Episode 23: I’m a “Bad” Ad Manager…how to Handle Your Inner Critic

If you’re running ads for clients and you’ve had that

Jody Milward

If you’re running ads for clients and you’ve had that thought, “Man, I’m a crappy ad manager,” then lean in because that’s what we’re talking about in our Online Confidential, where I take you behind the scenes of Secret Ad Manager business.

Now, if you’ve had that thought that “Man, I’m no good at running ads, I shouldn’t be charging people. I’m going to give up because they’re not getting results and I should refund them,” don’t worry because you’re not alone. Many, I would dare say that all, ad managers have had that thought at least once a day as they are running ads for clients. It can be a common thought because a lot of us can tie our worth into the results that we’re getting for our clients.

I just want to encourage you today to go beyond that, to see the value that you are bringing for your clients and also where your services fit into the whole scheme of their business. Now, if you have a client that is relying solely on Facebook ads for their business, I think that it is dangerous ground. It is well beyond your scope because that’s pretty much putting the whole responsibility of their business on your shoulders. This is where you need to be a very strong ad manager to identify that and say, “Well, my job is not to be the sole revenue generator for your business. You should also be incorporating other strategies that go beyond just Facebook, and start looking at organic marketing or other platforms, joint ventures, affiliates, etc.”

You and your client need to agree that it is very dangerous ground for any business to rely solely on one source for their lead generation or income-generating aspect of their business. So first of all, that would be very unfair to you. If it is the case, then it’s a matter of you doing the best that you can. And the best that you can do is to be getting traffic to their website. It’s up to them to really be involved with getting those conversions through.

Your role as an ad manager is to get the traffic through and provide the opportunity for sales, and then that looks like the top-of-funnel ads and bottom-of-funnel retargeting ads. Unless you have full control of the funnel where you have every step taken care of where you’re doing the optimization on the sales page, registration pages, and such, all you can do is look at the data from your ads. Things to look at: are people on the ads? What’s the click-through rate? What are the CPMs and the cost per click? Is this all in our KPIs?

Yes? Great! They’re getting to the registration page or the sales page, and then ask if the sales page is converting? Yes or no? We try different audiences so that we can get a good range of different audiences to see if certain audiences, certain ad copy, and certain images are converting higher than others.

If yes, focus on those more. But if despite various iterations of copy and creative and audiences, the conversion rate on the sales page or the landing page is not where it should be, then that’s where your client needs to step in and be able to work on increasing those conversion rates alongside you. It may be a matter of looking at the messaging, looking at the copy that’s in the ads, looking at the functionality, or looking at the user experience on the landing page.

So if it’s a webinar funnel where you’re getting leads in and there’s no people booking calls (meaning there’s no people purchasing the product/service), you need to ask: what’s the issue throughout the webinar? Are people watching the webinar or not? Are they dropping out?

Chances are, there’s an issue with the webinar.

How to run facebook ads for clients

What are the email sequences like? It’s not just on the ads. The email sequences also provide a very important part in bringing in additional sales. So what are the open rates? What’s the click-through rates? You must be aware and go back to your client to ask: what’s the numbers like here on the webinar? What’s the numbers like here on the emails? What are the numbers like for the sales page or conversion rates? Then it’s up to them to go and optimize other aspects of it.

If you’re working really hard on your ads and something is not working, despite everything that you’re doing, is it an issue with the offer? Has it been validated before? Has it gone out to warm audiences? And even if it has gone out to warm audiences, it’s going to have a very different conversion rate for warm audiences then it will with cold traffic. So educating your clients and making sure that they’re aware of that is a very important thing. For an ad manager, communication is actually a very important skill to have, and it doesn’t even really need to be a skill; it needs to just be something that is in your diary so that at the start of the week, you can reach out to your clients and give them an update. It can be as simple as “this is what we’re working on this week; this is what we worked on last week, and here are our next steps.” Regular reporting, being in touch with them, and letting them know important changes for anything you think is significant should be communicated.

Now, I do understand there can be times where things aren’t working so well and you just would like to go off and hide rather than talk to your client. This is where being an ad manager and putting our big girl panties on is really important because you need to have these conversations with clients because they so appreciate it.

