Come on & tell me – where do you spend most of you time online?
If you’re like most of us, the answer is definitely Facebook.
So it only makes sense that if you want your small business to be seen by more people, then it’s time to get onboard with Facebook.
While I have low opinions about the effectiveness of a regular Facebook fan page, Facebook advertising is quite a different mammal. I’m actually a big fan.
Well Facebook is a dream for the small business. Again, Facebook is one of the fastest and most effective ways to get in front of people. Plus people still haven’t turned blinders on to Facebook ads in the way that we all have with Google ads. That means when ads show up in our feed or sidebar, we actually pay attention.
Hello marketing gold!
With that said, there is an ongoing debate in the blogger world about paid traffic vs. organic traffic. Some bloggers rely only on one or the other and are quite passionate about the reasons why! But both are viable options in my book. You just have to have an understanding of the capabilities of each one.
Those who write off all Facebook ads as sleazy or insulting probably haven’t tried using them. Or they’re judging everyone on the basis of those cheesy garbage “Doctors Hate Her!”-type headlines.
But like with any advertising method, Facebook is what you make it. Marketing with a soul is possible, on any medium – Facebook included. It’s all in your approach. And since you’re not cheap and cheesy, you’re good to go. 🙂
So are you ready to give Facebook ads a try for your solopreneur business? Good. To get you started, here’s my handy 8 step guide to get your ads up and running ASAP.
Facebook Advertising For Your Small Business: An Easy 8 Step Guide
1. Design Your Graphic
The first step is to create a graphic for your ad. But this being Facebook-land, of course there is a trick to this! Facebook has a rule about only having less than 20% text in a Facebook ad (the same does not apply to regular Facebook posts). That means you need to concentrate on an eye-catching image and a great headline – no more and no less.
So how do you figure out if your ad has less than 20%? Canva is a free online tool that has a built-in text checker. So if you use Canva to make your graphics you will always know that your ad is kosher.
The other option is to create a grid in Photoshop. Just create a 5×5 grid with the guides. Then make sure the text is in five or less of the grid boxes.
2. Create Your Ad
There are a few different ways to create an ad (hello Facebook – whyyy???) This is the easiest one: just hit the downward pointing arrow in the top right corner of your Facebook page and navigate to Create Ads. Then select “Send People To Your Website”.
The second way is to use what the pro’s use: The Power Editor. For reasons unknown, Facebook likes to hide this one away so if you want to find it just click here:
(Psst – you probably want to bookmark that!)
In either method, you’ll need to set up a new Campaign and new Ad Set. We’re going to start slow so for now you don’t need to create different campaigns or ad sets. But just remember that these options are available because they might come in handy in the future.
3. Upload Your Conversion Pixel
This step only sounds scary – trust me! The next thing you need to do is add a conversion pixel to your website. All that really means is that you need to install a tiny bit of code on your website so that we can tell which of your visitors came from Facebook.
Facebook now prompts you to download your pixel as soon as you set up your Ads account. So just click through then copy and paste the code. Then you need to install this code between the head tags in your header file. If you’re not comfy with tackling code, get your designer (or a web-savvy friend) to help you. You can also opt to have Facebook email you a copy of the code.
However the default code is pretty bare bones. So have a look at the code suggestions below. I added the last one into my code so that I will be able to tell who actually signed up at my site, as well as how many clicks I got.
4. Choose Your Audience
You ready? Now this is where things get juicy.
The real reason that Facebook is so great for advertising is because Facebook knows a whooooole lot about us collectively. That information is pretty dang powerful.
Facebook allows you to get really specific about who you are targeting. Like really damn specific. Want to target only females between 18-25 in your city? Easy. Want to target fans of a leader in your industry? No problem. You want to find more people that are like the ones on your email list? Yup you can do that too.
It’s pretty amazing.
You might feel like opening up the floodgates and advertising to everyone but that can be a costly mistake. Most people won’t feel any connection to your ad and if they bother to click they probably won’t convert. Which means you are paying money for empty clicks! So always try to narrow down your audience to something that seems logical for your business.
For starters, choose those who live in the USA (if that’s where you are), speak English (unless you business is multi-lingual) and male/female or both.
After that, we get into the good stuff. You can target your ad to friends of your existing fans, fans of rival pages, famous people or to people that are interested in your topic. If you upload your email list data, Facebook can use that to find what they call “Lookalike Audiences”: people that have similar data to those you already connect with. Facebook offers a lot of power here so make sure you harness it!
5. Set Your Budget
How much are you willing to spend on your ad per day? It’s entirely up to you you! My screenshot here shows a very small budget and the reach that has. Obviously the more you spend the larger your reach will be.
Your budget will also depend on what you are advertising: an opt-in landing page or a product or service. Opt-in pages are just bringing people to your list – which is cool but you will still have to engage them with your awesomeness (through content, freebies etc.) before they purchase anything.
Products and services will have a lower conversion rate but they can still bring in mad cash for your biz! So I suggest experimenting with ads going to both types of pages to see what kinds of results you can get.
6. Set A Schedule
Unless your business has set business hours, you probably want your ads to run around the clock. So be sure to set that up. You can also set the ads to run indefinitely, till your budget runs out or until a certain amount of time has passed. (Pssst – always use a deadline if your offer has one!)
7. Upload Ad
Now everything is ready to roll! It’s time to hit Upload Ad. You can finally upload your graphic and create the copy that will be displayed in the body of the ad. There aren’t any limits here so you can write as much as you need to! Just be sure to be clear about whatever it is that you are offering in your ad. Stay focused! (No bait and switch please!)
So here’s a little dose of reality: your first Facebook ads probably won’t be huge performers! It takes tracking and tweaking in order to find out exactly what’s going to work for your audience and product.
Here’s a good tactic to take for you beginners: start with 2 ads, each one with a different headline. Then after a week or two, pick the “winner” and shut down the lower performing one. Then duplicate the winner and try changing the picture. Then you can keep going switching copy, color, audiences etc until you hit on something that really works.
The biggest take-away here is that making ads once is not enough! It will take a little extra work to figure out how to harness the power of Facebook for your small business or blog.
A Quick Note About Hiring Third Parties
As with any type of advertising, there are loads of companies out there that would be happy to do the work for you. But I strongly suggest that you give it a shot yourself first. Set conservative budgets for your ads and run a few different variations to see which ones get the best results. Later on you can go back and hire someone if you want to. But understanding the basics of Facebook advertising is a hands-on experience. You’ll be be better equipped to make hiring decisions if you know what to look for and what you can expect from the experience.
Online advertising can be confusing but don’t let that scare you away! It can also be one of the most effective tools for your solopreneur business.
I hope this post is helpful to getting your first Facebook ad campaign up and running! Please do let me know how it goes and if you found this post useful, don’t forget to share! Be well.