Jody: [00:00:00] Hey guys, Welcome to this episode of Online Confidential, where we really are going to be going behind the scenes of Secret Ad Manager business because I have got the amazing Andrea Val here with us today. So welcome, Andrea.
Andrea: Thank you so much, Jody. It's awesome to be here. And it was just super fun to catch up with you too.
Jody: Andrea and I we're just having a great chat about ad manager stuff, which we are going to be bringing into this conversation. But I've just got to say, Andrea was one of those people that I first looked up to when I was coming online and I remember investing in five strategy sessions with her and going, ‘oh my gosh!’ but the time and the attention to detail that she took with me on those calls. Because I was working with some larger accounts and I just needed that extra confidence to go, ‘what have I got to look for here?’
Andrea was just wonderful in that. And then I also got to meet her soon after as I went to Social Media Marketing World.
Stalked her around everywhere [00:01:00] there, and she was just so pleasant . It was my first trip to the USA on my own, and I was like, ‘Oh’, Andrea is just absolutely a gem. So I'm so excited that she's here with us today, all the way from Boulder, Colorado.
So Andrea, I've already said welcome, but we'll dive into the questions so you’ve been running ads for some time. Is there a particular niche that you have focused in that you love to work with?
Andrea: Yeah, it's interesting because I usually say that I focus in people launching online courses, digital products, things like that. But I really have worked with all different types of businesses. You know, everything from realtors to mortgage industries, to brick and mortar local businesses, to events, to service based industries, all different types of industries.
I really feel like I should list them all, but I sometimes I go back through my old client list and I'm reminded of some of the weird [00:02:00] businesses I've been involved with as well. So you never know, but I always think that Facebook ads can work well for any type of industry.
It sometimes depends though on your expectations and how they're really working and how much testing you're allowing for that. So you know, I feel like they always work, but sometimes you just have to make sure we've got the right expectations on how things are going to go.
Jody: I love that you mentioned that straight off the bat, the expectations.
Because it seems like a lot of people, they could jump onto Facebook or they thought they could jump on and it's like, I'm going to get instant results. Right? Because the data is right there, and this is what they hear. They hear people say, I made $10,000 from $10 in ad spend. Right. There is a whole backstory with that, right?
They've probably got this huge organic following and they've just done some retargeting ads, right. So those expectations, and that's where I think as you were touching on there with a lot of those industries. Coming back to the [00:03:00] mindset of there'd be newspaper ads, there'd be billboards, there'd be tv, and there's radio.
What kind of results are people expecting with those campaigns? Are they expecting their phones to be off the hook straight away? Like with Facebook ads?
Andrea: Exactly. Exactly. And it's weird to me that sometimes people expect so much more from their Facebook ad campaign than any of their other marketing efforts that they're doing.
They could be spending big money on booths at a trade show or just general branding and all of a sudden Facebook has to be this like magic ATM machine that people will tell you about .
Jody: Yes, exactly. And while it can, we know that yes, for sure we've run those ads and that can work.
But it's also having that long term approach, right, and that expectation of if we get quick wins, that's awesome but working this for the long game, just like any other marketing strategy. Right,
Andrea: Right. Exactly.
Jody: So with regards to that [00:04:00] with clients, people come to you and say, ‘Hey Andrea, I'd love you to run my Facebook ads’.
What sort of pre-qualifiers do you have for someone to work with you?
Andrea: I like to see, it's very hard to launch something into a vacuum. So I like to see that you've got some results already. Definitely have a website that’s a good thing, you know, but you can do, you gave me a little sneak peek, we are going to talk about lead generation ads in a little bit, but you have to have a little bit of established metrics, is really helpful to let me know how you're converting with your warm clients. Like it could be maybe you've just have started out, but I want to hear that you've actually sold some of your products by offering them to potential clients.
And it could be right now you're just offering them at networking events or something like that, but they're selling. I want to know that you're definitely selling the product that you're [00:05:00] looking to sell, and if you do have any data on how something is converting digitally. That's wonderful.
It helps to have other things in place like an email list established and maybe some traffic to your site where you've maybe already had the pixel running. So we could do some things with that or maybe a little bit of a build of your Facebook page. But none of those things are totally necessary to running ads if you've got a really good offer and some established sales and established business.
