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Nicholas Kusmich

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S: Welcome, Nicholas. It’s great to have you. This is my very first Facebook Live podcast interview. I always do these as audio only and I thought that’s a shame to miss out on the opportunity of further boost this thing on Facebook. You’re the Facebook King.

N: We’re making history together here.

S: That’s right, we are. Let’s start by giving a little bit of an intro about you and your new book, which I’m very excited. I posted a Facebook post and a tweet about, just a few minutes ago, a book called Give. You are a guru at Facebook advertising. I was just blown away every time you presented. We’ve known each other for a couple of years now. Where was the first time that we saw each other? Was it Black Belt?

N: No, it was in New York City.

S: I think it was Next Level Experience.

N: That’s right. That was a good long while ago. That was the first time you gave me your book and then I’m still to this day shamed because every time I see you, you give me your newest book. You have 18 now and they’re 10 times the length of my books. I feel ashamed of my little itty bitty books but I do appreciate the inspiration to write more and give more as you always do.

S: Thank you. What’s the expression, tiny hands, tiny plan or something like that or tiny book whatever. You’ve been doing Facebook advertising for how long now?

N: As long as I can remember. As long as Facebook released their beta ads which were the little right side rail ads. This was five or six or so maybe a little more years ago, something like that.

S: It’s been probably about that. You started early because there were some stuff happening in your life that you decided you needed to jump on this Facebook thing early on. What was going on?

N: There was lots going on. But to me, it was just right place, right time. I almost feel like there were these two parallel tracks that were happening simultaneously. On the one hand, I’ve been pastoring a church of all things and I’ve been doing that for 14 years or a little less than that at that time. On that track simultaneously trying to figure out how to create an income and a business for myself. I’ve been doing a lot of internet marketing for as long as I can remember, all with terrible, terrible results and not much to show for. But I was following what the guru said way back then and that was create an ecourse and try to sell it on the internet. I didn’t know where to get exposure to that. I was a little bit too late to the Google AdWords game plus I had just recently heard about all these slaps that were happening with Google so that freaked me out. My thinking was really right place, right time. At that time, Facebook ads had just come out in beta. Simultaneously, the dating website Plenty of Fish had just come out with their advertising platform. I said, “Well, let’s go do both.” We tested both and got great results on both. Then after a few months, we just started to see Facebook on the up and up on the rise, really expanding their advertising platform. Plenty of Fish said, “We’re not going to spend so much time focusing on advertising. We’re going to do what we do which is a dating site.” It was right place, right time. We had a little bit of a first mover’s advantage. We got really good real quick on the platform. The rest as they say is history.

S: It was history. You’ve been doing Facebook advertising for some really big name folks. You’ve helped Jay Abraham and Tony Robbins and some other big name folks like that.

N: Yes, some big people. The coaching division of the Tony Robbins’ group. Joe Polish is another person that some people would recognize. A lot of brands and New York Times bestselling authors, Inc. 500 companies and a lot of thought leaders who everyone would know their name if I mentioned them. At the same time, a lot of people who you have no idea who they are, they’re the secret stealth business owners who are behind-the-scenes running some great ecommerce brands and now we’re just helping them get along and get further exposure to what they do.

S: When you do the stuff for big name marketers, are you in their accounts? I’m just trying to understand, if you give access to your clients to inside views of what you’re doing with the targeting and the audience segmentation or so forth? Or is it more behind the curtain?

N: Great question. When we originally started, it used to be behind the curtains because part of it was I just didn’t want people to know what we do and how we do it and all that sort of thing.

S: There’s somewhat a secret sauce.

N: A little pepper, a little salt, a little secret sauce, absolutely. But then, I just realized a couple things. Number one, when you’re working on big accounts and you’re spending a great deal of money for a lot of people, there has to be full disclosure and transparency. They want to see what you’re doing. Not necessarily how you’re doing it but they just want to make sure that everything is in line and you are representing their brand and all that is going on. We decided to open up the gates to anybody we work with that sense. Two, more on the practical side, we just put stuff into our agreement that assures that IP remains IP and there’s no blighting, copying and sharing of some of what we do and spreading that out. The combination of the both allows both the client to be happy with everything that’s going on and full transparency and they can see in full disclosed, no issues while simultaneously us retaining the IP that we have including some of the strategies and how we roll out what we do.

S: That makes sense. Because I want to have some visibility into what’s happening as a client but I also respect that the vendor has a secret sauce and you got to be protecting your IP.

N: It works out best for all of us. We get to use our secret sauce. We still get to work with some great people. At the end of the day, I think everybody wins so it worked out perfectly.

S: You shared some case studies on your Facebook page like this blow up bed that went crazy viral and you had a hand in making that go crazy viral, millions of views, tens of millions, I forgot how many but it was a big pile. What was it?

N: I don’t remember, I could pull it up but it was something like 18 million views in a very short amount of time. Something like hundreds of thousands of likes and shares and tens of thousands of comments. Essentially, it was something that went a little bonkers, admittingly. At the peak of it, it was doing about $300,000 in revenue a week. Granted, it was short-lived because it was a trend, number one, and number two, it’s a seasonal item. But while it was going it was great fun just to see these things take off the way they do.

S: Wow. I’m just pretty amazed with the results that you shared on your Facebook page, the ROI that the client got and everything was just really, really impressive. Are you doing a lot of viral campaigns or is it more just a traditional checklist, lead magnets sort of stuff and then send them into a funnel, webinar, upsell, etc.?

