My Facebook Ad Strategy

I’ve crafted this ad campaign based on the idea that a consumer must see your ad 3+ times for it to be effective.  (This is known as the Effective Advertising Frequency)

Audience Size

I need to reduce my initial audience size so I can afford for them to see my ad 3+ times. For the scrunchie leash, I’m running this ad to women age 22+ in Greenville SC who are interested in the Greenville Humane Society.  Facebook says there are about 6,800 such people.

Strategy

  1. Run a series of ads to the initial audience. (first ad exposure)
  2. Track those that visited the website after seeing the first ad. (second exposure is the website visit)
  3. Run another facebook campaign to those that have already visited my website (third exposure)

Facebook has tracking “pixels” that you can install on your website so they know who visited your website. That is how I’m running ads to people that already visited my site.  The pixels also allow facebook to see who bought something so they can run the highest performing ads to more people.

My Ads For The Initial Audience

Here is how one looks in context. The other photos are below.

Context

As usual, I could really use some feedback. Let me know what you think about the ads and the strategy!

Picture2 Picture6 Picture7 Picture8 Picture9 Picture10

My Facebook Advertising Strategy

I’ve dabbled in Facebook ads in the past, but I really haven’t given it enough of a chance to see results. Now, I’ve decided to find out if it lives up to the hype, and this time I’m going to do it right.

fb_ads

Facebook offers automatic ad optimization (called optimized CPM) and I never used or understood it in my previous attempts.

Previous Attempts:

Create ad. Throw $30 at Facebook. Get some clicks. No Sales. $30 is gone. End of Story.

Seems pretty weak, right?

Using Automatic Ad Optimization:

Create a bunch of different ads. Choose a mid-sized audience. Install conversion tracking on my site so facebook knows which ads are generating sales. Let Facebook automatically identify and run the best ad to the best audience to get me the most sales. and Boom! I’m a billionaire.

Is it really that easy?

I’m sure it isn’t. Your ads have to be good. Your audience has to be well-chosen and highly targeted. Also, there are certain truths about purchasing psychology that play into it. Recently, a marketing friend of mine told me that a person has to encounter your product ad 3 times (on average) before they’ll be inclined to purchase. That means even if you hit the right people with the right ad, you still have to find them enough times to get it to turn into a sale.

My Plan

I haven’t decided how big my ad budget is yet, but I plan to make myself a student of Facebook advertising. I’ll be meeting with my marketing friend next week to discuss it and I’m considering purchasing a course on Facebook advertising.

I’ll be sharing the things I learn on this blog, so make sure you subscribe!

Two Blog Posts I Found Useful on Facebook Ads:

Good blog post on Optimized CPM: http://allfacebook.com/dennis-yu-optimized-cpm-facebook_b103941

I also learned a lot from this post: http://www.jonloomer.com/2013/10/03/how-to-sell-on-facebook/

Re-Engage: The Second Best Time is NOW

I’ve been feeling disengaged recently.  The things I’m working on don’t seem to be working. I need to re-engage and find new avenues. More exploration. More learning. More people.

Check out http://www.scrunchieleash.com and let me know if you have any suggestions on how I can drive traffic. It’s up. It works. It looks pretty good. How do I get people there?

The Time Is Now

The Time Is Now

It’s Big. It’s Scary. And it happens ever so quietly…

I haven’t been writing as regularly as I mean to, but I’ve been pretty busy. It’s time to get serious about starting a business. This decision was not easy. It’s big. It’s scary. And it happens ever so quietly with the click of a submit button on a website.

I just withdrew from my Masters of Engineering program. (like 5 minutes ago)

Doing your masters is a part of the overall engineering development program I’m part of, but I realized this week that my requirements to the program had been fulfilled. I have a few other projects and trainings to finish up before my evenings are actually my own, but grad school will no longer be taking my time. Sometimes “time management” means spending less time on facebook, but sometimes it means something much bigger.

“But they’re paying for your grad school! Why don’t you just finish!”

Imagine spending an entire semester – hours and hours every week – learning about how a ball presses into a surface. While useful to some engineering applications, this is not helping me toward my ultimate goal: Starting a successful business. I can’t put this on hold for another 2 years. It’s happening now. I’m taking back my evenings so I can make this happen. I don’t plan to quit my day job any time soon, but grad school had to go.

It’s big. It’s scary. But I know this is ultimately the right move.

 

You Don’t Need Photoshop: Blurred Edges

If you operate a blog or a website, you know how important good images are. The only issue is that not everybody can afford fancy tools like Photoshop, so here is another lesson on editing photos with Powerpoint.

Read the first lesson here.

Adding Blurred Edges Like Instagram

Dog Original

Original

Dog After Powerpoint

After Powerpoint

First, I used the Corrections drop down menu and the Colors drop down menu to adjust brightness, contrast and saturation to make the colors more vivid. (The overhead light in my living room just wasn’t giving me the drama I wanted)

Next is the cool part.