That's really helpful.
Jody: Yeah, it absolutely is. And I mean, do you have a website? It's surprising how many people will come and they'll want their ads done, and it's like, well, okay, well.
Andrea: Yeah. It is shocking for sure.
Jody: So what are some definite red flags for you when it comes to someone coming to you wanting their ads run?
Andrea: I would [00:06:00] say a red flag for me personally is just the micro maintenance where people are trying to manage every step of the way. They've heard a few things out there and they're trying control what you are doing in your method, because obviously as you know you've got a solid method in place. You've got a way you do the testing, you've got a way you're setting things up and the strategy that you're using has been proven over years and years of working.
I'm always open to new things. I'm always open to hearing, ‘Oh, I hadn't seen that kind of image before’. We can definitely try that. But when people are just micro-managing and telling me how to set their campaigns up from hearsay that they've watched a YouTube video that was five years old or something like that. Then that's a big red flag.
I think also the opposite can be true. If they just are [00:07:00] completely hands off. You can't even hear from them. You're not even able to reach them with questions and feedback and things like that. I think that's a little bit nerve wracking as well, because it feels like you're making things up that point.
Let's see. Whatever. There's so many red flags. I think, after 13 years in business. Wow. I've got a book, that's my latest book coming out about red flags. Client Red Flags. No.
The nice thing is when you can work well with a client and find a good client, it's great because you've got this synergy and communication that's working well and when you're setting up expectations that you have for them, and making sure you understand the expectations they have for you, then it's just like a beautiful relationship.
I've had clients that I've worked with for, I think one of my oldest clients I've worked for is eight years. We were trying to calculate exactly, eight years of running her ad campaigns. And it's [00:08:00] really been, it's really fun. And I have a few others that are almost as long, but that's my longest.
Jody: That retention is great. That's what we want as ad managers, right? So we're not consistently having this churn. So obviously doing some good stuff there, Andrea . And while we're at it, I just did get distracted because I did see, and I didn't mention this to people and people may not know about the little yellow and black book there behind you.
Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies. Yeah, it's marketing for dummies. Andrea has written a book for dummies. So just tell us a bit about that. How did that all come to pass?
Andrea: That's kind of an interesting thing and I like to examine that for people who think that, especially people who think, ‘Oh, you've been doing this forever, you're an expert, you were born with this knowledge’, or whatever. But I started my blog just 13 years ago thinking that I was only going to do this little part-time gig and just [00:09:00] kind of blog about stuff. And what happened was I grew my brand. At that time it was Grandma Mary's Social media Edutainer.
And I just had fun making crazy videos about that and grew that following but also provided great content to the point where I got the book deal. I really am such a big believer that anyone can grow their business in a bigger way. And now I just launched a podcast and I'm doing things, I'm doing more ads with that and organic stuff, and you can just launch new things and grow new things. It's such a fun time of history. I think it's amazing.
Jody: It is amazing. And so let’s go there now, tell us about your podcast.
Andrea: So the podcast is called Late Starters Club and it's all about people who started something new in their forties, fifties, and beyond just [00:10:00] like I did. And we're going to talk about people who've started, and Jody's going to be on my podcast, and we're going to talk about people who've started new businesses, maybe acting or comedy or new exercise in competing in sports or you know, new careers.
I have a guy coming on who's got his PhD at 69. You know, it's just like, it's so, so exciting, so fun, and really, really fun to do.
Jody: And hear those stories and get inspired. I love it hearing when people have broken that status quo, at any point of life, right? So it's not just nine to five and they've had the courage to go, right, I want something more. And they're doing it, like that PhD at 69.
Andrea: And actually, another interesting story, I was thinking about this today too, is that we are all on a journey. The book I wrote with the Dummy's book was with Amy Porterfield and Phyllis Khare.
[00:11:00] Amy and I were starting at very similar times and she's amazing and has such a big audience and all that stuff. And I think it's important to remember that your journey is your journey and you don't have to compare yourself to anyone, or think that you're behind anyone or whatever.
You are doing exactly the right thing you need to be doing right now.
Jody: Absolutely. I remember I discovered Amy probably around that same time. I think she had about 60,000 followers and then there's Allie Brown and she also had about 60,000 followers.
