107. How To Never Waste Money in a Launch Again
08 June 2021 | By Salome Schillack
Putting money into Facebook ads can sometimes feel like putting sand into a bucket with a hole!
All that precious money seems to vanish into thin air, you end up with less than desirable results and you’re left feeling like Zuckerberg has Zucker-sucked the cash from your account and personally robbed you!
You’re left wondering, HOW on earth are all these other online course creators generating 6 and even 7 figure launches? My course is JUST as amazing!
I’ve been there too, and here is what you need to know:
It's not you…..but it might be your offer!
The good news is this is an entirely fixable problem and it doesn't involve throwing more money at your ads!
On today's episode of The Shine Show, I’m going to show you how to NEVER waste another cent on Facebook or Instagram Ads again!
I'll be covering:
- The strategy behind creating predictable and profitable launches that are ready to be scaled beyond your dreams
- How to know if your offer is the culprit causing your ad to flop (and how to fix it)
- The missing skill set that will take your ads from average to UNBELIEVABLE!
Building an online course is hard hard work, and it breaks my heart when I hear someone's tireless work and effort has not delivered the results they deserve. You deserve to thrive, you deserve to see amazing results every launch and you deserve to create a life you LOVE! I hope today’s podcast helps you to avoid the costly mistakes holding your business back from growing beyond your wildest dreams!
P.S If any of what I shared today resonated with you, my program The Launch Lounge can help you to never ever waste another cent on ad strategies that won’t work. If you want to launch AND scale your course profitably without needing an army of geeks, The Launch Lounge will be PERFECT for you! Join the waitlist for my next intake in July. Limited spots available, join today by clicking here!
Let's get you back to focusing on building the business of your dreams!
When you subscribe and review the podcast not only does that give me the warm and fuzzies all over, it also helps other people to find the show.
When other people find the show they get to learn how to create more freedom in their lives from their online courses too!!
So do a good deed for all womenkind and subscribe and review this show and I will reward you with a shout out on the show!!
154. From Luxury Interior Design To Successful Online Course Creators with Sarah Cates of House Of Funk
Salome Schillack (00:00):
Welcome to episode number 107 of The Shine Show. And on today's episode, I'm going to share with you how to never, ever, ever waste money in a launch again. And remember that we are opening the doors to our membership, The Launch Lounge, on the 29th of July. The Launch Lounge is the membership to be in if you want to learn how to launch your online courses profitably and scale to six figures without hiring a team of geek. We have got some special goodies that will only be available to those who are on the waitlist, and you can join that list by going to www.shineandsucceed.com/tllwaitlist. TLL stands for The Launch Lounge. So, shineandsucceed.com/tllwaitlist.
Now, let's jump into the episode.
Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi, I'm your host Salome Schillack and I help online course creators launch, grow, and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads so that they can make more money and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you're ready to be inspired, to dream bigger, launch sooner, and grow your online business faster, then tune in, because you are ready to shine, and this is The Shine Show.
Recently, I had two conversations with two lovely, lovely women. I'm just going to call one Julie and the other one, Kate. Julie told me that she was feeling... well, she was crying when we talked. She was very sad and very tired, exhausted, because she's been working so hard creating her online course, and she has been building her email list consistently for more than a year. She's got about 2,000 people on that list and she is finally doing the work, getting ready to launch her online course that took her a year to create, and she's sent emails to her email list and nobody has signed up to her webinars. So, she reached out to me and she said, "Salome, I'm three days out from my webinar and I have no registrants. I've sent multiple emails to my list and they're opening the emails, but they're not signing up. I am going to start running ads for this webinar so that I can at least get some people on this webinar."
Apart from that I feel really deeply for Julie and my heart breaks that she has worked so hard and nobody has signed up to her webinar, it just absolutely breaks my heart when I hear someone's say, "I am just going to run ads to solve this problem. I'm just going to throw money at the problem," because if I had a crystal ball, maybe I should become a fortune teller... Have a crystal ball, I will predict that those ads are going to be insanely expensive, and the people who do sign up for that webinar are either not going to show up for the webinar or they're not going to buy the course. My prediction. Okay. So, that was the one conversation I had.
The other conversation was with someone, and I'm just going to call her Kate. Kate has a great course. She developed a beautiful, wonderful course, and she developed it because she is an expert at what she does. She's been a coach for many, many, many years. She understands the pain points and the needs of her audience inside and out. And so she's created this course, her coaching clients have all bought the course, so she knew that she's onto something.