Copy and Paste the image so you have three copies. Use the Crop to Shape tool to crop one to a medium oval and one to a small oval.

Crop to Shape

Crop to Shape

Make sure the three images are lined up correctly with each other.

ProTip: Use the arrow keys to make fine adjustments to position.

Then you can use Picture Effects to give the two ovals Soft Edges. I made all three images different colors so you can see what I mean.

Layered Pictuers

Layered Pictures

After that you’ll be able to blur the background using the Soften tool under the Corrections drop down. Use the medium-sized oval to create an intermediate level of blur so it blends nicely.

ProTip: Select all three layers (like I did above) and right click. Select Save as Picture to output all three as a single image.

That’s it!

Edits like this take 5 minutes.. and on my computer, Photoshop would still be starting up by the time I’m done with this.

If you found this helpful, leave me a comment below!

How To Accomplish Your Goals

This one is short and sweet: Write it down.

Yesterday I was challenged by Neil Patel (along with everybody else in his mailing list). Here was the challenge and I suggest you do it too. Actually do it.

  1. Go to your analytics tool and look up how many unique visitors your site had in the last month. Mine was 455.
  2. Choose your target for the next month. Neil suggests doubling your traffic.
  3. Then write “Between DateA and DateB I will bring in X unique visitors to MyWebsite.com”
  4. Tell somebody about it and make yourself accountable.

Here is mine. (JK are my initials, I’m not Just Kidding about this.)

My traffic goal for March

My traffic goal for March

Neil also has some great content out there on how you can increase your traffic. Here is his blog: http://www.quicksprout.com/blog/

Today I’m also writing down what I need to accomplish to make those 910 unique visitors a reality.

Here is my todo list to make Scrunchieleash.com a success. Coffee will be needed.

Today's todo list

Today’s todo list

Month 1 Business Review

Yesterday marked 1-month since I launched http://www.scrunchieleash.com. Here is a quick review of how the month has gone.

Sales

25 Leashes Sold

  • 0 Retailer Sales
  • 20 Scrunchieleash.com Sales
  • 5 In-Person Sales
  • 0 Etsy Sales

4 Retailers Contacted

1 Online Retailer Added (http://mrchowsemporium.com/)

Marketing

1 Blog Review (http://hismuddypawprints.blogspot.com/2014/02/scrunchie-leash-review.html)

1 Blog Review Pending

6 Facebook Posts by Customers

27 Shelter dogs walked (ahead by 2)

Outlook

This was a good first month. We got some steam on the launch and made some sales. One concerning fact is that the majority of sales and activity was in the first 2 weeks. There was a drop-off after launch so I need to figure out how to reinvigorate myself and my marketing campaign.

My biggest challenge right now is time. I work a full-time job during the day and I’ve been taking grad school classes in the evenings. As the semester has been picking up, my time and energy available to scrunchie leash has diminished. I need to rework my schedule and get back in the game.

Another huge challenge I’ve been having is developing content for the scrunchie leash blog. I’m going to go more in depth on this in a later post.

My goals for this next month include:

  1. Add 5 retailers
  2. Get 5 blog mentions from doggy blogs
  3. Write 2 scrunchie blog posts per week.

I see retailers as my best sales channel going forward and I see blogs (both mine and others) as the best way to reach new customers. As you can see with my goals, I’m planning to focus on those.

As usual, I’m always looking for feedback! Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

 

4 Tricks to Building a Great Network

Networking is key to accomplishing your goals whether you’re in a corporate environment or a budding entrepreneur. You need to meet people. Unfortunately, most of the advice currently available is pretty weak. If I get told to “smile more” or “have a firm handshake” one more time, I might lose it.

I was at a conference recently and here are some tips I picked up. (Thanks Rick Von Feldt - https://twitter.com/hrfuturist)

Networking

1) Form Your Core Structure

Many people think networking just means meeting more and more people. I don’t know about you, but to me that just sounds exhausting! Is it even possible to develop meaningful relationships with so many people? I love meeting people, but a more strategic approach to your network will serve you better than quantity.

This is where the idea of your Core Structure comes in.

  • 1 or 2 Sponsors
  • 5 Mentors
  • 25 Allies
  • 100 Contributors
  • >500 Acquaintances

The goal isn’t to know as many people as possible, the goal is to fill your top 150 roles with the best people possible. Here are the roles you need to fill.

Sponsor (1 or 2) – A sponsor is somebody who is well above you and takes an active role in helping you along. They will provide you with more than advice and guidance, they will take action to help you along.