And they've both gone on very sort of different parts. I don't know what Allie's followers are but I was listening to some of her podcasts recently where she sort of stopped what she was doing. She saw what was going on with social media and was re-evaluating, ‘do I want to do this?’
Do I want to do this crazy dancing, TikTok and videos and [00:12:00] reels and all that kind of thing and identified who she was going to serve. And that was her journey to go, ‘okay, not this path, but this path’.
Andrea: Right, Right.
Jody: So like you say, you've got to be true to yourself. And that's where I think a lot of us will have mentors or be in masterminds. Look at whose mastermind you're in or who it is that you are wanting to listen to and say, are they actually living the life that I want to live? Are they doing the hustle? Are they living in this way? And is this what I want for myself?
And detach from that and stay in your own lane.
Andrea: That is so true because sometimes these people who have this big following, you know, they're on all the time perhaps, not all of them for sure, but like you said, I think that's such an important message.
Jody: Because Amy, I think she talks about her team of 15, 16, whatever she's got. So while a lot of us will just [00:13:00] see here's just a podcast or here's just this, ‘oh, it looks so easy’. That's because she's got an amazing team and it comes back to us asking, ‘Well, do we want a team?’
As ad managers what's the lifestyle that we want to have as an ad manager? Do we want to grow an agency? Man, I've been sucked down that sort of trail, and it was like you have more going out than you have coming in, and it was more lucrative for you to be as a freelancer. But then how do you juggle being a freelancer and then having a week off.
Andrea: Yeah, I know.
Jody: So it's that struggle. Maybe just a couple of people on board to help you with the ads and you don't go on this big scaling thing, right? Scaling isn't all it's cracked up to be. Scaling can equal siphon to all your revenue going out the window.
It works for some people, not for others, but it comes back to what is it that you want for this business and lifestyle that you're creating.
Jody: One of the things that I'm loving seeing that you’re doing is you've been getting out there and enjoying life. Because a lot of us ad managers, we can [00:14:00] feel like we're just chained to our desk, right? You're out there, you're doing comedy shows and all sorts of stuff.
So tell us about that. How do you fit all that kind of thing in with what you do?
Andrea: This has been kind of the year of fun for me. I had the last two years working a lot and you know, there was nowhere to go. You know, just working . So this year, I have all that pent up travel energy and getting out energy and I took seven vacations and did all kinds of comedy. Went to perform in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and doing lots of shows.
So it's super fun and for me it is a little bit of a balance and just a little bit of trusting that you have the systems in place that you need and just making sure that you're checking the boxes that need to happen. And when you've got systems you can relax a little bit more. And I, [00:15:00] will say I don't have the best systems, but I do have systems.
I've got people on my team who are watching the campaigns and stuff like that. I'm a pretty lean operation. I don't have anyone full time. Everyone is a freelancer or a contract person with me and part-time and some are halftime. But it's nice that you can trust the systems and get out and have the lifestyle because for me, that's really important.
You've got to enjoy all of the work you've put in. You can't just be chained there all the time. And what I like too about this business is that I just went and got my haircut. Actually.
Jody: It does looks great. I was thinking the color, the straight edge.
Andrea: I know, I know. But I love that I can get my haircut in the middle of the day on a weekday, you know? Maybe that means I have to put in a little time this evening or whatever. It's very flexible. That's one thing I just absolutely [00:16:00] love about this business and what I think is also important is to get out and enjoy that.
So you aren't working like a 60 hour week or something like that. And I did, you know, in the beginning of the building phases, I've worked that in certain times of a push launch sequence or whatever. I might work a lot more, but it's important to take some downtime because it's a stressful job.
Jody: It is. That's right. And so that's where today I've got a bit more work to do after our recording, but my husband's got a couple of days off. It's his weekend off shift work and I worked over the weekend. It was like, yeah, I need a bit of brain space. So I’ll probably go to check out the new Julia Robertson, George Clooney movie.
Andrea: That's good. That looks great! Yeah.
Jody: So it's like giving yourself that permission as well. Okay, I can do this because we're doing this to create this business and lifestyle that we want. So we need to always keep that in mind, guard our boundaries, protect our energy and go out, enjoy whatever, and then come back and just do an [00:17:00] hour later on or whatever it may be, just to check in and get the work done.