N: Great question. It’s a combination of both. I wish that there was an algorithm that I had cracked to virality. If anyone really knows how to make something viral and really reorchestrate that time after time and time and after again, some guys we got really close or one of the people that we work with on some level like the Dollar Beard Club, for example, I think they’ve cracked the code on viral video. When you can rent camels and llamas and lions and throw them in the swimming pool and do a great video about how you have a beard, that’s going to go viral. But the long and short of it is to be honest with you, we treat every campaign the same. Whether that’s an ecommerce product that has great potential virality to it or it’s a straight-up information product, we always approach the same. The key to the massive amount of shares and the massive amount of “virality” that comes with them is if you have a good message that is market relevant that is on top of a current trend and that is as Seth Godin would call, remarkable, essentially a purple cow. When you can have all those combined, you could be talking about cancer, you could be talking about a health supplement like bone broth, you could be talking about a gun cabinet, how to hide your gun gun cabinet, you could be talking about a webinar, you could be talking about anything. But if you have certain elements like a good message, something that’s relevant to the marketplace, something that’s on top of the market trend and something that’s worth remarking about and you bring the whole thing together, I think you have the recipe of what some might call a viral Facebook ad or a viral offer. That goes to the bigger picture of Facebook ads in general. A lot of people, when they think Facebook ads, have an ad that goes to a certain audience and hopefully that audience opts-in or follows a certain clicks on the ad and does whatever you need it to do, which is true from a mechanical standpoint, that’s what it is. But the difference between 18 million views on an ad and thousands and tens of thousands of shares on that ad versus one that just sees crickets is a combination of the deeper underlying marketing concepts, some of what we talked about. But again, having a good offer, a good message, knowing the right message to the right person at the right time, all of these things combined is really what I believe makes a good Facebook campaign. Not just an ad but a campaign at large.

S: Let’s differentiate an ad from a campaign. What’s the difference in your mind?

N: Great question because a lot of people come to us and they come with this belief and maybe they come to you in the SEO space the same way but they come to us with this thought that Facebook is some sort of pixie dust that you can just sprinkle and when you sprinkle it, magic happens. The fact is Facebook to me is an accelerator. If you have a great business, and a great offer, and a great sales process, and a great everything, and you put Facebook on it to drive ads, then you’re going to start to see some fantastic results. If you have a poor offer, and poor messaging, and poor customer service, and a poor business model, and a poor sales process, and all that and then you spend the whole time of money driving eyeballs to that offer, it’ll throw you in the ground faster than you want to go. The difference between a good ad and a good marketing process is the tactic versus the strategy or the holistic view of something versus just the singularity view of something. Many people just believe that, “Hey, if I have a great Facebook ad, it’s going to make all the difference in the world.” The reason why we get the ROIs that we do, which are astronomical in certain senses, our greatest ROI was from a great mutual friend of ours, Taki Moore which was $30,000 plus return on investment. But that wasn’t just because we had one killer ad. It was because we had great ads plural that had a great sales process in play like a great funnel as they call them. Also, Taki is a rockstar and an amazing value deliverer and a great person who provides value and does well in enrolling people into his program. When you have all of those things combined, that’s when you start to see the results that we’re talking about, and that that we like to see in our campaigns.

S: I love what you’re saying about being remarkable with your campaigns, with your offers, with lead magnets, etc. You have some remarkable components to your new book. You’re using your book Give as a lead magnet and we’re going to talk about your book and what the contents of that is. But I loved a couple of the angles for example that you’re donating all of the proceeds in this pre-launch phase to Charity: Water specifically. Great non-profit. And that you are giving some awesome bonuses for folks who share. They can go into a contest and maybe win a free ticket to your next event but also just anybody who buys the book for $4 which is half price currently for the Kindle edition, they get $197 training program for free.

N: They do indeed.

S: That’s another great hook, another way of being remarkable. Do you think that’s enough for it to potentially be viral or do you need to have llamas and a pool?

N: I definitely think if I have llamas and a pool there might be some greater virality to it for sure. But even with the book, it’s a book on Facebook advertising but it’s way more than that. Hence the title is not something like how to crush it with Facebook ads or like Facebook ads for dummies even though I guess it is. But the title is Give because it’s based on the sole premise of how I approach social advertising in general and the two rules that I have on social advertising. Number one, you must give before you ask for anything in return. You need to be in the mindset of giving, not selling. If you’re going to crush it on social, you have to be in that mindset of, “What can I give in exchange for not just an ask but in exchange for the right to even ask somebody for something?” That’s rule number one. Rule number two is every step of the marketing process should be valuable in it of itself. Meaning if someone watches this or any of the marketing that we throw out there, it is my hope and my desire that they get some value from that whether or not they choose to transact with me. Hopefully at $3.99 that makes it a pretty simple idea to get. We have a book called Give, it’s literally seven plus years of digital marketing experience boiled down to 160 pages, essentially. I just wanted to really make it a no-brainer so we made it at a price that’s completely affordable for anybody regardless of what situation they’re probably in. We attached some great bonuses to it. Like you said, they’re going to get $197 video training just for buying the book and that video training in context here is a training that I did to a Mastermind full of doctors who paid $25,000 to be a part of this Mastermind and they had me come in and do a training, and this is a key portion of that training. There’s real value in that training. Then, as a thank you for sharing it with some of their friends, the three people who shared it the most which leads to sales are going to get one of three gifts that are valued at $10,000 or more. A ticket to my Art of Lead Generation Intensive which is a $8,000 value, a bundle of my best-selling courses which is a $2,000 value, or a 55-minute call with me to discuss anything they want practically which is another $2,000 in value. We take all that and then on top of it with a title like Give, it’s hard to not give something in return and just sell it so my wife and I decided that 100% of the proceeds are going to go to our charity of choice. Our charity of choice is Charity: Water for two reasons. Number one I really like Scott Harrison and the message behind everything that clean water represents to the international community. But secondly they’re one of the few charities that put 100% of their donations on the field, none of it is tied up in administration, none of it is tied up in any funny business, literally 100% of it is put on the field so for that reason we’re donating 100% of our proceeds to go there. Combined with that all, hopefully it makes it the no-brainer for most of the people who are watching and listening. If I can get creative enough and we come down to the water maybe I’ll just have to rent a llama and a swimming pool and see if we can take it over the top.

