are really helpful.

Jody: Love that. Love that. I’ve had to go on a bit of a journey. I remember at one time I was like, okay, what’s a hobby? I don’t even have a hobby. It was all just work, work, work, work. Whereas now I’ve got a nice sports car and it’s [00:35:00] like, it’s a fun little outlet. And it’s renewed interest in doing things like let’s go out, and let’s go to a car show, or things like that.

So it’s been great. Otherwise it was floristry. You can see them here. They smell amazing. It’s like walking into a florist and it’s like, I would love to do some flowers, but unfortunately there were no floristry courses in my little part of the world. But finding something, having that outlet, like you say.

Absolutely love seeing your Instagram with the doggoes running around.

Jody: I go ‘oh it’s so amazing’. It’s like, maybe I could do a cat sanctuary or [00:35:30] something.

Molly: You should, and look, it just gives more value. Eventually, this stuff is empty. How much money can you make? Not that there aren’t other benefits to business that we talked about, but to just know you’re impacting in a way that is not monetary feels really nice and that has nothing to do with business.

Business could go away and I would still be fulfilled. I think there’s also something to do with your hands, like you said with the florist. I find that the happiest online business people also have a hobby or something they do with their hands.[00:36:00]

That’s what I love about the dogs. Cleaning up poop. And it sounds miserable, but it’s actually really fulfilling because we’re supposed to do stuff with our hands. We’re supposed to clean, we’re supposed to build, we’re supposed to make and touch things, and that’s something we miss on the computer.

We just don’t have the same fulfillment. Whether it’s flowers or dogs or woodworking or whatever it is, something you can touch. I highly recommend [00:36:30] that.

Jody: Awesome. Love that. So Molly, just as we wrap up, what tips would you give to our freelancing ad manager friends out there that are maybe either just starting out, or they’ve been in the trenches for a while, maybe their boundaries have been a bit skewed.

What’s your best tips for them? I know there’s a piece of string there for you.

Molly: All good. I’ve got two. The first one being, remember why you’re doing this. The most important thing you can protect is the time outside of work. And number two, [00:37:00] marketing will always be so much more about psychology and empathy and the understanding of other people than it ever will be anything tactical or button clicking.

So the media buyers that I see that get obsessed with the tactical side and the hacks and the this and the that. They don’t last because they cannot evolve past certain platforms, past certain offers. They don’t have that broad skillset that you really need to get something like this to work.

So remember that [00:37:30] marketing always goes back to people. All marketing is, is communicating why something might be of value to another person. So the more you can be present in your own life, love the people around you. Be good to people. Try to understand people. Those will always be the best marketers and marketers that are still marketing in 50 years and didn’t get washed away because they had an expertise in a certain platform that’s now gone.

Jody: Love it. Love it.[00:38:00] Great tips there. So Molly, well thank you so much for your time today. It’s absolutely flown by. I’ll let you get back to your doggoes. Is JB sensing that? ‘Ooh, come on. We’re about to video.’

Molly: I think he’s out of it right now. He has not sensed that this is wrapping up and I think that your voice was calming for him. So he’s taken a nap.

Yeah, y’all check me out on Instagram @mollypittmandigital. That’s where I’m most active. So you can see dogs, marketing, it’s a nice little mix. And of course, [00:38:30] We have a podcast that is all about these topics. And Jody, we actually just released an episode, I think it’s called What’s Working now with Facebook advertising, but it’s me and Dennis, the senior media buyer that I was telling you about, talking about burnout and how do you keep boundaries.

If you guys want to go further down that rabbit hole, that, that would be a good one to listen to.

Jody: Awesome. It certainly will. Because we need all the help we can get to protect our boundaries and stay healthy.

Molly: Just the reminders. Exactly.

Jody: [00:39:00] Exactly.

Molly: And one more thing. Remember y’all you have everything that you need inside of yourself.

When you look to external things like Jody’s podcast or my podcast, remember, this is just affirmations of stuff that you already know. You do not need to seek outside to be whole, so always keep that in mind. I think that’s a mistake I made earlier on. I thought everybody else had the answers, but I had the answers too and I could have discovered that a lot sooner. [00:39:30]

Jody: Oh man. We could go down a rabbit hole there, but for another time. For another time. Thank you so much, Molly. It has been such a pleasure. Thanks for sharing your insights over the years. It’s been so valuable for this community, and I certainly appreciate you, your time today, and your honesty and transparency in this crazy world of digital marketing.

So thank you everybody for being with us today. Thanks again, Molly. We’ll see you next time. Bye for now.


I love to share practical information to help you improve your skills, learn something new or help you avoid the mistakes that many Ad Managers and I have made to help fast-track you on your journey as a well-paid and in-demand Ad Manager.