Andrea: I find I’m more efficient then because otherwise the task fills the space allotted.
Jody: It does. A hundred percent. Awesome. That's been some great chat there. I really love that, the realities of it all. And like you say, it's having those systems in place, which can be challenging with various campaigns and the way Facebook changes and all that kind of stuff.
And again, as we were talking about earlier, talking about specific niches and having a niche or having your own system, that this is our system. It works, it's been proven. This is what we do for our clients and then you work with clients that work with that system, so that you can have those reliable processes that you and a team member can follow.
So, very lean and gives you that space, right? That mental energy.
Okay, back to the logistics of ads. [00:18:00] Let's talk lead forms. iOs came and ruined everything for us. Everyone's been running over and testing out lead forms and some of our ad managers are getting great results.
One of our ad managers, Josie, she's done this amazing training. Where she did Zapier for a live webinar. So she was able to go, ‘which live webinar do you want?’ There were three different events people could sign up for and she just did this magic with Zapier.
And she's got great results with it. But then others are like, these leads are rubbish and that typically was a previous expectation with lead formats. So are you using them? How are you using them?
Andrea: Yeah. So kind of an interesting thing is that I've had some clients using them for years and so we've been able to clear, and the kind of the cool thing about this one client I'll talk about in particular, is we've been able to compare the quality of the leads because he's a lawyer who we were running lead forms for a while, [00:19:00] but they were getting tons and tons of crap leads.
People were like, didn't know they filled it out, all this stuff, right. So the leads were cheap, but he was having to sift through just so many calls that were bad. So we switched to a website we actually had, because they couldn't do something on their own website very well. We switched to lead pages.
And so with lead pages we were getting way highercost 10x cost on the conversions. But the leads were way more qualified and we were able to give them more information right on that website. But just recently, within the last, like I would say, four to five months things have swapped a little bit and we're still getting super cheap leads but what he was also following up on is how many of those leads then lead to a booked case?
He was following it all the way through the path. [00:20:00]. And it was something coming to, it was pretty expensive to that booked case, but it was worth it to them because, they could then charge a lot of money for that.
The last few months we were getting lots more leads on leads form still, but the cost per booked case has gone down on those lead form leads. So that's been an interesting development.
I also have another client where we've been running lead forms for a long time and just recently they were really discovering that the lead forms were bad and so we switched to higher intent.
And with them, they were doing a Dance studio, but we were actually using the lead forms to sell packages. To sell introductory packages, and so we would give them an offer for a special offer. They would fill out the lead form. We would use Zapier to instantly zap the name, number and email address [00:21:00] to their text message so they could call them right away on the phone.
That's actually what the lawyer does as well. We switched from the lower cost high volume lead forms where people were accidentally filling out their information to the higher intent lead forms where people had to review their information before submitting it. Our lead cost essentially doubled but they were getting much higher quality and leading to booked, actually booked sessions.
So, you know, I think lead forms are really great for exploring different options. You can sell with a lead form. If you're offering something special, I think you're offering a special deal, then you can follow up with them really easily.
But I think that product needs to be at least a hundred dollars or more if you're going to sell something because what I'm seeing is higher intent lead forms can be around like $25, $30 and up [00:22:00] depending on what that is. So, you want to have a little more higher ticket thing to sell.
But I think it's worthwhile. They're good for list growth, but again, like you said, you want to make sure, I would say is consider the higher intent lead forms if you're looking for higher quality.
Jody: Yeah, I love that. I love that you switched over, it costs more per lead, but the conversion rates on the other side are coming through and like you said the key of it is to be able to have that manual follow up process, and the people are giving them a call straight away while they've just filled out the form. Because like you said, otherwise they're calling three hours, four hours, five hours later, the next day and then they go, ‘What? Who are you?’
Jody: Having that instant response is so important. Then also down at that bottom of the ad level where you can optimize for leads or conversions. Have you done much testing around with that?
Andrea: You mean like [00:23:00] when you are on the form at the bottom?
Jody: Not at the lead form part, but the ad set level right at the bottom you can optimize for leads.
Andrea: Oh, oh, I see what you're saying. Yeah, I haven't played around with that much, I don't know.