S: I think we should.

N: In that case, I’m coming to Sta. Monica and we’ll do something funny on the beard.

S: Just note that I don’t know how to swim. The llama’s going in the water but not me.

N: There might be some viral aspects of that.

S: You got this framework, the 4M framework. Let’s talk about that. What the heck is the 4M framework?

N:  Most people when they talk about Facebook ads, they talk about the tactical elements of it. I always like to see it as an iceberg, there’s the 10% above the surface is what everybody sees and focuses on and what they think makes up the bulk of the iceberg. When in fact, 90% is below the surface and that’s really the true bulk of the iceberg. The 10% to me in the world of Facebook ads or digital marketing represents the tactics. When most of the conversations I have initially come out, they say, “Nick what bidding strategy should I use?” Or, “What is the conversion optimization that’s important?” Or “Should I do this or that or PPE or website clicks?” All of a sudden, people’s heads start spinning and I said, “Woah. That’s too technical.” They think that the technicalities are what moves the needle the most. That’s cool and that’s the 10% and that’s what a lot of the Facebook gurus, if you will, out there are what they talk about. But I’ve decided, “I’m going to talk about the 90% that’s below the surface.” What really causes shifts in Facebook campaigns or digital advertising campaigns in general that are going to make the most difference? That is my 4M formula, it’s what lies below the surface and in short the 4Ms represent: message, market, magnet, and mechanism. I’ll go into them really briefly. Stephan, if you want to dive and dig deeper you just let me know, we’ll dive as deep as you like. First is message. This is the basic, the premise that I have around message. In today’s social new media world today, what you say is actually not as important as how you say it. I believe how you convey your message carries more weight than what you say. If I wanted to reach out to the entrepreneurial world I could tell them, “Hey, you want to be an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurial great things blah, blah, blah, etc, etc.” Or I could go really deep into my story and tell them some of the struggles that I faced and why I had to pivot and the difficulties and the things you had to overcome to become who we are today. I would say that essentially the messages are the same but how they are delivered is very different. Today’s day and age, the world is driven by narratives that speak to people’s hearts and souls rather than just their heads and their logic. When we’re talking about messaging, we’re talking about understanding the importance of narratives and we’re also talking about understanding how do you craft the message in such a way that it stands out amongst the noise in the marketplace. Because everybody out there is saying something. Everybody’s saying, “Hey, I’ll show you how to lose weight.” Everybody’s saying, “Hey, I’ll show you how to find your mate.” Everybody’s saying, “Hey, I’ll show you how to run Facebook ads.” In the midst of the sea of sameness and all of that, how do you rage against beige? How do you be different and stand out? While everybody’s shouting in the noise, how do you whisper so that you attract the right people to you? That’s the message side. Then we have the market side. I believe market is understanding the difference between mass marketing and micromarketing. Mass marketing says. “Hey, try to get your message to as many people as humanly possible and hope as you throw stuff against the wall some of it sticks.” Micromarketing is saying, “Who are the real people that I’m going after? Who are the 4% of the people that I can help?” Couple of people in the industry have called it different things. Seth Godin calls it your tribe, Kevin Kelly says your thousand true fans. I don’t care what you call it but realize that what you’re saying is not meant for everybody to hear and what you have is not meant for everybody out there. It’s meant for a very core select group of people and as long as you can dedicate your messaging and everything around your specific market, I call them your 4 percenters, the 20% of the 20%. Then I think you’re much more apt to have people respond to you in much more happier and aggressive and passionate way than you would if you’re just telling your message to everybody. You have your message and you have your market. Third is magnet, a magnet in the true sense of the internet marketing world is what can you give in exchange for a name and an email address? But I take it a little step further and I say your magnet is what can you give that provides value to your marketplace? What can you provide to your industry that establishes you as a credible authority, as a leader in your space and that essentially affords you the right to start a conversation with somebody and to say, “Hey, that person is really helping me out here with whatever they’re throwing out to the marketplace. Let me look further into what it is that they have to offer.” That’s a magnet. Lastly, the mechanism. This is where you think about, “What is the process that I should put in place that is going to help take a lead and turn them into a prospect and a prospect into a client or a customer?” When you can understand that there’s various different processes you could put in place, some people call those funnels in our world. There are various options that you can put into place but once you can get foundation about key factors that you need to have in that process, then and only then can you start thinking about running Facebook ads or any sort of paid media for that matter because you have all the other processes in place. That’s what I believe, my 4M strategy. It’s the stuff that’s below the surface and that’s really what the book reveals and talks about to help people establish those things and then take them deeper into their whole marketing journey.