Your ideal client will want to know what’s not working in the funnel, and they will appreciate you communicating with them because they don’t know how to run Facebook ads most of the time. There are times where you’ll have a client who’s been running the ads themselves and they’ve done quite well, but they’re tired and they’re exhausted and they want someone else to run it.

So even more so communication between yourself and your client in that case will be vital because it may be a bit tricky for them to get their hands off and to stop going in and looking at Ads Manager. So they might be coming to you with a lot of questions. You might be thinking, “Why don’t they just stay out of it?”

It’s actually a great thing. Communicate with them. If your ads aren’t working and their’s did, tap into what they did because they know their ideal audience. Make sure you communicate with them and get all of that info out of them. Run your ad copy past them. Ideally you would be doing that to get approval, but even ask them to provide some ad copy, go through their emails, get all the content that they’ve created, and communicate with them so that you can get the best results.

Just remember that results don’t define your worth. You have a great deal of experience. You have a great amount of expertise, and ads can be very challenging. It’s not just a simple matter of just sticking something up in a way. It goes day by day. Things are different on Facebook. We’ve got other advertisers who come into the bidding which can affect our costs. We’ve got the algorithms that are always changing. We’ve got the iOS updates, which is making it very different on the Facebook platform. So there are so many things that are all going on. All we can do is drive traffic to the offer that our client has and be promoting it and provide opportunities for people to click and to come back and purchase.

So if you really have to be working hard, if you’re trying all these iterations, then maybe it’s the offer that’s not working for you at this time. It’s important to know if it has been validated. If the sales pages aren’t converting, and you’d know that through what the data is telling you, then work on the sales pages.

If things haven’t been working, and if you really have been struggling and you feel like, “Oh, I haven’t got them results. I’m going to give them a refund.” Just stop right there. I am sure that if you’re having those kinds of thoughts, it tells me that you are a committed and honest ad manager with a basis on integrity because you are so driven and you want to get them results. You feel bad that they haven’t gotten results. And that’s why you feel like you want to give them a refund. You have been doing a lot of work, and chances are you’ve gone above and beyond whatever you would typically put in. So if you have done the work, I encourage you to just step back from any feelings of hitting that refund button on Stripe and refunding your client because you’ve gone above and beyond.

As long as you’ve done everything that you can do and you’ve tested, you’ve reiterated, you’ve been looking at the data, and you’ve been communicating with your clients, then that’s all you can do. Take the pressure off yourself to be the sole person responsible for generating the income in the business. Right?

I have a client who’s ad account actually got shut down and has been shut down for the last couple of months. It’s been quite a journey we’ve had to go through, and the client’s account just got caught up with all Facebook bots. It’s all silliness, and their personal profile and all the rest of it was flagged. We’ve had to go through, create new URLs, create new pages, and get on a different platform so that we’re all clean and we’re starting fresh.

They have had their biggest month ever because they have tapped into the leads that have already come through. And the owner of the business stepped up and was taking sales calls and driving the organic sales that had come through from all the leads that we have been previously generating.

So even without ads, they had a half-a-million dollar month because of the owner taking action and making things happen. And yes, it came because we had leads. We had been generating lots of leads for the business, but that’s the kind of thing that business owners need to be doing. Not just relying on Facebook ads and not just relying on you.

So congratulate yourself for all the great work that you do in helping business owners to increase their revenue, hire team members, change peoples lives, and for making an impact on all those people that come on board with them as clients. This includes that ripple effect that flows on from there, and you have such an essential role to so many peoples lives.

I just get such a buzz when I meet people who have joined a program that I was running the ads for; it’s pretty awesome. And when they’re loving the program and then they’re hiring people and they’re bringing in more of their own clients, it shows that it really is a ripple effect. It’s an amazing thing to be part of, but the sole responsibility is not on you. So give yourself a pat on the back for the great work that you do, keep communicating with your clients through all the highs and lows, and celebrate those highs.

When you get up on a Facebook wave and things are just converting and you’re crushing it, that’s awesome! That happens about 20% of the time.

The other 80% of the time is just going through finding what works and looking for that next 20%.

So celebrate all those wins! And remember when things are going roughly, it’s not a reflection of you as an ad manager.

If you’d like to know more about how to work with your clients, get better results and protect your mindset as an ad manager, head over to and learn more about our exclusive certification program for ad managers.


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.