Jody: As long as what you're doing, you're seeing these results, you're getting the improvements, and then also, as we do all that testing, we're kind of limited by how much budget we have from our clients. If we've got this much budget and this is working well, we reckon with this and we'll optimize things this way with our copy and creative.
Andrea: Yeah. And sometimes what I've discovered is that with clients, if something's not working, the more you can play around with and test things and say, ‘you know what, I think this is working for another client. Let's try this’.
We're having something going on with a client who're running their Google ads for a speaker, and we're just trying some different things. We're testing targeting [00:24:00] specific cities only by themselves. And I think that's part of what an ad manager does too, is how can we get better and better results for the client and, and how are we coming up with new strategies?
And that's why it's so important to be connected in a group like yours where people just need to be exposed to some different methods that they can actually test that have worked and they can then test for their own clients.
Jody: Absolutely. And that's where I've said before, you can sit by yourself at this little computer, at your little desk, in your little part of the world, having other ad managers to talk to and learn what they're doing.
But again, like you said, it all comes back to the offer. If the offer is no good, no matter what strategy you might try, it's just not going to work. Let’s talk about retargeting then.
So you've had people that have come along, they've shown interest, they've been to the landing page, looked at [00:25:00] the lead form, haven't submitted, what strategies are you trying to overcome issues with it not feeding out?
Andrea: Retargeting is traditionally more often done at the bottom of the funnel, a sales page, whatever type of thing. But I also think it's important at that top of funnel space too, because, you know, those are going to be sometimes cheaper leads.
Not always, which is kind of interesting. But one thing we've been doing with one of my clients who does webinars is that we are retargeting people who go to the webinar page and bounce off and don't sign up. So we're using more familiar language there. We're like, ‘We still have a spot for you. We notice that you didn't sign up and we'd love to have you in this training. Come and join us’.
So making it super welcoming and more familiar I think is really helpful there.[00:26:00] If you're looking at more bottom of the funnel sales it can be let's segment a little and say, maybe these people have been in multiple programs with you and we're just saying, ‘you know how good this is and come and join us’.
But those kind of tactics only work when you have a big enough audience to draw from in order to do that. So you have to be funneling a lot of traffic to do a kind of abandoned cart ad or abandon webinar signup ad kind of thing. You have to have enough traffic to do that, first of all, and make sure you're not overspending on that.
But it can be a really effective. A lot of times I'm just doing all the retargeting in one bucket, because they're not big enough.
Jody: And that's where with deadline funnels, where there's that time when you got five days to do this, they're great. They give that element of urgency. But that audience just might be too hard to feed out. [00:27:00] So it’s okay, let's just have some collateral damage and instead of targeting just the people who visited the sales page, let's target everyone who registered. Or also, instead of just being a five day window, let's put it out to maybe a 14 day window.
Sure, there's 10 days that they're going to go. But hopefully we'll still be able to get out now to those people who are in that five day window. So it's the best we can do. And maybe looking at other strategies like we were just talking about with the lead forms. Like if they've got the opportunity, if they've got people's details to call them or something like that.
That's how you make that hand to hand battle.
Andrea: Yeah, exactly.
Jody: Awesome. Well, Andrea, I think we're at time for this episode. I know it's been so awesome. I loved digging into some Facebook ads and strategies and talking real ad manager stuff. But then also hearing about what you are doing with having your year of fun, which is amazing.
And doing new comedy, starting the new podcast, which is excellent. [00:28:00] So that's something that I think a lot of us ad managers are like, I’ve got to go and have a year of fun!
So where can people learn more about you?
Andrea: Yeah, they can come to my site, andreavahl.com. And I have lots of posts on there, although during the year of fun I did not blog much I'm just going to be honest there. But I also have my new podcast @latestartersclub.com and some really inspiring stories there about fantastic people.
Jody: Love it. I'll certainly be checking that out and I can't wait to be a guest. I'll be on there since I was a late starter. What am I, I'm 50 now and I started ads about 2014, eight years ago, so about 40, 42.
Jody: All that kind of stuff. Excellent. Well, Andrea, thank you so much. As always, it has been a pleasure.
Look forward to seeing you IRL sometime soon.
Andrea: Yes, you too, Jody. Thank you so much for having me.
Jody: My pleasure and thank you everybody for joining us today. Bye for now.[00:29:00]