S: Cool, I love that. I think it’s awesome to have a framework or a model that you can walk your tribe through or your thousand true fans. It breaks it down for them and gives you something unique that you can hang your hat on. This is part of your whole overall framework, do you have other things, other frameworks, other formulas, models that also are valuable take aways for our listeners?

N: Yeah, we can talk about frameworks all day long. For example, one of the things that I really like is when we’re talking about magnets for example, something that you could offer to the marketplace to provide value for them, the framework that I follow is what I call SAGE. I see people all the time and I think this is hilarious today in today’s day and age. People all the time are giving people or at least giving their industry things that they don’t actually want. They’re saying, “Let me give you this ebook on whatever.” Or, “Let me give you a cheat sheet or a template on something that I don’t even think you wanted but I’m going to give it to you anyways.” I think what’s really important is for someone to be very clear about what the market wants and then provide something that’s SAGE. Let me give you the framework and then I’ll give you an example of how this was executed in my business not too long ago. S stands for short. Short, essentially we live in a microcontent world. Most people, their first exposure to you is most likely not going to give you too much of their time. You have a very short amount of time to capture attention and to prove that whatever you have to say is worth listening to. If you can make your initial pieces of content or whatever it is that you’re giving out to the marketplace short, I say four to seven minutes of consumption time, you’re off to the races and on the right track. A stands for actionable. It’s the difference to me between information and insight. Information I believe is a commodity these days. We can find out whatever we want, however we want from this beautiful search engine called Google. Google’s going to let us know exactly what we need to know in a record-breaking time. If we are just information providers, we’re competing against Google for that matter and we’re competing against everybody else who has great information. Insight to me is what to do with information in order to get a very specific desired outcome. If you can be the insight giver rather than the information giver, and you do that by offering actionable steps, you’re going to be well on your way to establishing yourself as an authority. G stands for goal-oriented. The reality is that anybody who’s coming to you looking for solution is looking to get one step closer to their goal. Whatever that goal is, whether it’s, “Hey, show me how to lose weight.” Or “Hey, show me how to rank better on the search engines.” Or “Hey, show me how to do better on Facebook ads.” Whatever it’d be, they’re moving towards a goal. If our content or magnet can help them get a little bit closer working that couple of some great things. Number one, we have to realize that if they’ve come to us, they’ve probably explored other options before coming to us. The reason that they’re coming to us now is because those options let them down. If they come to us and we provide them with something that gets them a little bit closer to their goal, then amazing things happen. First, they’ve gotten closer to their goal, probably something they haven’t done as of yet. Two, if they have gotten closer to their goal, they now establish or recognize that progress and they connect it with us which is a beautiful thing because then they come back to us and they say what’s next. S stands for short, A stands for actionable, G stands for goal-oriented and the last one is E, easy or easy enough for a newbie to apply. The more complicated we make something, the less likely people are interested in what it is but if we can make it super easy enough for anybody to take and apply and get an immediate result with, we’re well on our way. Let me give you an example. About two years ago or a year and a half ago, I had my fingers on the poles of the Facebook advertising industry. I was watching what was going on in the landscape and the big thing about 18 months ago was ad account shutdowns. Everybody who is running any sort of direct response marketing on Facebook was highly probable to have lost an ad account or know someone who did lose an ad account. What did I do? I created a SAGE. A short, actionable, goal-oriented and easy to implement checklist that was called Facebook Apocalypse. It essentially was how to avoid having your ad account shutdown. It was this multi-stage checklist that if you’re running Facebook ads, all you had to do is print out this checklist and make sure you are abiding by all the things I laid out there. It was two pages, very easy to apply and this one thing got downloaded over 50,000 times, led to untold amounts of private clients for me, led to untold amounts of intensive people and it just went crazy. How do we do that? It was SAGE and it was very specifically connected to the trend of the marketplace. If you can do that, anybody who’s listening or watching this, if they can just understand that. Let me put it this way, Stephan. Anybody who’s watching this is literally one good magnet away from three, four, five exing their business. If you can just understand one good magnet that follows all these rules, you could be well on your way to growing your business in ways you can’t even imagine possible.

S: That’s awesome. I just read an article and it is relevant because you could turn this into a SAGE type of lead magnet. Getting verified and getting the blue check on Twitter or Facebook. I just got verified on Twitter so now I have a much better shot of getting verified on Facebook. But there are some things that you should do to increase your chances. Like for example if you have books that you’ve written and TV appearances and things like that, you put them in your about area of your Facebook profile and so forth. They’re these things that you can do to prep and make sure that you have your best shot at getting the blue check. That’ll be a perfect SAGE type of lead magnet.

N: That would be perfect. If you wrote that, I would download it. So I’ll get verified.

S: You’re not? What? You’re the Facebook guy.

N:  I didn’t even think about that until you brought that up and I’m like, “Damn it that’s right, I don’t have a blue checkmark, I better look into this myself.”

S: I’ll send you the article, it’s on Inc. magazine.

N: Thanks.