So, because she has a successful coaching business, she can afford to hire an ads manager and she has no desire to learn ads, which not everybody should, and she has a little bit of a tech fear, so she hired a VA to help her with some of the tech stuff. And man, she's just busy, so she doesn't really have time to do all this launch stuff, she just wants to show up and sell the course. So, she hired a Facebook ads manager and her launch fell completely flat. She ended up losing money after paying the ads manager and the VA and paying for the ads. And she was also feeling quite despondent, and she said to me, she doesn't know where she's going to find a proper ads manager who can do her launch because all the ads managers she's worked with hasn't been able to help her get to a profitable launch and they just shrug their shoulders and say, well, it's not them, it's her. And she really feels like it's the ads manager. They're not finding her the right people.
Those are real conversations I had in the last week, and I wish that I can say I don't have conversations like these almost weekly. Almost weekly, I hear these exact same stories from Julies and Kates from everywhere. The problem that both Julie and Kate has that we need to discuss on this episode that I want you, my fabulous listener, to take really good note of so that you do not end up in a situation like Julie or Kate ever because you know better is this. In order to create profitable launches, you need two things. You need an audience who is going to buy from you and you need an offer that will convert. I'm going to repeat that. In order to create a profitable online course launch, you need an audience and you need an offer that will convert.
The way to get audiences is to build them over time on social media or to build them using your hard earned cash with ads. We call that traffic. It is either organic or free traffic when it comes from social media, or it is paid traffic when it comes from ads. For an author that converts, you need knowledge about marketing, about psychology, about funnels, and about tracking your data and analytics and understanding what worked and what didn't work. So, what Julie did right was she built her email list. She was running ads consistently to build her email list, and then she invited her email list to sign up for her webinar. That's great, but her list didn't sign up for the webinar, and that led her to assume that she has a traffic problem, she has a problem of not having enough people come to the page. And that's why the solution she came up with is, "I need to run ads."
Her problem, in fact, was not a traffic problem, her problem was a conversion problem. The people on her email list opened her email, the people on our email list went to her webinar registration page, the people on our email list did not convert to webinar registrants. The solution to that problem is not to throw more traffic at the problem, the solution to that problem is to understand why they didn't convert.
And when I think back about when I was just starting out, I kind of did the same thing. If you know my story, you know that I launched an online course, I spent $400 on ads and I made $2,000. This is back in 2016. And I was devastated because I worked so hard for years to be able to build up the knowledge, to turn that into an online course. I worked so hard for years to build an audience on social media. I took my last $400 and I spent it on ads and it resulted in $2,000, and I kind of felt like, because I still had employee mindset, I was like, "Well, that's not even one month's salary. Where are all these people who are talking about six figure launches coming from? How do you create a six figure launch?"
And in Julie's case, I think it's just a matter of, when you don't know that it is your offer that is the problem, it's very easy to think that it's a traffic problem, because a traffic problem is almost easier to solve. When you think about, "Where is my problem?" And you think the solution is, "My problem is I need more people," it's easy to go, "Oh, well, if I need more people, let me just run some ads." It's harder when you have to look at your baby and admit that your baby's ugly. No one wants to admit that their baby's ugly. It's harder when we look at our conversion and we go, "Why is nobody signing up for this? Why is nobody taking me up on this offer?"
And I remember James Wedmore said... Ages ago, I heard him say this thing. He said, "What you resist persists." And that little saying stuck with me, what you resist persists. As long as you resist facing the fact that it is a conversion problem, you will not take responsibility for solving this conversion problem, you will not like speak up. You need to speak up to your mentors, to me, speak up to someone and say, "i, I got this many people to click on my page, but they didn't sign up for my webinar. Do I have a conversion problem here? And then how do we fix the conversion problem?" And that's where marketing principles come in.
So, that, I hope gives you somewhat of a better understanding of where Julie's problem lay, where Julie got stuck, and why Julie experienced or had this experience where she invited her email list to sign up for the webinar, they didn't take her up on it, and so she thought it was a traffic problem. She wanted to throw money at more traffic when in fact the problem was, they just weren't interested in signing up for her webinar because she hadn't made an offer to them in a way that they wanted, so she had to learn how to make a better offer.
In Kate's case, so Kate had a small list. She had a small presence on social media. She's been working at it, she's been a coach for a while, she's been successful for a while, so she's built up a following, and she has a full book of coaching clients. So, she's got people banging down her door for her information, but they want to work with her one-on-one. So, she hires an ads manager and she spent about 5K on the ads manager, hiring them for two or three months, and then she spent about 5K on her ads for her webinar. So, 10K total ad spend.
When this ads manager that she hired to run her ads comes on board, that ads manager starts to run her ads like they were hired to do, but the lead costs are insanely high. So, Kate looks at the lead costs and she's like, "Whoa, a year ago, when I ran this webinar ad, I paid $3 for a lead, now I'm paying $7 for a lead. Hi, ads manager. What's going on here? You're getting me really expensive leads. Why are you getting me such expensive leads?" As a result of the high cost of her webinar leads, she doesn't quite hit her numbers for what she needs on a webinar in order to statistically get enough people to show up for the webinar and then statistically make enough sales, right? Because we know that there's a percentage of people who sign up, who's going to show up, and then of those who show up, there's a percentage of them who's going to buy.
