Editor’s Note: As a matter of policy, we only publish articles from authors with experience working in a particular gig or managing the small business opportunity described in the article. To reduce the risk of unwanted competition, we keep authors anonymous. Today’s article comes from an author with deep expertise in digital marketing and e-commerce.
Outsourced Facebook Ad Agency
One of my side businesses is running a small Facebook Ad agency. I say this is a small side business because I don’t actually run any of the ads myself. I’m not even particularly good at running Facebook ads. However, I am good at selling the service, and then I outsource the management of the Facebook ad campaigns to trusted experts.
Basically, I find small businesses that would benefit from running Facebook ad campaigns to people in their local area. I charge them $1200 per month for my agency’s fee. Of course, they also cover the cost of the ads, and I require them to have an additional budget of at least $800 for advertisements.
While this minimum monthly price tag of $2000 might seem like a lot, I specifically sell to clients with high end services and products. On average, these clients make five to ten times the return on their investment. They are more than happy to pay my fee, and it is very common for them to request to increase their ad budget as long as they can handle the additional customers.
Once I have made a deal with a new client, I outsource the actual Facebook ad campaigns to Facebook ad experts. I pay them generously as they are doing most of the work. They get 75% of the $1200 service fee, and I keep the remaining $300 per client. This is $300 per month per client to essentially do almost nothing besides the occasional email and making sure my clients’ goals are being met.
Wild West of Advertising
While the internet has been around for decades now and it is a normal part of our lives, in the marketing world, it is still the wild west. There is tons of money to be made in paid advertising. Sure, plenty of online businesses are dominating paid advertising methods. However, when it comes to local small businesses, most of them aren’t running paid ads at all. These businesses are leaving tons of money on the table and once you make it clear to them, selling the Facebook advertising services is surprisingly easy.
The funny thing is, there are tons of incredibly talented Facebook ad experts who are so incredibly hungry for work. They know how to run successful ad campaigns, but they are just having the hardest time getting clients. This is where I come in.
With the entrepreneurial spirit inside me, I belong to a dozen or so large Facebook groups that are based around online business and digital marketing tactics. These groups are a great place to network and stay on top of what methods are working best in the current state of the internet. Members of these groups are primarily from western, English-speaking countries, however there are quite a lot of people from other countries as well.
After awhile I kept noticing similar posts in these groups continually coming up. A lot of Facebook advertising experts from foreign countries were looking for US-based clients, but were having the hardest time getting any.
The first problem is that they usually had names that gave away their country of origin. While I knew most of these guys were legitimate experts, US businesses see a funny name they aren’t used to and assume it is a scam. This was particularly hard for ad experts from countries that already had a stigma of telemarketing scams.
The second major problem they were having was pitching to a client over the phone. While they were fluent in English, their heavy accents over the phone made it really difficult to persuade any US businesses to pay for their services. When you’re charging as much as Facebook ad experts do, selling over the phone is crucial. It’s very difficult to convince someone to pay over $1000 a month simple through an email or a sales page.
The opportunity was staring at me right in the face. I already had some experience pitching to clients over the phone. I’m from the US, had an average name, and was a decent enough speaker. I knew I could find the clients that can benefit from running Facebook ads, and I knew I could help these Facebook ad experts get the work they wanted. It was a win for everyone involved, myself included. So I began networking with a lot of these foreign freelance ad experts. They were all so knowledgeable and just eager to break into the US market on a larger scale. I simply pitched the idea of getting advertising clients for them to manage. I would handle client acquisition and communication and they would just focus on bringing the clients great results.
After a bunch of friendly networking and confirming their claims of past ad campaign results, I had a small team of three enthusiastic experts that later grew to four.
Getting clients was a lot easier than I was expecting it to be. I had done some cold calling in the past for my other freelancing ventures, but the benefit of this service is much more obvious.
When what you are selling will directly increase the revenue of small businesses with clear measurable results, owners are very interested.
My pitch was pretty simple. I would talk about how Facebook advertising can bring in tons of new customers, directly taking a larger market share out of their local area. I’d talk about the results my team has gotten for past clients, and how many more customers the ad spend will get them. I’d do some basic math with the business owner, breaking down what the average cost per lead might be. Then I would ask based on their current numbers, how much additional revenue would this bring them with all the additional customer leads?