S: Awesome. Also, I’ll drop the link into the show notes for the episode. Let’s talk about the different ad types. What are your favorites? I’m guessing video ads are one of your favorites but there are carousel ads, there are your traditional ads with the image. Are there any kinds of special formats that we should know about that are not typical? I know back in the day when people are trying to stick out and be different with the image ads, they’re putting red borders. That’s so stupid, it was a fad. Any tips or tricks? Any favorite ad formats?

N: Yeah, 100%. I think by default, everybody should get familiar and comfortable with your typical link ad in the news feed. This is your standard copy followed by an image followed by a headline and a few little texts underneath. This is standard, this is a news feed ad. This is what everybody should start with and is the best way to go. A couple of points on the news feed ad, your picture is really what’s going to drive the initial engagement with that ad. Here’s how I think about images when I’m selecting images for an ad. I’m always thinking on the back of my mind that if Facebook didn’t allow me to use words for my ad, what image would I select that would convey the same type of message that I’m trying to portray regardless? This gets us away from using dry and boring and dull images or standard stock images and gets our mind thinking about how can we find images that are going to provoke emotion and tell a story and create attention. For example, one of the ads that we wrote, this is a while ago for a webinar about how to stand out in the marketplace. The question or the caption was feeling invisible to your marketplace or to your prospect. It was a pair of shoes that were just floating on the water as though the person had disappeared in the water and there’s an invisible person standing there. That is far more powerful if you see an image like that of someone who looks like they’re invisible, you just see shoes that are floating on the water than if we’re to choose some stock image of some guy holding a megaphone trying to get attention type of thing. I think that it’s in everyone’s best interest that when they’re selecting images for this news feed that they should always be thinking about, “How do I select an image that actually tells a story? Or is a metaphor? Or that portrays something beyond the words?” Everybody knows that a picture is worth a thousand words. I want you to think about picking an image that tells a story in and of itself even without the copy or anything like that. That’d be a great place to start. Some other cool ad types that someone can use, for example we do love video ads. But I say this with a caveat. I say we love video ads if you have a great video. If you don’t have a great video and it sucks or you’re terrible on video, or you don’t have good video editors, or you have terrible audio, or whatever it be, a video ad can end up backfiring on you and making you look like a chump and something that some people don’t want to engage with. The other thing about video ads that I will say is this, it is proven now that 60% or 80% of all videos watched on Facebook are watched without audio, they’re muted. They start muted and they stay muted for the most part. If that’s the case then if you are going to be running video ads, one of the things that I suggest to everybody is to make sure you get SRT captions so that whatever is being said on the video, even if you can’t hear it, the watcher can make sense of it because of the words that are being portrayed on that. Video ads are great. Carousel ads we found work terribly for those who are in the information space but amazingly for those who are in the ecommerce space. If you are selling any sort of ecommerce physical products and you have multiple skews in your store, carousel ads are crushing it because it gives you the opportunity to display more than one product or various angles of the same product or various applications of the same product in one single ad. Carousels are great that way. Then there’s a whole bunch of other things that people can consider but everybody should stay by default, it’s a link ad that shows up in your news feed. If you can work out some great video ads, that would be good, just don’t forget the SRT files. If you’re doing an ecommerce then carousel ads are definitely something you should consider in the way to go because they’re just crushing it, working it for those in the ecommerce space.

S: Are there any rules that we need to worry about like the 20% text rule or anything?

N: In general and I apologize that I didn’t bring that up because for the most part we don’t put any copy or text in our images but you are right, there is the 20% text rule which essentially states that any image cannot have more than 20% of its body filled with text. Because then it seems like it’s just a word base. If you’re doing memes or quotes or anything like that, you do need to be careful with the amount of text that show up in your images. But for the most part, a general rule of thumb you could follow is don’t use copy in your images or text in your images by default, at least the first time out, and see if you can get the results that you’re looking for. Because at the end of the day, my basic premise is you don’t want your ad to look like an ad. The more it looks like an ad, the more people have this feeling of wanting to ignore it; hence the red borders back in the day or the fluorescent pink backgrounds. Do they catch attention? Sure but they scream, “Hey, I’m a marketer. Pay attention to me.” I think we’re all mentally trained to ignore ads and so the more your ad looks like an ad, the more it will be ignored. Try to think about it as a social post. When you scroll through your news feed tomorrow or today for that matter, I want you to think about what actually grabs your attention. How is it written? What’s said on it? What makes sense? If you can think about it from that perspective, I think you’ll have a much better shot at having successful ads than if you try to get clever or creative or anything like that.

S: That makes sense. Let’s talk about retargeting. What are some of the must-know tactics and strategies around retargeting?