So, when it gets to webinar day, she's already a little bit annoyed, she's already had a little bit of a panic attack. She has looked at that bottle of Prosecco a few times and had to choose to put it down, not to drink her feelings. You can see I'm familiar with Kate, right? Maybe I have been her. Her energy drops when people don't sign up for her webinar, then they don't show up for the webinar, her lead costs have been high. So, that excitement that she had at the beginning of getting ready to launch her course, that has now turned into dread.
So, she shows up for her webinar with low energy, she shows up to a lower audience, an audience with low energy, and her launch ends up making a loss after she's paid her team. She makes some money because she knows a little bit about how to create an offer, because she knows her audience so well and she knows what to give them, but it doesn't convert as well, and she ends up, after paying her VA and paying her ads manager, she makes a loss. She says to me, "It is my ads manager's fault that my launch didn't go as planned. They didn't bring me the right people and they didn't get me enough leads to my webinar." Which, again, this is something I hear on a weekly basis, and it just breaks my heart. She tells me that her ads manager just shrugged and said, "Well, your webinar didn't convert, and that's your problem not my problem," which is all too familiar. And if you've ever had an ads manager who said that in that way to you, you need to find another one.
And by the time Kate and her ads manager are done working together, they've had so many emails back and forth with undercurrent emotions, blame, resentment. "This is you." No, this is you." "No, this is you." "Why is this happening? Why are we not seeing the results we want?" And by the time this launch is over, the ads manager is so happy that Kate is going to go on her way and Kate is left feeling like she should just give up on launching her course, she's left feeling like she doesn't know if there's ever going to be an ads manager that's going to run a proper ads for her, or she feels like maybe she's just in a niche where ads don't work. I've heard all of these things. It makes me so sad.
So, let's unpack this a little bit more and talk about what exactly the breakdown is here. What is the breakdown in the system that leaves Julie feeling defeated and leaves Kate feeling frustrated and ready to give up? Remember, at the beginning of this episode, I said, in order to create profitable online course launches, we need two things. We need an audience who's going to buy our courses and we need an offer that converts. Now, in order to create launches that are profitable, and in order to build audiences that are big enough and warm enough to buy our courses and primed for our courses, and in order to create offers that convert, we need a few skills, right? We all need a few skills. That's why we buy online courses, to get skills. And I want you to picture the skills that you need as a Venn diagram.
There are three very important skillsets that have to come together in order to create a profitable course. So, picture a Venn diagram, right? At the top of the Venn diagram... A Venn diagram is one of those three circles things that come together and create magic in the middle when the three things meet in the middle. The first circle in this Venn diagram is your expertise, it is your knowledge of the problem that you solve. So, maybe you teach sewing, maybe you teach 10-year-olds how to sew their first dress. You're an expert in dressmaking, you're an expert in 10-year-olds, and you are an expert in solving that problem. It's just an example, but it's your expertise and your knowledge of your audience and how to solve their problem. That is a key component. That is a key expertise that we need in order to sell a profitable online course.
The second circle in this Venn diagram is Facebook ads, because Facebook ads is a traffic source which builds your audience. Now, in order to develop the skillset of running Facebook ads, it involves a lot more than just learning how to press buttons and pull levers. There's a lot more to being a Facebook ads expert than just pressing buttons in the backend of the ads manager. Now, unfortunately, a lot of people who are not intimidated by the tech become Facebook ads managers call themselves Facebook ad managers and sell their services as Facebook ad managers because they know which buttons to press and which levers to pull.
Unfortunately, one of the skills they failed to develop or one of the skills that is needed as part of this Facebook ad skillset is to understand how to prime accounts, how to build engagement on accounts so that we don't have this effect where you run ads now, and then you run ads again for the next launch, and whoops, the cost has doubled because the account has been stagnant for a year, there's no engagement going on, and we go straight back into conversion ads, which Facebook doesn't like. This Facebook ads skillset has to involve the ability to build profitable audiences, to test different audiences, and play with audiences, and play with targeting in order to know where to find the right people. And this Facebook ads skillset has to come with a high level understanding of how the algorithm works, because the algorithm is the thing that goes out and gets us results for the money we spend.
So, you want your ads manager to know more than just a lever pulling and button pricing, you want your ads manager to have a very good understanding of how the algorithm works so that they can make decisions and optimize your ads in a way that spends your money smartly. Is smartly a word? We need smartly Facebook ads managers. So, that's the second circle in this Venn diagram.