There was usually a moment of silence where the business owner was having an epiphany of how good of an idea this was.
From there I’d lay out my pricing and talk about the minimum required ad spend. I’d also mention that it’s common for customers to request an increase in ad spend once they see how great of results were coming in.
Every once in awhile, I’d have a potential client still resistant and wanting to think about it. That’s when I dropped the bomb. I’d let them know that I understand they need to think about it, but that I will also be pitching competitors in their area. I’d also then explain that so there are no conflict of interests, I can only provide my services to one business per industry per city. Because of this, it is pretty much first come first serve. For many of them, this was all they needed hear. They either agreed to the deal right then, or got back to me later that day.
The fear of missing out is strong and they certainly didn’t want their local competitors to have an advantage over them.
Best Clients to Target
It’s important to make sure you are pitching to the right businesses. Not all types of businesses can benefit from Facebook ads. If you convince one of these businesses to pay for your services and they only lose money every month, they won’t be a client for very long.
You first want to make sure you are pitching to businesses that sell directly to customers. Facebook ads work best when businesses are directly targeting their customers. They don’t work very well for a business that sells to other businesses. Manufacturers and wholesalers have no real need for Facebook advertising.
You also want to target businesses that charge a lot for their services or products. Generating leads with paid Facebook advertising can cost a pretty penny. Unless the business owner can justify that cost with their own high pricing, your client will be lucky if they make a good return on their ad spend.
Clients that I’ve had the most success with are lawyers, chiropractors, accountants, roofers, and home remodeling. I’ve also had success with solar power companies. These types of businesses charge a lot for their services, so they can easily justify a high cost per lead with Facebook advertising.
Clients to Avoid
There are some types of businesses that are difficult to get great results for.
Restaurants can be tricky if it’s a larger city with a lot of competition. I would usually avoid them unless it’s a small to medium city and the restaurant has high enough prices to justify the ad spending.
Plumbers and locksmiths seem great at first, until you realize people are usually only looking for either of these when something goes wrong. They will be searching on Google, not scrolling through their Facebook news feed for a plumber or a locksmith.
Any stores that sell low-priced items have margins that are too low, and you’ll have unhappy clients asking for a refund. Is it a wedding shop selling high priced wedding dresses? Go for it. Avoid the local bakery selling $10 cakes.
Can a good Facebook expert still make ads work for some of these businesses? It’s possible. However, it is best to go for the low-hanging fruit first. Why go to all that trouble getting a new client just to risk them cancelling their service after a couple of bad months? Focus on clients you know you can easily help.
The hardest part is getting the clients. The second hardest part is making sure you have good ad experts running ad campaigns for your clients. Beyond that the job is pretty easy.
Once you get everything set up in Facebook Ad Manager, your team member starts the campaign and you can follow how everything is going. If you vetted your ad experts properly, they should have some decent results for your client by the end of the first month. The vetting process usually involves seeing their past campaign results as well as talking to references of past clients. You also just want to make sure they’ll be easy for you to work with.
After that, your only job is to make sure clients pay on time and that you are paying your team members on time. Remember, you only want one team member working on a client’s ad campaign. Your team doesn’t need to have any communication with each other, only with you about that specific client campaign. I have found that each ad expert can usually handle three or four client campaigns without much of a problem. Some rock stars can handle a bit more, but don’t give one team member too much to handle. You don’t want his work to suffer as a result.
You’ll need to make sure your communicating with the client occasionally and make sure their goals are being met.
Beyond some basic emailing with clients and team member, the only other thing I do is study a bit about Facebook ads myself. I’m not an expert, but it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of what your team is doing. Learning the lingo helps a lot. There are plenty of YouTube videos that give an overview. Facebook even has their own free training on how to best use their ad platform if you ever wanted to dive deeper into it yourself.
Once a client is acquired I’m usually not working more than about an hour or two per month per client.
How Much Can You Really Make?
For me, this is just a side business while I pursue other things. That being said, at one point, I had 12 clients that I outsourced to 4 ad experts. After my cut, I was making $3600 per month for about 3-4 hours of easy work per week.
There is potential here for someone to scale this model up and make significantly more. You can find bigger clients with bigger ad budgets, and a larger team to accommodate them.