N: A strategy number one is you must do it. I’m still dumbfounded to this day of the amount of people who either don’t know what it is or are not doing it because they feel like it’s too complicated. In short, retargeting basically says anybody who’s landed in any one of your web properties and not taken the action that you have desired of them, you can show them another ad that helps push them in the right direction. Point number one about retargeting is some of our greatest ROIs do in fact come from the fact that we’re doing retargeting rather than just cold ads. Couple things to know about what you could do with retargeting. Number one, you can redirect them back to the same offer if they didn’t take advantage of it. Let’s say I’m offering a lead magnet that says, “Hey, download my Facebook Pocalypse.” They hit the page, they never download it. I could basically set-up an audience that says, “Hey, for the next seven days show this ad to the person with the page and didn’t opt-in.” And saying, “By the way you forgot Facebook Apocalypse. You wouldn’t want your ad account shutdown would you? You might as well download this thing. It’s absolutely free.” That would be retargeting number one, sending them back to the same offer that they didn’t quite take you upon. The one caveat there is don’t show them that ad for too long because if you show them that for the next 180 days, they’re going to hate you. There is a limited time that you want to show that ad before someone goes bonkers on you. Retargeting number two is showing them a different but another relevant offer. If I showed them an ad for the Facebook Apocalypse downloadable checklist but they didn’t ever opt-in, what I do know is that they’re interested in Facebook ads related things but maybe they didn’t want Facebook Apocalypse stuff because they felt like it wasn’t relevant to them. Now I can show them a retargeting ad that sends them to my perfect ad template checklist. Now it’s a relevant offer, it’s in the same space but it’s different and that would give me a higher probability of having that person opt-in. That’s the second thing you can do for retargeting. The third and the last is sending them to the next phase of your funnel. Let’s say for example I was offering the checklist template lead magnet and I said, “Hey, come get this.” But they never got it. I could just say, “Oh well, the hell with that. That person probably never wants it.” Or I could say, “What if I show them a content video of me teaching through the template anyways even if they don’t opt-in?” What I could do is set-up that retargeting pixel to say, “Anybody who’s seen this page and not opted-in, why don’t we take them to this content piece, the next phase of the funnel?” Literally, you can push people and bounce people around to all sorts of great content pieces that warms them up to you so that when you are ready to make an offer, they’re much more apt to do it. Retargeting, again rule number one is do it. Rule number two is follow one of the three ways you can do retargeting and you are definitely going to see much better results with your Facebook ads if you do that.

S: Love it. What about these Facebook messenger ads that people are talking about these days? It’s a pretty hot topic at Traffic & Conversions Summit recently, I was at War Room and it was a hot topic back in January’s War Room which is a Mastermind that Digital Marketer runs. How are you guys using it? What innovative ways would suit our listeners for messenger ads?

N: Here’s the two things that you need to know about me and then about messenger ads. Number one, I’m a super slow adapter. What I mean by that is anytime a new trinket or widget or something comes out on Facebook for an advertising platform, I’m the first to take two steps back. Let the market play with it a little bit, let the market decide if there’s any relevance to it. A good example of this was six to eight months ago, lead ads came out. Visibility to one click of a button, Facebook would take the email without them ever having to enter it and put it in your CRM. Everyone thought that, “This would be the best things in slice bread, this is so amazing. Oh my God, we’re getting really cheap leads.” I took a few steps back and I said, “Well let’s just see what the marketplace says about this.” The reality was lead ads ended out really “sucking.” What I mean by that is you could get decent lead cost but the conversion rates on them were terrible. I say that as a nice caveat to say messenger ads right now are the same thing for me. As messenger bots and everything is going crazy right now, we’re taking a step back and we’re just watching the marketplace. What we have noticed thus far, and again this is not all-inclusive and this is just our experience so far, is that it’s more of a novel idea than it is a true conversion mechanism. What we’re noticing is because it’s a novel thing, every time we’ve tested messenger ads, a lot of the responses have been, “Hey, let’s just check it out.” People respond to the message. Then when a real person or the bot replies to them, the general response is, “Oh, I didn’t know that would happen. I didn’t know I’d be talking to someone, I’m not really all that interested.” You’d have just this novelty idea of like, “Wow. This is cool. Let’s see how it goes.” A lot of people are doing that. Right now where we stand is it works great for follow up. For example just today I bought a bunch of stuff on an ecommerce store and as soon as I hit order, my order receipt came via Facebook message. It said, “Congratulations! Here is your receipt. By the way, if you have any questions or any follow up please let us know and here’s the link to your tracking.” That is a phenomenal use of it because it’s not intrusive, it’s actually supportive. Other types of ads however are you’re looking at an ad and you post something or click on something and the messenger ad comes up in your face and saying, “Hey, can I help you?” Because it’s bot-based and not human-based, a lot of times if you’re not asking the right questions or you’re saying the wrong things all of a sudden you seem very incongruent and you could be like, “Hey, you want to sign-up for my Mastermind?” And they’re like, “Well wait a second, I was just asking about a template, why are you trying to sell me a Mastermind thing now?” There are great uses and not so great uses. Right now our position is we’re taking a few steps back, we’re watching it play out. As soon as we find some really, really legitimate uses for it to provide value to the user rather than to take value away, then I’ll probably have a much better opinion about it.

S: The messenger bots, are you using those as well as a little bit of testing? I see you’ve done some messenger ads but are you using the messenger bots like ManyChat?

N: Yes, messenger ads and messenger bots like ManyChat there’s so much complexity to it. There are so many unique and interesting things you can do with it. But right now there’s really no conclusive data, at least for our end, to say that we like this use case better than the other in terms of the application for it currently.

S: Got it. Listeners, I’ll put into the show notes the links to ManyChat which is a messenger bot tool. Very inexpensive too, it’s like $20 a month or something like that.

N: That’s one of the leading ones. If anyone is thinking about playing around with some of that, that would be the greatest place to start in terms of feature set, pricing and availability.

S: Don’t push people at the top of the funnel to do the messenger ads but instead later down in the funnel where it’s likely that they’re going to convert but they just haven’t took over the ads yet.

N: That’s probably the best application currently for it.