The third circle, which is the most important circle, I want to say, but it is the most often neglected circle, and it is the circle that is missing for both Kate and Julie, is the marketing circle. Now, you are an expert in your field, you may not be an expert in marketing, and that's okay, because you've been spending years becoming good at what you do, so why would you be an expert in marketing? Unfortunately, most Facebook ads managers are also not experts in marketing because we like being geeks behind the scenes, understanding data, and pulling buttons, and figuring tech out. And I want to confess something to you all. On behalf of all Facebook ads managers in the world, me included, part of the reason most Facebook ads managers become Facebook ads managers, particularly if the Facebook ads managers run ads for online course creators, is because at some point in time, we learned how to run ads for ourselves because we were trying to launch our own courses and discovered along the way that we were better at running Facebook ads than at launching our own courses.
That is 100% true for me back in 2016 when I was launching my course and I made the $2,000 and I didn't realize how good it was because I didn't have the marketing knowledge and the understanding of data and analytics that I have today to be able to go, "Well, hang on. No, this actually did really well. We just need to rinse and repeat it." So, the confession that I want to make is, just understand that when you hire a Facebook ads manager, you are not necessarily hiring a marketing expert, and in order to create conversions, you need a marketing expert.
Now, thankfully, I have become a marketing genius in the last four years, working behind and the scenes of so many amazing online course creators inside the agency to the point where I have now been able to teach that to so many other students. But that might not be the case when you're hiring an ads manager, particularly if it's a freelancer who's just starting out and who is mostly just going to pull levers for you and press buttons in the Ads Manager.
So, to recap this Venn diagram where the magic happens when these three things come together is, you need your expertise, your knowledge of your audience, your knowledge of your ability to solve their problem, you need Facebook ads expertise, which has to come with an understanding of priming your account, it has to come with an understanding of building profitable audiences and all the layering that goes into that, and it has to come with an understanding of the algorithm and how the algorithm finds results for us. Purely knowing how to use the tech is not enough. And then the last circle, which finishes off the Venn diagram and gives us that magic in the middle is an understanding of marketing principles, online marketing principles, funnels, and creating offers that convert, and understanding data and analytics so that we can track conversions and know what worked and what didn't work.
When you bring together your expertise, knowledge of Facebook ads, with a deeper understanding of the algorithm and priming your account and your engagement and you combine that with knowledge of really running good list-building ads during your pre-launch runway and warming up your audience and priming them and you add in the ability to understand your data, know if you hit the right conversions and can identify clearly what to fix on your next launch, then you have the trifecta. So, your expertise, Facebook and Instagram ad knowledge, and marketing and conversion knowledge, including understanding all of your data, when you have of these three magical ingredients, then you have a clear skillset with a clear pathway forward for creating predictable, profitable online course launches that are scale ready. And then you get to scale those profitable course launches to five figure launches, and then to six figure launches, and they need to get to build your business in such a way that you can scale to seven figure launches.
Now, for all my Julies out there, go build your email list, go build your email list and keep making offers to your email list until those offers start to convert. And to all my Katie's who are just done creating online course launches that are less than profitable, if you want to start learning how to take your amazing expertise and combine it with the powerful knowledge of the algorithm in Facebook and Instagram ads, and you're ready to add in a deep understanding of marketing principles that gets you to profitable launches, where you understand your data and analytics and you know how to set yourself up to scale to six and seven figure launches, then I want to invite you to sign up to the waitlist for The Launch Lounge.
We are opening The Launch Lounge in July. I can't wait to tell you more, and there will be bonuses involved for anyone who is on the waitlist. You can join the waitlist for The Launch Lounge by going to shineandsucceed.com/tllwaitlist. It stands for The Launch Lounge, tllwaitlist. We will be opening doors again on the 29th of July, and I hope I see you in there.
Hope you have a wonderful week, and come say hello to me on Instagram. I'm @salome.schillack. It is linked up in the show notes. Come share with me in the DMs if any of what I shared with you today really resonated. Maybe you've been a Katie or you've been a Julie, come and tell me, I want to hear about it. I want to help you never, ever, ever waste another cent on ad strategies that are not going to work for you.
Have a lovely week, my friends. I'll see you again next week. Bye.
If you're ready to create profitable, online course launches and scale to six figures without wasting money or hiring an army of geeks, then The Launch Lounge is the membership for you. We're opening the doors on the 29th of July, and there are some special goodies only reserved for those who are on the waitlist. So, go to www.shineandsucceed.com/tllwaitlist and be notified when we open the doors and how you can get your hands on some special goodies.
Thank you so much for listening. If you had fun, please come back next week, and remember to hit that subscribe button so you never miss a thing.