Mentor (5) – A good mentor is somebody who is a few steps ahead of you in wherever you’re headed. They can give you guidance and help talk you through decisions you’re struggling with. When you find a really good mentor who advocates for you and takes care of your interests, they become a sponsor.

Allies (25) – These are people who are interested in what you’re doing. They know what you’re up to and you know what they’re up to. These are your really good friends and peers.

Contributors (100) – Contributors are similar to Allies, but you don’t stay in as close of contact with them. You know the general changes that are taking place in their lives, but you aren’t involved in the day-to-day.

Acquaintances (many) – This is everybody else. Friends, family, friends of friends, coworkers, old classmates. These are people who know who you are, but you don’t necessarily keep in very close contact. You may like their pictures on facebook occasionally, but you don’t typically talk much.

2) Fill The Roles With Stellar Candidates

Now that you know what your core structure should look like. It is time to start filling the roles. I suggest being deliberate about it. Make a spreadsheet. Figure out who you currently know that reasonably fits those roles.

It can be difficult to fill the Sponsor, Mentors and even some Ally roles. Leave them blank if you don’t have anybody that really fits the bill. If you have some blanks or even if your network seems a little on the weak side, that means you have some work to do and some people to meet.

Fill your network with people who have a network greater than your own. They will help open doors for you when you need help. You don’t want your network to be a small, closed system where everybody knows the same people. Ideally, you would like them to be able to introduce you to the right person when you have a serious need. That’s the whole point.

Actively seek these well-networked people. Fill your core structure with as many as you can find.

3) Communicate With Your Network

Here are some simple communication guidelines. Again, this will work a lot better if you’re deliberate about it. Whether you use a simple CRM or even a spreadsheet, make sure you communicate.

Do a 72-hour followup. Contact people you just met 72 hours after meeting them. It could be a thank-you card or maybe even just a “it was nice to meet you” email.

Also do a 14-day followup.

You should be contacting your network’s top 150 people at least every 90 days. Many of these will happen naturally as you interact with people socially and via work, but make sure you’re doing this with people you don’t see regularly. If you regularly interact with about 60 people, then you should be sending one email each day to keep in touch with the other 90.

Again, be deliberate. Track it.

4) Provide Value

This is really fundamental. Provide the people in your network with value. Always try to give so you don’t have to feel guilty when you need something.

Here are some example ways to provide value:

  • Introduce them to somebody else in your network.
  • Learn about what they’re working on and give them some feedback.
  • Ask if they need anything. Often a facebook post or retweet can be very beneficial to their business.
  • Send them information that directly pertains to what they’re trying to do. It doesn’t have to be anything big. I have a friend who curates a music newsletter every week and when I hear a new song that fits his style, I send it to him. That’s it. Sending a link to a music video. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Also, don’t forget to think about ways that people could help YOU. If your network is good, they’ll ask.

I hope you find these suggestions to be helpful! A strong network is important. I’m refocusing on mine and am implementing everything I just shared in a spreadsheet.

Remember, you become the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose them wisely.

Do you have any tips or strategies that YOU use for networking? Share them in the comments!

 

 

How To Get Started With Social Media Automation

When you get squeezed for time, do your social media fall by the wayside? This happens to me all the time and I feel terrible when I wake up 5 days later to see my traffic has plummeted.

I do my entrepreneurial work in my free time. I also work a full-time job and take grad classes in the evenings. As the semester picks up, the amount of free time I’m able to find has all but vanished. Here is one step I’m taking to reclaim my sanity.

Putting My Social Media On Autopilot

This is something that marketing gurus talk about doing ALL THE TIME but there were various reasons I always ignored it.

“It’s really impersonal if it’s planned.” ~Me

Disappearing for a week at a time is impersonal. You can still respond to comments and interact.

“Generating the content is the hard part, not remembering to post it.” ~Me

Creating content is easier when you do a lot at once. Take a picture, add a funny phrase. Tell a joke. Link to a blog post. Comment on relevant current events.

postSchedule

Sitting down and writing 1 post takes me about 30 minutes. Sitting down and writing 10 posts takes me about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Due to necessity, I finally took the plunge and I wish I had a LONG time ago. It’s FREE. There are some limitations to the free account, but don’t let that be an excuse. Did I mention it’s free?

Here are the steps I took that you can easily copy.

  1. Go to https://bufferapp.com/
  2. Add your social media accounts. I’m using the Scrunchie Leash facebook page and twitter account.
  3. Choose a posting schedule. Choose time. Choose days. Don’t get hung up on this. You can change it tomorrow if you change your mind. I picked the evening every day on facebook and the afternoon every day on twitter.
  4.  Write a post and click “Buffer”
  5. Continue writing posts until your buffer queue is full (10 posts)

That’s it! Your social media is covered for the next 10 days. You can always post more if inspiration hits or you think of something that is time-dependent, but your minimum is covered.