S: Let’s talk about lookalike audiences. How good are lookalikes versus doing your own specialized targeting and segmentation and so forth?

N: To us, the quality of a lookalike depends on two things. Number one, the type of person you’re going after and number two, how much conversion aata you have to create that lookalike audience. Let me tell you first about number one. Let’s say I’m going after a dentist in the United States of America and I have a handful of dentists in my database and I go out and I create a lookalike around it. That’s not all going to be that valuable to me because there’s not enough data to tell Facebook, “Hey, I’m looking for a dentist.” They’re going to look at the age of the dentist, they’re going to look at all these other data, they’re just going to go out and find non-dentist for me, in which case that lookalike is next to useless because my target is in fact the dentist. That’s one bad case of it. Another bad case of it that I see all the time is lookalikes are based on conversion data. The more data you have before you turn it into a lookalike, the better it is. Let’s say you had 10 people opt-in to something you say, “Oh my God, Facebook go create a lookalike around these 10 people.” That data’s going to be all over the place, there’s not enough there for Facebook to say, “These are the consistencies amongst the 10 people, let’s go create a lookalike.” If you had 3,000, or 4,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 people opt-in to something and you say, “Hey Facebook go create a lookalike after this.” Now, all of a sudden you have a very powerful lookalike that can be used for a bunch of sources. Do I like lookalike audiences? The answer is yes but under the condition that A, my specific target market isn’t so narrow that the lookalike would miss it or B, I have enough conversion data and usually the rule that I like to go by is at least 1,000 pieces of data so that there are 1,000 opt-ins, or 1,000 purchases, or 1,000 visitors, or 1,000 whatever as the very bare minimum to start creating lookalikes. Because then, you’ll have a much more valuable and useful lookalike versus not.

S: That’s great advice. You’re using the Power Editor over the Ads Manager. That’s typical for a Facebook expert to be using the Power Editor. Let’s say that you’re interviewing somebody who’s going to to do your Facebook advertising for you. I know that you do that as an agency so if somebody could perhaps afford you, they might consider hiring you which you’re very good. I would definitely recommend listeners talk to Nicholas.

N: Thank you for that.

S: You charge a percentage of the ad spend as your management fee?

N: It depends on the scenario. It could be a percentage of ad spend. We have some more people spending a whole heap of money and that percentage doesn’t make sense. What I mean by that we have people spending millions a month and so a decent percentage doesn’t make sense to that. In those cases, we’re on a revenue share scenario so we get a piece of the pie of everything that’s made. Other people are a percentage of ads spend and then we have a few cases also of people who just get a flat retainer fee because that just makes sense for their business. It’s one of three pricing models.

S: Got it. Wow. Millions of dollars a month on ads spend. That’s amazing. Wow, you’re the real deal. Back to this idea of the Power Editor versus the Ads Manager, would that be one of those criteria or trick questions you might ask of a potential Facebook advertiser that you’re looking to hire? Here you’re saying the Ads Manager. How do you manage ads and if they say, “Yeah, we’re using the Ads Manager.” Then you know not to hire them.

N: That’s a great point. The Ads Manager was literally designed for the person who doesn’t know what they’re doing and to try and make it like really, really easy for a newbie to figure out ads. I think it’s great for what it is which is literally for the newbie who’s just getting their feet wet and saying, “Let me trying to figure out how this whole Facebook ads things work.” But the moment you want to get serious about ads and the moment you want to unlock the potential of what Facebook can do for you, you want to very quickly move out of Ads Manager into Power Editor. The next question a lot of people ask along those lines is, “What about tools?” Like Qwaya I believe or there’s another one that I forgot, it slipped my mind. But these types of tools, what about those, I think those again are just hacks and at the end of the day the person who knows how to use the raw Power Editor to its fullest capabilities is someone who knows what they’re doing. It’s a great question to ask. Probably amongst the cup of more of anyone who’s looking at a hire an agency but that would be definitely one that you want to throw in the mix just to see how they respond to that.

S: Are there a couple more?

N: Absolutely. I designed these questions back in the day when I was first starting out to be questions that only I could answer. But I like questions like A, am I tied into a contract with you? Do I have the 6 month or 12 month minimum if I’m working? If they say yes to that, Facebook ads unlike something like SEO doesn’t take that much time to start getting results with. If anyone wants to lock you into some agreement or extended agreement, that would be something you want to double question and say, “But why?” I would ask them, “Hey, do you have a money back guarantee? Because if you don’t deliver, I want to know that I’m not going to be out the whole ton of money.” That’s a great question to ask. Another question to ask might be, “What are some unique cases of how you used Facebook ads outside the norm?” This would be a great way to test their creative abilities, to see are they just doing something because they took a course somewhere and that’s just how they run ads? Or are they getting creative with how they roll things out? That could be a great question. There are a couple other ones but a refund policy, how long am I obliged to stay with you kind of thing. Do you have a money back guarantee? What are creative ways that you’re executing Facebook ads? Another one would be straight-up, “Send me some referrals.” You’ll be surprised to see how many people say, “No, no.” The cop out is, “Hey, due to client confidentiality I cannot tell you who else that we worked with and I cannot put you in contact with them.” Look at the end of the day, if you can’t talk to other people who worked with that person good, bad, and ugly. Frankly, we’ve had some letdowns and some failures and I’m more than open to put in people in contact with people that we couldn’t do good things for just so they can get a fresh perspective around that as well. I think referrals and the ability to be transparent with the referrals is another great way. Lastly, do you have a direct cellphone link to a Facebook person at Facebook Inc., in case anything goes wrong with the account or in case you need to reach out to someone do you have a direct link to someone at Facebook? If the answer is no and you’re running some high level campaigns, you probably want to look elsewhere. You want to know that the person you’re working with has a direct link to Facebook to be able to provide you the support that you need for your account. There’s a handful right there.

S: That’s great. The backphone to Facebook, yes. Have you ever had clients who were banned from Facebook that you were able to get their accounts reinstated?

N: There are two angles to that. If they were banned before they came to me, getting their account back is outside of our control. It’s just not something we can do because we were not involved with the account while it happened. There were a very small handful of times where people lost their account with working with us and most of the time that had to do with an error on Facebook’s part, not so much an error on what we were doing. In which case it’s because we have the backphone, we’re able to pick it up and get that corrected very quickly. Maybe that’s another question that people want to be very cautious about. One of the really big things is that we’re big on compliance. We make sure that before any ad goes live, we run it through our Facebook rep first so they could see and confirm that this is good to go. I had one guy Facebook messaged me the other day and said, “Hey Nick, I had 20 Facebook ads account and we lost 18 of them due to policy violations. What am I supposed to do?” My answer was, “Stop freaking breaking policy and stop being all shady with your stuff and actually run some compliant ads. How about that?” That’s an important thing too that if you don’t know what you’re doing or the person you hired doesn’t really know what they’re doing and doesn’t put a high priority on compliance, that could be a whole other ball of wax that nobody really wants to dive into.

S: We’re about out of time here. But a couple of really quick questions lightning around here. Facebook exclusions, any tips or tricks around Facebook exclusion list? Essentially, this was a tip I got from Marty Wayne Shrob from Inclaire. I interviewed him about Facebook and Google a couple of months ago. He said, and this was a great tip, to take your negative keywords list from Google AdWords and use it as Facebook exclusions.

N: That’s a great point. I would almost like to say the opposite. Yes, there are obvious exclusions that you want to exclude depending on what point of the funnel they’re in. You always want to exclude that next step to make sure you’re not running your ads to the same people twice. But one of the other things on the site as an inclusion for targeting is suppression list. For example, if you have an InfusionSoft list or whatever CRM you’re using for that matter, you could run a data search on your list that says, “Who hasn’t opened my emails in all that six to eight months?” Infusion will spit out a CSV report to you. Frankly, if they haven’t opened an email for the last six to eight months they’re dead to you on email. But if you then take that CSV file, you upload it as a custom audience and that you include them in your ad, now all of a sudden you have an amazing suppression list end up being some of the most warm and highly engaging list that you can target on Facebook. I would say look in your CRM systems if you have suppression list of inactive for very long time, take those upload them as custom audiences and you’re going to have a very hot, hot list there.

S: Nice, awesome. Percentage of video watched as a targeting mechanism, what do you think about that?

N: We’ve tested using video retargeting the way you that you are alluding to there. How much of the video they watched and how hot of that is a prospect? We have found that in general, that if the person literally didn’t finish just about 75% or all of that video there’s a likelihood that they weren’t interested in the first place. Facebook video views, unlike YouTube video views, even if you’re scrolling past the video and you see it for 0.5 seconds Facebook considers that a view and that if someone hasn’t really gone past 25% or 50% of the video, they could be watching it accidentally and that’s a useless person to you. I’d say 75% or beyond is the only thing you should consider if you’re going to use that list as a retargeting list for your ads.

S: Let’s leave folks with a link to get to the Give book. What’s the URL?

N: Yeah, If you go there it’s going to lay out exactly the four steps that you can take A, buy the book. B, claim and get your bonus. C, get a referral link and share it with others that can be entered into the competition. D, leave a review. We tried to make this a no-brainer for you, $3.99 on Kindle we’re on pre-order lock mode right now. You’ll get the book. What I do want to say is some people liked the actual soft cover of the book versus the Kindle version. Anybody who does buy at Kindle, we will send them the soft cover absolutely free if they just cover the shipping cost for that as soon as that book is released. We’re covering them in all basis, they’re going to get literally two books for the price of one and they’ll get the $200 training, they’re going to get all these great bonuses all for $3.99 at That’s the URL.

S: Awesome. If folks wanted to work with you or hire you to do their Facebook advertising if they have the budget for it,

N: Yeah, the most unbrandable name on the internet,, that’s the website. You can see the various ways that people can engage with us and work with us. Usually, most of those ways have an application process beforehand but if you fill out the app, our team will take a review of it. If you seem like a good fit, we’ll reach out, have a conversation and see how we can help you out there.

S: Awesome. Thank you, Nicholas. It’s been a lot of fun and this was our very first Facebook Live podcast interview. I hope that went well from the audience’s’ perspective. I didn’t see really any question so we don’t have any questions to answer here. But thank you, I really appreciate this. Listeners, please do check out the Give book and buy it. The proceeds go to Charity: Water which is an amazing non-profit. Nicholas knows his stuff so you’ll learn some cool things too.

N: I appreciate that. Thanks for letting me make history with you as being the first Facebook Live slash podcast in the Stephan Spencer history of podcast.

S: That’s great. Thanks listeners, viewers, attendees, you guys rock. Catch you another time.